Marijuana News

Survey Finds Marijuana Use and Arrests Have Increased in Japan

Japan Marijuana

The National Center of Neurology and Psychiatry released survey data showing that about 1.3 million Japanese residents between the ages of 15 and 64 have used marijuana. Surveys regarding substance abuse started in 1995, with the most recent survey conducted between September and October 2017.

Since the last survey conducted this represents an increase of 380,000 marijuana users, The Japan Times reports.

There were roughly 3,000 marijuana-related arrests or incidents in the country in 2017. That is the highest number of marijuana-involved incidents in the country’s history, but it is speculated that it increased due to the heavier restrictions and penalties placed on more dangerous drugs.

Marijuana use, according to the survey, is popular in Japan among those ages 30 and younger. Most also agree that using a little bit is okay. This age group also sees using marijuana as a “matter of individual freedom.” Older age groups share similar opinions.

Japan has long opposed marijuana use, so legalization isn’t likely, but the release of more research data and continued movements regarding marijuana law reform globally may signal a shift in the country’s drug laws.


Canada Recreational Marijuana Sales to “Begin Within 8 – 12 Weeks”

Canada Cannabis Legalization Laws

A bill to legalize and regulate marijuana for adult use in Canada received final approval from lawmakers on June 19. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his cabinet will choose the specific date on which the law will take effect, and legal sales are expected to begin within eight to 12 weeks.

Canada will be just the second country — and the first G7 nation — to legalize marijuana for adults at the national level, MPP reports. The first was Uruguay, where legislation was signed into law in December 2013 and a limited number of pharmacies began selling marijuana to adults in July 2017. Nine U.S. states and the District of Columbia have enacted laws making marijuana legal for adults 21 and older, and eight of those laws include systems for regulating the cultivation and sale of marijuana.

Bill C-45, known as the Cannabis Act, creates an overarching national regulatory framework and enables each province to establish its own system of licensing and regulating marijuana businesses. Anyone over the age of 18 will be allowed to possess up to 30 grams (one ounce is 28 grams) of marijuana, and all products will be sold in plain packaging with clearly marked labels.

“This is a historic step forward for the movement to end marijuana prohibition,” stated Mason Tvert, spokesperson for the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP). “We commend the members of Parliament and the prime minister for their extraordinary demonstration of leadership on this issue. Canada will set a great example for countries that are considering similar reforms, and it will inspire much-needed debate in those that are not.”

Tvert continued, “Marijuana is a less harmful substance than alcohol, and Canada is about to start treating it that way. Adults will finally be able to purchase it safely and legally in regulated, taxpaying businesses rather than resorting to the illegal market. Products will be tightly controlled and subject to strict packaging and labeling requirements, rather than being sold in plastic baggies alongside other illegal substances. It is time for the U.S. to take similar action and adopt a more rational federal marijuana policy. There has been a lot of positive movement in Congress lately, so hopefully members will be inspired to finally address this issue head on, as Canada has.”

Photo: /YTuurI

Synthetic Pharmaceutical CBD Gets Approval from FDA Advisory Panel

CBD Drugs

The FDA’s advisory panel has voted unanimously to recommend the synthetic marijuana drug Epidiolex for approval. Epidiolex, manufactured by G.W. Pharmaceuticals in the United Kingdom, is synthetic CBD that has shown promising results by reducing epileptic seizures by 44%.

The recommendation is not binding, but it is customary for the FDA to follow through with the advisory panel’s recommendations, The Motley Fool reports.

In studies Epidiolex was used to treat participants with Dravet syndrome, a form of intractable epilepsy. Participants saw three times greater decrease in seizures.

There are no FDA-approved medications for Dravet syndrome at this time, and only a few for Lenox-Gastaut syndrome. Those with Lenox-Gastaut syndrome would also be permitted to use Epidiolex if approval is given.

Approval of Epidiolex would be a major milestone in the U.S as it would be the first time that CBD is recognized by the FDA for its medical benefits, even if it is a synthetic form. Approval may also help further fuel efforts to reschedule marijuana, or at least its derivatives, at a federal level.

A formal decision regarding Epidiolex is expected by June 27.

Photo: GW Pharmaceuticals

This Paint Protects Against Smoke and Odor from Cigarettes and Marijuana

Paint Marijuana

After extensive research and development, a breakthrough has allowed ECOBOND Paint to successfully create a smoke and odor blocking paint specially formulated as a defense and protection against odors from cigarettes, marijuana, fire and pets.

“We are passionate about restoring our environment and protecting people from the hazards of smoke and odor with our patent-pending ECOBOND OdorDefender™ paint technology. We are pleased to announce our latest breakthrough in smoke odor removal,” stated James Barthel, President and creator of ECOBOND. “As we researched the prevalence of this problem, we discovered facts and statistics on both the staggering number of cigarette as well as marijuana smokers, combined with scientific studies on an interesting phenomenon called ‘thirdhand Smoke’, we knew we had to develop a solution, and I’m pleased to report that we have!,” continued Barthel.

Thirdhand smoke consists of the tobacco residue from cigarettes, marijuana, and other products left behind after smoking that builds up on surfaces and furnishings. The National Institute of Health found that these toxic brews can then reemit back into the air and recombine to form harmful compounds that remain at high levels long after smoking has stopped.

In 2016:

  • the CDC reported that 37.8 million U.S. adults were current cigarette smokers. This represents an estimated 14,590,800 households impacted by cigarette smoke.
  • Gallup reported that over 40 million U.S. adults say they smoke marijuana. This represents an estimated 15,440,000 households impacted by marijuana smoke.


Bill Protecting Medical Marijuana States Approved by Senate Committee


The Senate Commerce, Justice and Science Appropriations Bill includes a provision protecting state-legal medical marijuana businesses, and the Senate Appropriations Committee voted to approve the bill on June 14. The provision prohibits the Justice Department (DOJ) from interfering with compliant, state-legalized medical marijuana laws and businesses.

The House’s version of the bill which contains similar language also passed, The Hill reports. The newly approved provision is similar to protections under the Cole Memo. Additional protections have also been in place as a budget rider, the Rohrabacher-Farr Amendment, to prevent federal interference with state-legal medical marijuana operations.

Executive Director of the National Cannabis Industry Association, Aaron Smith, said, “Once again, members of Congress have signaled that protecting state-legal medical cannabis is no longer a controversial issue.”


Senate Committee Passes Farm Bill with Federal Hemp Legalization


The Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018, which includes legalizing hemp cultivation nationwide, was passed 20-1 by the Senate Agriculture Committee on June 13. A full Senate vote is expected before Congress’ July 4 recess. The House is struggling with passing a farm bill, but Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is hopeful that the House will vote soon.

McConnell touted hemp’s ability to help farmers in Kentucky who have struggled as demand for tobacco continues to decrease, CNBC reports. He also mentioned increasing interest in hemp farming across the country. It is an attractive crop due to is massive versatility of uses ranging from a food, health supplements, body care products, textiles and building materials.

“I know there are farming communities all over the country who are interested in this. Mine are particularly interested in it, and the reason for that is – as all of you know – our No.1 cash crop used to be something that’s really not good for you: tobacco. And that has declined significantly, as it should, given the public health concerns” said McConnell. “Younger farmers in my state are particularly interested in going in this direction. We have a lot of people in my state who are extremely enthusiastic about the possibilities. As we all know, hemp is very diversified.”

McConnell continued, “It’s time to figure it out and see where this market will take us. I think it’s an important new development in American agriculture. There’s plenty of hemp around; it’s coming from other countries. Why in the world would we want a lot of it not to come from here?”

The Hemp Farming Act is part of the Senate’s farm bill. Further passage would also remove industrial hemp from the federal controlled substances list. The current version of the farm bill expires on September 30. Traditionally, it is renewed every five years.

Photo: PollyHillard/BenDroz

Global Marijuana Market to Reach $146 Billion by 2025, Says Report

Money Marijuana Market

The global legal marijuana market is expected to reach $146 billion by end of 2025, according to a new report by California-based research company Grand View Research. Growing adoption of marijuana in several medical applications such as cancer, mental disorders, chronic pain and others is expected to propel the revenue growth in the near future.

Legal marijuana has started gaining traction worldwide due to very high demand among consumers and increasing legalization of recreational or medical marijuana in various countries. High public and private investment for research and the development of safer forms of consuming marijuana such as tinctures, oils, vaporizers and edibles are expected to positively reinforce market growth.

The number of conditions treated using medical marijuana is growing rapidly, and as new patients are added to the market, the demand for medical marijuana is expected to increase multiple folds over the forecast period. Countries like Canada and the U.S. are moving towards legalization of marijuana for recreational purposes. This in turn is expected to create a large shift in demand from medical to recreational marijuana. Lengthy purchase and approval process for medical marijuana and ease of availability of recreational marijuana is expected to trigger this this change.

Further key finding from the report:
• The U.S. legal marijuana market size was estimated at $7.06 billion in 2016 and is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 24.9% from 2017 to 2025
• Medical marijuana emerged as the largest marijuana segment in 2016 and is estimated to be valued at $100.03 billion by 2025
• By product type, the marijuana flower segment was found to be dominant in 2016 with revenue share of 62.9% and is estimated to be valued at $82.9 billion by end of 2025

The legal marijuana market is witnessing strong technological and information exchange. Countries like Canada, the U.S., Germany and Australia are expected to emerge as leading markets in terms of sale, whereas countries like Israel are focusing on research and technology development and are leveraging on knowledge transfer.


The Top 10 Destinations for Marijuana Consumers in 2018


Social acceptance of marijuana is increasing around the world, so finding marijuana-friendly vacation destinations is getting a lot easier. We’ve compiled a list of the 10 most intriguing destinations around the world where you can partake without worry.

Seattle, Washington
Seattle is a great destination for coffee lovers and experiencing the Pacific Northwest. And now that recreational marijuana is legal there, it has become a great location for the avid marijuana consumer that seeks high-quality marijuana. August is the prime time to visit Seattle because Seattle Hempfest, one of the world’s largest marijuana-themed events, takes place on the 3rd weekend in August.

Kingston, Jamaica
Jamaican marijuana has long been touted to be some of the best in the world. While marijuana is (shockingly) still illegal there, arrests are rare, yet access to high-quality marijuana and marijuana-related events are bountiful.

Portland, Oregon
Portland has become a premiere marijuana destination that also offers amazing restaurants and microbreweries. The night life is unique and offers something for every lifestyle, along with prime marijuana strains to go along with the city’s ambiance.

Czech Republic
The Czech Republic happens to be one of the most marijuana-friendly places in the world. Marijuana use is decriminalized in this central European country situated just east of Germany. The landscape is beautiful when sober but becomes breathtaking after a little marijuana use.

Christiana, Denmark
Christiana is a sovereign district (similar to Amsterdam’s Red Light district), so it doesn’t follow the same regulations as the rest of the country. The district has a farmer’s market just for marijuana, making it an ideal destination for marijuana enthusiasts to visit.

San Francisco, California (Bay Area)
California’s marijuana culture is expanding following legalization. Take time to visit the hippie counterculture of the Haight-Ashbury district and consider a sunset boat cruise on a private boat so that you can partake in true peacefulness.

Barcelona, Spain
Spain was one of the first countries to decriminalize marijuana. The ideal times to visit and enjoy the best of the country’s marijuana culture is during the Spannabis or High Life Expo events. Enjoy the beaches, authentic Spanish food and stunning architecture while you’re there too!

Vancouver, Canada
Recreational marijuana will soon be legal in Canada (implementation likely to be in July or August 2018), but establishments in Vancouver already offer the ultimate marijuana consumer experience with marijuana-friendly diners and cafes. Consumption within many establishments is acceptable, but purchases won’t be for another month or so.

Denver, Colorado
Spend some extra time in the Mile High City and visit as many of the 300+ marijuana establishments as you can. The food, landscape and adventure in and around the city await you. Take a marijuana bus or dispensary tour or stay at a marijuana-friendly bed and breakfast. Also make time to visit nearby mountain towns – such as Boulder, Keystone and Silverthorne – to enjoy their unique marijuana culture.

Anchorage, Alaska
Adult-use marijuana venues and dispensaries are approved in Anchorage. The best time to visit Anchorage is in the winter months so you can view the Northern Lights phenomenon – which is even more mesmerizing when your senses are elevated with Alaska’s high-quality marijuana.


“65% Say Smoking Marijuana Is Morally Acceptable,” Study Finds


A recent Gallup poll found that 65% of those surveyed agree that using marijuana is morally OK. Those saying alcohol use is morally okay was a bit higher at 78%. This was the first time questions regarding morality of use were asked in the annual Gallup Values and Beliefs survey.

Marijuana and alcohol were among 22 items asked in the survey, Gallup reports.  Of the 22 categories, marijuana ranked 8th most morally acceptable. The results are on par with a fall survey where 64% of respondents said that marijuana should be legal.

Only 41% of churchgoers say that using marijuana is morally acceptable. On the reverse, 75% of those that don’t attend church say it’s morally okay to use marijuana. Younger age groups are also more open to marijuana use.

This poll reflects the drastic shift in public opinion with two-thirds of those surveyed saying marijuana use is morally acceptable.

Gallup Marijuana Study

Photo: Gallup

CBD Can Help Cigarette Smokers Quit, Study Finds

CBD Tobacco

A new study completed by the Clinical Psychopharmacology Unit of University College London found that cannabidiol (CBD) may be helpful for those trying to quit smoking. CBD displayed the ability to ease withdrawal symptoms.

Participants were grouped into CBD and placebo-based regimens, with the CBD regimen getting 800mg doses of CBD, Newsweek reports.

The study noticed that the placebo regimen had stronger reactions to smoking-related photos than the CBD group. This demonstrates that those who took CBD didn’t have the same reactive, or intrusive, thoughts about smoking, which may provide them a better chance of quitting successfully.

Study author Chandni Hindocha said, “I wanted to investigate if a component of cannabis – cannabidiol, a non-intoxicating cannabinoid – could be used in a positive way to treat withdrawal.”

A single dose of CBD was not enough to stop cravings or withdrawal symptoms. Hindocha suggests that continued use of CBD would be more helpful with cravings and withdrawal symptoms.