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Research published in the International Journal of Drug Policy has discovered that people taking psychoactive medications and drugs for conditions such as chronic pain seem to prefer medical cannabis to other drugs, including sedatives, opioids, and antidepressants.

Many analysts have expressed worry about the use of opioids to treat chronic pain. More than 183,000 people died of prescription opioid overdoses between 1999 and 2015 in the U.S. Some research, such as a recent study that looked at states with medical cannabis laws, suggests access to medical marijuana could reduce opioid abuse. The research used survey data from 271 people registered to purchase medical cannabis. Participants answered 107 questions covering demographic data, use of cannabis, reliance on other drugs, and health history.

Survey respondents had been prescribed drugs for a range of reasons, including chronic pain, mental health conditions, and gastrointestinal issues. Overall, 63% reported using marijuana instead of prescription drugs. The most common drug class for which participants substituted cannabis was opioids, accounting for 30% of the total. Sixteen percent of participants used marijuana to replace benzodiazepines, and 12% used marijuana instead of antidepressants.

Cannabis was also a popular replacement for potentially addictive nonmedical drugs. Twenty-five percent of respondents used cannabis instead of drinking alcohol, 12% used it instead of cigarettes or tobacco, and 3% replaced illicit drugs with cannabis. The study’s authors suggest side effects, concerns about addiction, and level of safety figure prominently among the decision to use cannabis instead of other medications. Some medical marijuana users report cannabis works better than more traditional prescription medications.

The study found individuals often faced challenges to accessing medical cannabis. More than half were charged for their marijuana prescription, with 25% paying more than $300 for the prescription. Some participants still purchased marijuana from unregulated sources in spite of having a prescription.

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Prescription drug prices are still increasing, forcing consumers into more of a struggle. Some older Americans seem to be looking for a different medicine that has been more easily obtainable and legal throughout the country. Research put out on Wednesday showed that some states that legalized medical cannabis, which is common for symptoms such as anxiety or depression, saw a drop in the amount of Medicare prescriptions for drugs used to treat similar conditions as well as a decrease int he amount of spending by Medicare Part D, which covers costs for prescription drugs.

Since the prescriptions for drugs such as opioid painkillers as well as antidepressants dropped in states where cannabis can be legally obtained and used as a replacement, the researchers stated that it seems likely legalization led to a decrease in prescriptions. This is especially noted because prescriptions did not drop for medicines where marijuana can not replace the drug. The study, which was published in Health Affairs, looked at data from Medicare Part D from 2010 to 2013. This is the first study to look at whether or not legalization can impact a doctor’s clinical practice and how it affects health costs.

The results are interesting in terms of the debate as more officials are showing interest in medical cannabis. This year, Ohio, as well as Pennsylvania, passed laws allowing the drug for therapeutic reasons, making it legal in twenty-five states as well as Washington D.C. Ballots in November could increase this number; Florida and Missouri are of the states voting on the issue this autumn. A federal agency is thinking about reclassifying medical cannabis under national drug policy in order to make it more readily available. Medical marijuana saved Medicare approximately $165 million in 2013, the researchers stated. They projected that, if medical cannabis were available throughout the country, Medicare Part D spending would have dropped in the same year by nearly $470 million. That is almost fifty percent of the program’s total spending.

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American political leaders around the country are casting about for a policy response to the widespread abuse of opioid painkillers that doesn’t replicate the mistakes of past punitive approaches to drug use.
Now, Sen. Elizabeth Warren has thrown her clout into that push for solutions – and in a way that underscores the injustices of the War on Drugs over the past several decades.

Warren is asking the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to research how medical and recreational marijuana might help alleviate the opioid epidemic. In a letter sent Monday to CDC head Dr. Thomas Friedan, Warren urged the agency to finalize its guidance to physicians on the dos and don’ts of prescribing oxycodone, fentanyl, and other popular drugs in this category.

She also went further, asking Friedan “To explore every opportunity and tool available to work with states and other federal agencies on ways to tackle the opioid epidemic and collect information about alternative pain relief options.” Those alternatives should include pot, Warren wrote. She went on the ask Friedan to collaborate with other federal health agencies to investigate how medical marijuana is or isn’t working to reduce reliance on highly addictive prescription pills, and to research

“The impact of the legalization of medical and recreational marijuana on opioid overdose deaths.” Researching marijuana is fraught for federal agencies because the drug remains a schedule 1 controlled substance, the most restrictive category within American drug law.

The classification is reserved for drugs with “No medically accepted use,” a designation that makes less and less sense as more and more states legalize marijuana for medical use.

The federal scheduling also makes it onerous for researchers to work on answering the kinds of questions Warren raised in her letter, a reality that helped drive the centrist Brookings Institute to call for the drug to be reclassified as a schedule 2 drug in a report last October – a schedule that includes prescription drugs like Adderall and Ritalin.

It’s a sign of progress compared to the mandatory minimum sentencing laws and focus on aggressive law enforcement that marked past drug panics, but it’s also got racial overtones that are hard to ignore.

Regardless of the rationale behind the shift toward more benevolent anti-drug policies related to opioids, the crisis will probably help advance the fight to loosen America’s pot laws too. The attention now being paid to opioid abuse “Has been a key factor in opening previously closed minds,” Cannabis Now notes – including Warren’s own.

Rising scrutiny of opioid use is having other, stranger effects too.
With the high-powered painkillers booming in popularity, drug makers have little need to advertise them. Super Bowl viewers were treated to a very expensive promo Sunday night for a drug designed to alleviate the constipation that heavy opioid use can cause. The drug, an AstraZeneca invention called Movantik, may be a sign that doctors are not just overprescribing opioid painkillers in general, but specifically dishing them out to the wrong kind of patients.

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There is a large issue big pharmaceutical companies are facing in the coming years. Many people are choosing marijuana to treat their conditions rather than opioids and many other prescription drugs.

Former professional athletes from the NFL and NBA have come into the spotlight stating that the leagues should let them at least give cannabis a shot to manage their constant pain, given the ongoing opioid epidemic.

There is a myriad of studies underway proving the health benefits of medical marijuana for pain management in addition to other conditions. It wasn’t until recently that a study conducted found what the massive switch to natural medical marijuana away from large pharma could do to the latter industry.

The study done by New Frontier Data, a Washington, D.C. – based date analysts company focused on the legal marijuana industry, decided to research the effects of people using marijuana as opposed to prescription drugs for the nine illnesses most commonly treated by cannabis.

Their findings showed that Big Pharma could lose almost five billion dollars per year. This is a staggering number, but it does have a catch. The study is based on the assumption that marijuana will become legal across all fifty states.

This may seem highly unlikely with our current leadership, but it still proves what is at stake for the medical marijuana industry and what Big Pharma could lose.

The group then considered a twenty-sixteen study which found that the amount of prescriptions for drugs dropped by eleven percent among older patients in the states that medical cannabis is legal.

New Frontier gathered data on the amount of money spent on prescriptions for the following conditions; Chronic pain, PTSD, Sleep disorders, Anxiety, Nerve pain, Chemotherapy— induced nausea, Tourettes Syndrome, Glaucoma, Seizures/epilepsy. The analysis showed that medical marijuana could take away between four and five billion dollars a year from pharmaceutical sales.

This study is dependent on the idea that marijuana may find its rightful legalization in the upcoming years across the nation. If this occurs, people could have access to a preferred medicine with less side effects, and a lessened chance of addition than the opposing prescription drugs.

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The United States marijuana industry has come under attack and this attack is being fueled by false statements and claims from various members of the White House administration.

Yesterday, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein added fuel to the fire when he appeared before the Senate and House Appropriations committees.

Rosenberg called marijuana an unlawful drug from a legal and scientific perspective, and said it is properly scheduled under Schedule I. He also said that the Cole Memo remains its policy for the moment and that there may be an opportunity to review it in the future.

Cannabis is an Effective Treatment for Millions in America

Currently, 30 states and the District of Columbia allow for use of medical cannabis. The medical cannabis industry is a multi-billion-dollar industry that employs hundreds of thousands of people.

With almost 2 million patients across the country, the medical marijuana industry is just getting started and has already improved daily life for millions-on-millions of people across the globe.

Cannabis Legalization Provides Relief

Painkillers have become a serious issue in the United States. During the past 15 years, America has seen a tremendous growth in both the sales of prescription opiates and the number of people who die each year from abusing them. Researchers from the RAND Corporation and the University of California-Irvine (UCI) may have found the answer and that is marijuana.

The researchers discovered a reduction in the number of opioids related overdoses, as well as a reduction in number of admissions to addiction treatment center in states that legalized marijuana. The researchers also found that these states experienced significant reductions in both measures if they also legalized marijuana dispensaries.

A study conducted by the University of Georgia in 2016 reported a significant reduction in Medicare Part D prescriptions (the Medicare prescription drug benefit that subsidizes prescription drug costs) in states that have legalized medical marijuana, including an 11% reduction in pain-related prescriptions.

In 2014, a study conducted by the Journal of the American Medical Association reported a 25% decline in accidental opioid deaths in states where medical marijuana is legal.

Improving Daily Life Across the World

Cannabis can treat countless debilitating diseases and improve the daily life of millions of people around the world.  Despite all the fake news being reported from the White House pertaining to medical cannabis, the facts don’t lie.
Although the United States is led by an Attorney General who has called the use of medical cannabis as desperate and said it is only slightly less awful than heroin, cannabis continues to save lives every day.

Cannabis is a medicine and it is time for the United States to treat it as one.

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InMed Announces Agreement to Advance a Topical Formulation of INM-750

“This agreement with Pharmaseed now adds one of Israel’s leading formulation development teams to our efforts and represents an important strategic relationship as we move INM-750 towards our first clinical trial,” stated Eric A. Adams, CEO of InMed.

Under the agreement, Pharmaseed will develop a final formulation for INM-750 for continued R&D including IND-enabling pharmacology and toxicology studies and subsequent clinical studies. Also included under the scope of the contract is the development of assay methods for manufacturing, stability, quality assurance and other analytical methods.

About Pharmaseed

Pharmaseed is Israel’s largest GLP private research organization leading in the development of life-science early stage technologies from discovery to the first in man/patient stage. The company specializes in both efficacy proof-of-concept studies and safety evaluation in various animal models, as well as complementary formulation development and in vitro/ex-vivo services. Its core competence lies in the area of translational and regenerative medical projects with main expertise in: Stem Cell, CNS, Pain, Cancer, Angiogenesis, Inflammation, Dermatology, Metabolic disorders, Infectious diseases and Medical devices. Over 50% (40) of the company’s employee have PhD degrees representing many years of experience in academic and applied scientific research activity.

About InMed

InMed is a preclinical stage biopharmaceutical company specializing in the research and development of novel, cannabinoid-based prescription drug therapies utilizing novel drug delivery systems. InMed conducts research, discovery, preclinical, clinical, regulatory, manufacturing and commercial development activities for its product candidates. InMed’s proprietary bioinformatics database assessment tool, the biosynthesis manufacturing process and its drug development programs are the fundamental value drivers of the Company. For more information, visit www.inmedpharma.com.

Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Information

This news release contains “forward-looking information” and “forward-looking statements” (collectively, “forward-looking information”) within the meaning of applicable securities laws.  Forward-looking information is based on management’s current expectations and beliefs and is subject to a number of risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those described in the forward-looking statements.  Forward-looking information in this news release includes statements about:the final formulation for INM-750 being used for IND-enabling pharmacology and toxicology studies and subsequent clinical trials and the expected fundamental value drivers of the Company.

With respect to the forward-looking information contained in this news release, InMed has made numerous assumptions regarding, among other things: demand for InMed’s products; and continued economic and market stability. While InMed considers these assumptions to be reasonable, these assumptions are inherently subject to significant business, economic, competitive, market and social uncertainties and contingencies.

Additionally, there are known and unknown risk factors which could cause InMed’s actual results, performance or achievements to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by the forward-looking information contained herein.  Known risk factors include, among others: a formulation for INM-750 that is suitable for advancing it to IND-enabling pharmacology and toxicology studies and subsequent clinical trials may not be attainable; InMed’s proprietary platform technology, product pipeline and drug development programs may not return their expected level of value.

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The emergence of the legal cannabis industry has created an unprecedented opportunity for investors. Although this burgeoning industry is already a multi-billion-dollar business, it is not even in the first inning of what will be multi-decade growth super cycle.

The biotech industry will be one of the greatest beneficiaries of the legal cannabis industry. From Israel to the United States, the number of studies on the medical benefits of cannabis continues to increase and to provide exciting results.

The cannabis plant has over 100 known chemical compounds but the two best known are cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Although CBD has a much shorter history than THC, recent research studies have significantly increased our understanding of its medical benefits and its popularity continues to grow.

CBD is an appealing option for patients who are looking to treat ailments such as pain, anxiety, psychosis, seizures, spasms, to just name a few. It also does not have the primary psychoactive ingredient found in THC, which gets the user high.

A Miracle Plant with Endless Benefits

Cannabis has the potential to treat countless debilitating conditions. From epilepsy to multiple sclerosis, cannabis can improve daily life for millions of people across the globe and we need to recognize it for what it is, a medicine. Unlike other pharmaceutical drugs such as opiates or benzodiazepines, cannabis does not require you to take another type of drug to combat its side effects.

Although medical cannabis still has a way to go before it will be accepted as a medical treatment, there have been several developments with regard to its medical benefits and we want to highlight five of the known benefits of CBD.

Epilepsy

Over the last two years, we have heard some incredible stories from the parents of children who were having more than 300 seizures a day. These children were being prescribed large doses of prescription drugs such as benzodiazepine, which did not solve the problem and had a negative impact on the child’s demeanor.

The growing number of research studies and stories from the parents of children who have benefited from CBD have led to an influx in the number of parents using CBD as a treatment. Many parents have said that CBD is an effective treatment that has reduced the frquency of daily seizures by more than 95%.

The benefits that CBD has had for patients with epilepsy has been a catalyst for the legal cannabis movement as we have seen a significant increase in the number of states with a limited medical cannabis market, which allow only strains with very low THC and high CBD.

Crohn’s Disease

Researchers and scientists have said CBD could be an effective treatment for Crohn’s Disease. In 2015, researchers in Israel conducted a study which reported significantly lower symptoms in 10 out of 11 patients with Crohn’s disease. The study said five of those patients saw a complete remission from the treatment.

Many researchers talk about the entourage effect and how cannabis works best as a medical treatment when all molecules in cannabis are present, even in a very minor capacity (less than 0.1%). When it comes to Crohn’s, it has been found that the interaction of THC and CBD helps control stomach functions, a major benefit for Crohn’s patients. Cannabis has an anti-inflammatory component providing relief to those suffering from Crohn’s.

Post-Traumatic-Stress-Disorder (PTSD)

One of the major benefits of CBD is its ability to produce anti-anxiety and anti-inflammatory effects when ingested. This is very helpful for patients who suffer from PTSD since it slows everything down (including the mind) and calms the user.

People suffering from PTSD can become overcome with anxiety and stress and anecdotal evidence shows that CBD can help treat these symptoms. The antipsychotic benefits of CBD provide relief to patients in need of a more stable emotional environment.

Pain

One of the most well-known and well-documented medical benefits associated with cannabis is its ability to treat pain. In 2011, researchers said that cannabis may help relieve pain for people suffering from rheumatoid arthritis.

CBD can help reduce pain associated with a wide variety of illnesses and debilitating diseases. From cancer to fibromyalgia, from irritable bowel syndrome to neuropathic pain, CBD can help throughout the treatment and the recovery process.

Multiple Sclerosis

Nasdaq-traded GW Pharmaceuticals’ (GWPH) developed and commercialized Sativex, the world’s first cannabis-derived product for the treatment of spasticity due to multiple sclerosis. Sativex is sold in 29 countries and is also being developed as a treatment for neuropathic pain (in Phase 2 Clinical trials).

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Millions of investors across the globe have had their eyes and investment dollars fixated on the Canadian cannabis industry for a myriad of reasons. For starters, medical marijuana is federally legal in Canada with the Trudeau administration signalling that the end goal is full scale legalization in a two prong approach of giving the people what they want and crippling the black markets. This progressive and pragmatic approach is what has investors in the United States salivating for as the consensus is that first mover advantage in an emerging market such as Cannabis will yield massive gains and fuel innovation in many different verticals within the industry. Still not convinced? Raise your hand if you were around for the Dot com era and investing (or aware of it for that matter), now raise your hand if you were around in the 1930’s and investing once prohibition ended. Cannabis and Marijuana Stocks are a once in a generation investment opportunity hands down!

As such the Canadian cannabis opportunity also has captured the attention of the mainstream media and Wall Street, which is becoming increasingly more focused on companies capitalizing on this new emerging market which represents a significant change from 2014 and is a testament to the legitimacy of this sector and the companies profiting off it.

Who Will the Legislation Benefit the Most?

The legislation will most likely support certain industries more than others (i.e. the legislation may benefit lab testing companies more than growers) and this may create ample attractive opportunities for investors. Although the legislation should be fairly straight forward, the complex nature of the cannabis industry may make it more difficult for investors to understand.
We plan to take a very deep dive into the legislation and provide our feedback on the overall structure of the legislations and the companies that may be impacted the most (both positively and negatively).

An Emerging Opportunity

Tetra Bio-Pharma (TBP.CN) (OTC: TBPMF) is an example of a company working to improve its leverage to the emerging Canadian cannabis industry. The company is preparing to commercialize products to sell in North America and expects to start generating revenue from these products in the fourth quarter.

The company commenced the manufacturing process for its first cannabinoid products and opened an office for its manufacturing and sales activities in Moncton, New Brunswick. Tetra Bio selected this location because it believes that New Brunswick is becoming the hub for the Canadian Cannabis industry.

Initiates Clinical Trials on its Cannabis Product

Tetra Bio Pharma is also engaged in the development of cannabis-based biopharmaceutical products and natural health products. In March, the company initiated its Phase I clinical trial after manufacturing the PPP001 cannabis drug product at the Ford Pharma contract manufacturing facility. This facility developed the proprietary process and equipment required to produce PPP001 pellets and packaging operations.

Tetra is also using a New Brunswick-based company, RPC to perform its quality control studies to assure that PPP001 conforms to its drug product specifications and the quality requirements of a prescription drug. The RPC research and technology organization provides Tetra with the high-level expertise required for assessing the quality aspects of PPP001 while keeping the costs associated with these activities within budget due to RPC not-for-profit status.

Event-Driven Catalysts Ahead

Tetra Bio-Pharma’s Chief Science Officer expects Phase 1 trials to be complete by early to mid June. This announcement may be a major catalyst since it will provide a better understanding of the commercial potential of cannabis products and allow Tetra Bio to accelerate towards a Phase III and III trial plans. As cannabis is a known entity for treating chronic pain, Tetra is able to bypass the long and extensive Phase II clinical trials with Health Canada and have expediency with the FDA.

We are favorable on this announcement and think that investors should be a close eye on Tetra Bio as the company plans to manufacture its PPP001 prescription drug as well as additional scheduled products later this year.

Although Tetra Bio has continued to execute, the shares have fallen off a March intraday High that tapped $1.20 CAD, it’s important to note that it also doubled in price from the previous month and needed to pull back technically. Yesterday TEtra Bio Pharma closed at .92 cad which leads us to wonder if investors that were once lacking familiarity with the story are now seeing the forest through the trees should the team at Tetra executing their Biotech model. With Phase 1 trials set to be complete some time next month, we believe the stock is positioned for a significant rise in interest and industry noise. This is a stock to watch! Stay tuned for updates…

And in case you missed their last news release you can read it here, but when you do read it try and look at it as a means for two companies to that have synergistic capabilities to create significant drug therapies jointly… That’s what I did.

Regards,

@WolfofWeedSt

Pursuant to an agreement between MAPH and Tetra Bio-Pharma, we were hired for a period of 90 days to publicly disseminate information about (TBPMF) including on the Website and other media including Facebook and Twitter. We are being paid $75,000 (CASH) for and were paid 250,000 restricted common shares of Tetra Bio-Pharma. We may buy or sell additional shares of (TBPMF) in the open market at any time, including before, during or after the Website and Information, provide public dissemination of favorable Information.

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Once the time comes when the federal government finally allows medical marijuana to become a legitimate part of the healthcare industry, Big Pharma could suffer the loss of billions of dollars,

It looks like the pharmaceutical industry has more than enough reasons to worry about the legalization of marijuana, as investigative studies were conducted by the people at New Frontier Data predicts the legal use of cannabis products for ailments ranging from chronic pain to seizures could cost marketers of modern medicine somewhere around $4 billion per year.

Can Medical Marijuana Coexist With Big Pharma

The report was compiled using a study released last year from the University of Georgia showing a decrease in Medicare prescriptions in states where medical marijuana is legal. The study, which was first outlined by the Washington Post, was largely responsible for stirring up the debate over how a legitimate cannabis market might be able to reduce the national opioid problem. It found that medical marijuana, at least with respect to those drugs for which it is considered an alternative treatment, was already costing pill manufacturers nearly $166 million annually.

Researchers at New Frontier identified nine key areas where medical marijuana will do the most damage to the pharmaceutical market — castrating drug sales for medicines designed to treat anxiety, chronic pain, epilepsy, post-traumatic stress disorder, sleep disorders, nerve pain, chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting, Tourette syndrome and glaucoma.

By digging deep into each condition, researchers found that if cannabis was used an alternative treatment in only a small percentage of cases, it could strip in upwards of $5 billion from pharmaceutical industry’s $425 billion market.

Although that may not sound like much of a dent, John Kagia, executive vice president of industry analytics for New Frontier, said, “The impact of medical cannabis legalization is not going to be enormously disruptive to the pharmaceutical industry.”

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Pennsylvania is preparing themselves for full implementation of its medical marijuana law early next year, however significant questions still remain about exactly what that will look like for patients and businesses.

Some of those questions have to do with the fact that medical marijuana is a new market here, and Pennsylvania’s law differs in varying degrees from those in other states.

Pennsylvania’s law allows some forms of medical marijuana, but not smoking, for patients with certain medical conditions.

Other questions revolve around the fact that federal law, which currently is not being enforced very strictly, says all forms of marijuana are illegal.

Lets take a look some of the key issues facing patients and businesses.

Will insurance cover medical marijuana

The law says it doesn’t have to, and observers say that probably means it won’t.

“If an insurance company is given an opportunity not to provide coverage, more often than not it’s going to go that route,” said attorney Bill Roark, co-chair of the Pennsylvania Bar Association’s medical marijuana and hemp law committee.

Dr. James Rochester of WorkNet Occupational Medicine in Lancaster agreed, but said that could change “if the economics of it make sense for insurers.”

Back in December at a Lancaster Chamber event, attorney Jonathan Spadea of The Chartwell Law Offices in Harrisburg m ade a statement saying self-insured companies might consider covering medical marijuana for certain conditions if it could be significantly cheaper than very expensive prescription drugs their employees are currently using.

Charles R. Dielmann, a broker at Horst Insurance in Manheim Township, had a similar perspective, saying he thinks the federal approach will change and insurers will cover medical marijuana when it benefits them to do so — but that will take a while.

Citing the federal law, Highmark spokesman Leilyn Perri said in an email that medical marijuana “would not be federally recognized as a prescription drug, and would not be covered.”

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