Marijuana News

Marijuana Job Searches Quadruple As Canada Nears Legalization

Canna Jobs

Many more Canadians are seeking jobs in the country’s soon-to-launch recreational marijuana industry. One year ago, only about six job searches out of 10,000 were for marijuana industry positions. In July 2018, that number increased to 26 in 10,000. While that number is still meager, it does reveal a quadrupling of people seeking marijuana industry-related jobs.

On Indeed.com, a 50% increase in marijuana-related job postings was noted between April and May of 2018, Newsweek reports.

Some of the most popular jobs searched:

  • Budtender
  • Trimmer
  • Grower
  • Dispensary management
  • Marketing
  • Concentrates maker

Brendon Bernard of Indeed said, “Cannabis-related searches and job postings remain a small corner of the Canadian labor market, but they’re growing rapidly. The main roles in demand are for workers to growth the product and for others to sell it.”

As the industry gets closer to legalization in October, the number of marijuana-related job searches is expected to boom, as are the number of job postings.

 

Data Finds Youth Marijuana Use Unchanged Post-Legalization

Youth Marijuana

Marijuana use by young people remains largely unchanged in Colorado since the enactment of a voter-initiated law legalizing its possession and retail sale to adults in 2014, according to data released by the Department of Public Health and Environment.

The survey data finds that the percentage of teens acknowledging using marijuana in 2017 was 19%, down 1% from 2013, NORML reports. Retail sales of marijuana began on January 1, 2014.

The percentage of Colorado youth using marijuana is consistent with the national average.

By contrast, self-reported marijuana use by adults has increased slightly, driven largely by an increase in consumption by younger adults.

The data is consistent with prior studies finding that neither the enactment of medical marijuana legalization nor the enactment of adult use regulation is independently associated with increased marijuana use by young people.

 

Facebook Started Blocking Searches for Marijuana-Related Pages

Facebook Marijuana

Facebook recently implemented a block on marijuana-related page searches. For most people, typing “marijuana” or “cannabis” into the search bar shows users a message saying, “We couldn’t find anything for marijuana.” Even if users search a legal marijuana business’s page by its name, it often won’t come up in a search.

To get to these pages, users will have to use the page URL or attempt to access it by going to the “Pages” tab, Reason reports. The tactic that Facebook is now using is called “shadow banning.” The marijuana-related pages still exist, but Facebook just doesn’t let users find them as easily as users can find other industry businesses’ pages.

Some promotions and even valid news articles are blocked for just mentioning marijuana and/or cannabis. To get the content back into a user’s view, it’s a pretty frustrating appeals process. Much of the content doesn’t even actually violate the terms of service.

Even the California Bureau of Cannabis Control’s page has been blocked from appearing in searches. The CBCC is the state’s regulatory office for its legal marijuana industry.

Facebook is not offering much in the way of answers for any inquiries regarding the shadow banning process.

Facebook can, however, use its own discretion when it comes to determining what types of content it will allow. It seems that Facebook is more on the side of prohibition than allowing these companies that operate legally to be visible.

Users may need to begin visiting businesses’ Facebook pages directly instead of via search.

Facebook Marijuana
Facebook

Photos: Facebook

Scientists Accidentally Discover How Marijuana Heals Gut Issues

Marijuana Gut Health

Those with chronic gut problems like IBS, IBD, Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis are often put on a pharmaceutical regimen which can produce negative side effects. But, lately, many people with chronic gut issues have turned to marijuana to help combat their symptoms.

A recent study uncovered why cannabinoids from marijuana not only help with symptoms, but are effective in treating these gut disorders, Popular Science reports.

Some gut disorders trigger an autoimmune response where the gut attacks itself instead of working to repair itself. Researchers at the University of Massachusetts and University of Bath took a closer look at what physical processes occur in the body when marijuana is ingested that help reduce the symptoms of irritable bowel disease, or IBD.

A researcher at the University of Massachusetts, Beth McCormick, has spent a considerable amount of time studying the “microbial zoo” known as epithelial cell layers, and how these cells regulate the gut. It is thought that part of what occurs is that white blood cells cross over into the gut region and consume some of the bad microbes. The rest of the answer was still a mystery.

To return the gut to homeostasis (balance), another process or outside entity had to play a role too – but what was it? The substances that were made by the chemical pathway that aided in reducing gut issues were endocannabinoids. The body does produce endocannabinoids itself, but it may not always be enough.

Cannabinoid receptors are found in the gut. So, those lacking endocannabinoids capable of interacting with cannabinoid receptors were found to be “more likely to develop ulcerative colitis,” according to the research.

Gastroenterologist Richard Peek of Vanderbilt University says that these findings “may not just be specific to the intestine” because epithelial cells are also found on multiple organ surfaces in the body.

The study noted: “These results define a key role for epithelial cells in balancing the constitutive secretion of anti-inflammatory lipids with the stimulated secretion of pro-inflammatory lipids via surface efflux pumps in order to control neutrophil infiltration into the intestinal lumen and maintain homeostasis in the healthy intestine.”

Given that these findings occurred without marijuana being the target or principal part of the study, this research shows great promise for the future of marijuana’s further place as a medicinal substance. It could also open doors for more marijuana-based medications to be produced for specific conditions or symptoms. This result wasn’t sought, it was an “accidental finding” that happens to be great news for the marijuana industry and the approximately 1.6 million Americans that have a current IBD diagnosis, plus the millions of others globally with inflammatory issues associated with the gut.

 

This is the U.S.’s First Territory to Approve Marijuana Legalization

Marijuana Islands

The Northern Mariana Islands House of Representatives just approved a bill to legalize and regulate marijuana for adult and medical use. The Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands would be the first U.S. territory to legalize and regulate marijuana for adult use.

House Bill 20-178, sponsored by Rep. Joseph Deleon Guerrero (R-Saipan), was approved 18-1-1 in the House, reports the MPP. In summary, the legislation:

  • allows adults 21 and older and patients with certain medical conditions to possess limited amounts of marijuana (one ounce), marijuana-infused products (16 ounces in solid form, 72 ounces in liquid form), and marijuana extracts (five grams);
  • allows adults 21 and older and patients with certain medical conditions to possess limited amounts of marijuana (one ounce), marijuana-infused products (16 ounces in solid form, 72 ounces in liquid form), and marijuana extracts (five grams);
  • creates a Homegrown Marijuana Registry, through which adults and patients can register to grow a limited number of marijuana plants (six mature and 12 immature or up to twice that amount in the case of medical need) for personal use;
  • directs the legislature to enact taxes and fees on all marijuana sold by a producer, as well as an excise tax on retail sales of marijuana for adult use (medical marijuana is exempt);
  • provides for six types of regulated marijuana businesses: producers, testing facilities, processors, retailers, wholesalers, and lounges; and
  • establishes a nine-member appointed CNMI Cannabis Commission, which will serve as the regulatory agency overseeing commercial marijuana and hemp.

Such laws have been adopted by voters in eight states: Alaska, California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington. Lawmakers in Vermont and voters in D.C have adopted laws making marijuana possession and cultivation legal for adults, but not regulating commercial production or sales.

“We applaud CNMI legislators for keeping this important legislation alive and moving it forward. Taking marijuana off the illegal market and regulating its production and sale will improve public health and safety. Patients with debilitating conditions who could benefit from marijuana deserve steady access to quality-controlled medicine. The Senate now has a chance to make history by signing off on the bill and sending it to Gov. Torre,”  said Karen O’Keefe, director of state policies for the MPP.

 

THC Tea Reduces Chronic Pain, Anxiety and Depression, Study Finds

Cannabis Tea Chronic Pain

The long-term use of a cannabis-infused extract is effective at reducing pain intensity and mitigating anxiety and depression in patients with chronic pain, according to clinical data published in the journal La Clinica Therapeutica.

Italian researchers assessed the long-term use of cannabis in a cohort of 338 patients with chronic pain, reports NORML. Subjects consumed between 5mg and 10mg of THC-infused tea daily. Two hundred and fourteen subjects completed the one-year trial without interruption.

The researchers reported that “after 12 months of therapy” most participants’ “pain intensity, pain disability, anxiety and depression show[ed] substantial improvement.”

They concluded: “Our research demonstrates that cannabis therapy, as an adjunct to traditional analgesic treatment, reduces pain intensity, improves daily functionality, and allows a reduction in anxiety and depression symptoms. … Cannabis should be prescribed responsibly by taking into account the comprehensive pain history of the patients, obtaining informed consent after discussing the risks and benefits of treatment, and administering periodic follow-up of the treatment efficacy.”

 

Georgia Legalizes Marijuana, Says It’s a “Person’s Right to Free Development”

Georgia Cannabis

Georgia, a country sitting at the intersection of Europe and Asia, has ruled that smoking marijuana in the country is legal. The sale and cultivation will remain illegal. A Georgian court said the “permission to consume marijuana is an act of protection of the person’s right to free development.”

One of the main reasons for the ruling is that consuming marijuana does not put any third parties at risk, Georgia Today reports. The court said that the punishment in Georgia does not fit the crime. It is also noted that individual users actually play a very small role in supporting the circulation of marijuana in the country.

Part of the ruling reads, “According to the applicants (Zurab Japaridze and Vakhtang Megrelishvili), the consumption of marijuana is not an act of social threat. In particular, it can only harm the users’ health, making that user him/herself responsible for the outcome. The responsibility for such actions does not cause dangerous consequences for the public. In addition, the Constitutional Court highlights the imposition of responsibility of marijuana consumption when it creates a threat to third parties. For instance, the Court will justify responsibility when marijuana is consumed in educational institutions, public places, such as on public transport, and in the presence of children.”

Japaridze is urging all Georgians to use marijuana responsibly. He is also urging residents to abide by all other smoking laws in the country.

Japaridze said, “I would like to congratulate everybody on the decision made by the Constitutional Court. Through this decision, Georgia became a freer country. Administrative punishment for consumption of marijuana was revoked by the Constitutional Court, which means that consumption of marijuana in Georgia is now legal.”

 

From Gum to Ganja: Wrigley Billionaire Invests in Marijuana

Marijuana FL

William Wrigley Jr. has moved on from the chewing gum industry and recently made a massive investment into the medical marijuana industry. Wrigley’s company was sold to Mars Inc. in 2008. Now he is investing his fortune in marijuana companies, like Surterra Wellness.

Surterra, which has licenses to operate dispensaries in Florida and Texas, became Wrigley’s first marijuana investment, Bloomberg reports. He said his choice to invest in the industry comes because of the medical benefits of marijuana.

Wrigley joined Surterra’s Board of Directors as Chairman. The company also closed a $65 million Series C equity fundraising round led by Wrigley’s direct investment arm.

Wrigley said, “When I understood the massive benefits, it really changed my mind about the industry. You don’t see too many opportunities to have that kind of an impact in an industry that’s being created from scratch.”

While he has his eye on recreational marijuana markets, he’s sticking with medical marijuana for now. He is hopeful that the U.S. government will begin to loosen regulations as more states legalize medicinal use.

Surterra and Wrigley plan to be a part of the recreational marijuana market in the future.

Wrigley said, “Everyone seems to be in there because they think they’re going to make tons of money. Some will and some will be sorely surprised when they understand how complex it is.”

Photo: Mars

Jamaica’s First Marijuana Retail Store Opens

Jamaica Marijuana Dispensary

EPICAN celebrated the grand opening of its retail marijuana seed store in Jamaica. It is the first company to be awarded a marijuana cultivation, processing and medical marijuana retail license by Jamaica’s Cannabis Licensing Authority.

The products offered at the store are all from Jamaican soil, according to Caribbean Life News. The owners took a great deal of time educating local farmers on cultivation to ensure that the products meet international growing standards. The medicinal benefits and therapeutic properties of marijuana will be highlighted at the retail location.

The store will serve as a place for locals to learn about every part of the cannabis plant, such as what types of products it can be made into.

In 2015, Jamaica approved a measure legalizing marijuana for medicinal use. The law allows visitors 18 and older the right to purchase marijuana as long as they have permission from a doctor. The law is very vague, which is perfect for tourists.

Photo: Marley Naturals

The World’s First Marijuana Breathalyzer Has Arrived

Breathalyzer

Hound Labs has created the world’s first THC breathalyzer. The device can detect if someone has used THC within the last 2 hours.

The breathalyzer doubles as an alcohol breathalyzer as well, NPR reports.  The test requires a 30-second exhale into the machine that will indicate whether THC is present or not.

Once the breath sample is collected, the cartridge is inserted into a laptop-like device. The device maintains a consistent temperature to ensure consistent results. Results may take up to 4 minutes.

CEO of Hound Labs, Mike Lynn said, “We are trying to make the establishment of impairment around marijuana rational and to balance fairness and safety. When you find THC in the breath, you can be pretty darn sure that somebody smoked pot in the last couple of hours. And we don’t want to have people driving during that time period or, frankly, at a work site in a construction zone.”

The device will serve as a roadside option for law enforcement that provides an indication right then and there, not in several days via a blood draw. Blood draws and urine test may take several days to receive a result and do not indicate when a person used marijuana.

The new THC breathalyzer can detect THC in the most miniscule of measurements – in parts per trillion.

Lynn said, “That’s kind of like putting together more than a dozen Olympic size swimming pools and saying, ‘Hey, go find those 10 specific drops of water in those 10 pools put together.’ It is ridiculous how little [THC] there is in breath.”

To gauge alcohol impairment, the breathalyzer can detect it in parts per thousand.

Lynn said, “THC is something like a billion times less concentrated than alcohol. That’s why it hasn’t been done before because it’s really hard. It’s taken us five years to overcome those scientific obstacles.”

Roadside testing of the latest version of Hound Labs’ breathalyzer is expected to take place in the fall.

Lynn said, “They’re interested in it providing data for them at the roadside. That’s really the key, objective data at the roadside – just like we have for alcohol.”

One of the cities where testing of the breathalyzer will occur is Boston.

The Boston Police Commissioner, William Evans, said, “It’s going to be a major issue in our city as more and more motorists drive after the legalization of recreational pot. I opposed the legalization, but now we need tools to combat its ill effects. These instruments by Hound Labs and others are going to become necessary.”

If all goes well Hound Labs expects to have breathalyzers ready for purchase by the marijuana industry and law enforcement agencies in early 2019.

Photo: Hound Labs