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Canadian licensed medical cannabis producers built off the momentum from Wednesday and benefited from this as it carried into Thursday’s trading session.

These movements are significant because several of these stocks were under pressure on Tuesday and early Wednesday (post-Canopy Growth earnings).

Investors should keep an eye on how this sub-sector continues to trade as we believe it is comprised of some of the highest quality opportunities for investors.

We recapped some of these recent price movements and provided our updated thesis below:

Canopy Growth Corp (WEED.TO: TSX) (TWMJF: OTC) recaptured most of its losses from Tuesday after the shares rallied 3.7% on above-average trading volume. We continue to view Canopy Growth as one of the top long-term cannabis investments due to its leading position in the Canadian medical cannabis market. Canopy Growth recently broke below the $10 level and investor should keep an eye on shares as we continue to see long-term upside to current levels.

OrganiGram Holdings (OGI.V: TSX Venture) (OGRMF: OTC) saw a nice rally yesterday and we will monitor how this continues today. OGI and OGRMF rallied more than 5% and this was a nice change from the recent trend. We will provide updates on any significant price movements today. Stay tuned as we continue to hold cautiously.

Emblem Corp. (EMC.V: TSX Venture) (EMMBF: OTC) continued to rally yesterday and the shares were one of the top performers as they also rallied more than 5%. EMC is trading at $4.17 while EMMBF trades near $3.20. We continue to hold as we are favorable on the long-term outlook. Emblem has a lock up coming up in March and we have started to receive questions about this. Although we expect this to cause a short-term dip, we do not expect it to last long and will keep an eye on any significant price movements leading up to this.

Aurora Cannabis (ACB.V: TSX Venture) (ACBFF: OTC) ended the day up less than 2% and we continue to hold onto the shares. We have contemplated exiting this position and re-entering on weakness, however, we have not decided yet. The reason why we are questioning this holding is due to valuation. When you look at Aurora’s fully-diluted market cap, it is over $1 billion which is significant. We view the risk-reward scenario as balanced here and will keep you updated on how the shares move from here.

Aphria (APH.V: TSX Venture) (APHQF: OTC) edged lower yesterday and this move followed an 18% rally over the last week. APHQF traded as high as $5.15 before ending the day at $4.97 and We continue to see upside to current levels but we may trim the size of our position because of the strength of the recent rally.

CanniMed Therapeutics (CMED.TO: TSX) is trading at $11.95 after the shares edged slightly higher yesterday and we are on the sidelines at current levels. Although we are favorable on the company’s recent execution, the exchange it trades on, and its business model; we are cautious at these levels. We will keep you updated on how the shares trade from here

Cronos Group (MJN.V) recaptured all its losses from Wednesday as the shares rallied approx. 8% yesterday. MJN.V is trading at $2.59 and we are on the sidelines at current levels. We were favorable on MJN after Wednesday’s dip and will monitor how the shares respond today. The company announced a bought deal this week at $2.25 a share and this has caused the shares to trade a little more volatile over the last two trading sessions.

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A document that put the DEA under attack for advertising misinformation about cannabis’ health effects has vanished from the agency’s website. An almost 45-page publication on the various consequences of marijuana use, “The Dangers and Consequences of Marijuana Abuse,” no longer was available on the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s website. Last year, the document was at the center of a legal petition by Americans for Safe Access claiming the DEA’s publishing of “scientifically inaccurate information about the health effects of medical cannabis” directly influenced “the action, and inaction, of Congress.”

In December, the medical marijuana advocacy organization alleged that the DEA website’s inclusion of 25 inaccurate statements about cannabis violated the Data Quality Act, also known as the Information Quality Act, which is meant to ensure the quality, objectivity, utility and integrity of data that government agencies provide to the public. Some of those statements, that cannabis plays an important role in psychosis; cannabis smoking causes tumors of the head, neck, and lung; and marijuana is a forerunner to illicit substance use and heroin addiction, have been contradicted by the DEA’s own statements in its August 2016 Denial of Petition to Initiate Proceedings to Reschedule Marijuana, according to ASA.

Agencies have 60 days to respond to requests to correct information, ASA said in its statement. The group recently celebrated the document’s absence as a victory. Steph Sherer, ASA executive director, said in a statement, “The DEA’s removal of these popular myths about cannabis from their website could mean the end of the Washington gridlock. This is a victory for medical cannabis patients across the nation, who rely on cannabis to treat serious illnesses.” In its statement, ASA said “the fight is not over,” claiming that the DEA’s website continues to include misleading or false statements about marijuana.

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Officials in Denver are working on regulations to open a one-year pilot of bring-your-own weed clubs, while state legislators are expected to consider measures to allow either marijuana “tasting rooms” run by cannabis dispensaries, or smoke-friendly clubs comparable to cigar bars. Colorado representatives from both parties have come around to the idea of Amsterdam-style marijuana clubs for a simple reason: People are tired of seeing weed smokers out in public. State Senator Chris Holbert, a suburban Denver Republican who opposes cannabis legalization stated, “It’s a problem we’ve got to address.” Holbert said he’s even had panhandlers ask him for pot near the state Capitol. Holbert stated, “I mean, look at me. If I’m getting hassled, everyone’s getting hassled.” Democrats here agree that tourists need an out-of-sight place to use marijuana.

State Rep. Dan Pabon, D-Denver stated, “No voter in Colorado voted to allow the use of marijuana on their sidewalk, in their parks, in their public view. But that’s essentially what we’ve done by not allowing private club space for marijuana uses.” So both parties agree that Colorado needs to allow for places that let patrons smoke marijuana. However, that is where agreement breaks down. A Republican-sponsored measure to allow pot clubs to be regulated like cigar bars was put on hold for a revision. That is because sponsors are trying to address issues that marijuana clubs should not allow medical cannabis use, along with other legal wrinkles. Rachel O’Bryan, who opposes marijuana clubs and ran an unsuccessful campaign to defeat a Denver social-use measure last fall stated, “Telling people to socially use their medicine? That’s like we’re legalizing pill parties.” There is also intense conflict over whether establishing marijuana clubs would invite a federal crackdown. Democratic state Representative Jonathan Singer said, “Jeff Sessions is the big question mark right now. I think we need to send a message to him that Colorado’s doing it right.”

Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, a Democrat who opposes the legalization of marijuana but is undecided on signing a bill to allow clubs, said he is not sure how the administration would respond to clubs. Hickenlooper stated, “I don’t know whether we’d be inviting federal intervention, but certainly that’s one argument I’ve heard used persuasively.” The governor did indicate he would veto a proposal that allowed indoor smoking, not just smoking on enclosed private patios. The Denver clubs would have to follow clean-air regulations banning burned cannabis inside; the statewide measure would allow indoor smoking with “proper ventilation.” Hickenlooper said, “We spent a long time letting everyone know that smoking is bad for you. Just cause that smoke makes you happy, and dumb, doesn’t mean it’s good for you.”

The cannabis industry seems frustrated by Colorado’s halting attempts to figure out how to allow pot clubs. Because current marijuana law is vague, Colorado currently has a patchwork of underground clubs, many of them raided when they try to pay taxes or file permits. Chris Jetter, a licensed marijuana grower who owned a west Denver pot club that was raided twice, stated, “The situation right now is a disaster.” Jetter said authorities took more than six pounds of cannabis, along with tens of thousands in cash, then charged him with illegally distributing marijuana. Jetter stated, “Two or more people can get together and consume alcohol almost anywhere, and there’s no problem with that. But we’re not treating marijuana like alcohol. What’s going to happen with the feds? If they start kicking in doors, I don’t know, but we need to figure something out.”

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In Wisconsin, the subject of cannabis for medicinal purposes has been nearly untouched aside from a 2014 proposal that exempted patients with seizure afflictions and a doctor’s recommendation from arrest for possessing or using CBD oil. That proposal didn’t do much to help patients with seizures and nothing to help the many other patients who would benefit from medical cannabis. This year they are making another attempt at passing a CBD proposal that would legalize the use and possession cannabidiol for patients with a doctor’s prescription.

A similar proposal was introduced last year in the Assembly and passed, however, it never made it out of the Senate. This proposal was introduced in the Senate and was approved with a 31-1 vote, with the lone opponent Duey Stroebel, a Republican Senator. While this proposal will open up access to non-psychoactive CBD oil to patients beyond those with seizure disorders, many find that marijuana products with both THC and CBD are more beneficial for most disorders. This means that those this law will help are still greatly limited in comparison to patients in other medical cannabis states.

Sen. Chris Larson, D-Milwaukee, one of the bill’s co-sponsors stated, “If we had done this when the debate first started, it would have cut out four years of suffering for those kids, four years of anguish for those parents.” While it’s likely that this proposal will pass in the Assembly, considering a similar measure made it through last year, there are still too many flaws in the way it’s written. Not only do CBD-only laws limit the number of suffering patients that can legally benefit from medical cannabis, but many don’t create a legal way for patients to access this medicine once a doctor approves it for them in a prescription.

This proposal would not create in-state production or sale of CBD oil, so no matter how patients or caregivers go about it, they are still taking a legal risk just to obtain their medicine. However, while this bill does not go as far as it really needs to, it is at the very least a start. It will give many parents and patients the comfort of knowing at least part of the risk in using their preferred method of treatment has been taken away.

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The NFL Players’ Association recently reported its intent to urge to the league a “less punitive” approach to dealing with the use of recreational cannabis among players. Union executive director DeMaurice Smith stated, “I do think that issues of addressing it more in a treatment and less punitive measure is appropriate.” Smith did not indicate the changes in the NFLPA’s proposal, which was expected to be presented to the union’s board recently. If passed, it was going to be sent to the league in order to try and collectively negotiate reeform to the drug policy.

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell stated recently, “We certainly haven’t seen it or read it. I’ve spoken to Smith about it. But I think what it’s signaling from our standpoint is that the labor agreement we have has worked incredibly well for the players, for our clubs and for I think the game, in general. It’s encouraged investment. We see the salary cap, which may be projected to increase by $15 million a club. In the last four years alone, the salary cap has jumped almost $1.7 billion including benefits. That’s extraordinary and historically has never come close to being achieved before. So what we have is a labor agreement that’s working well for all parties, but we sent the union last spring a list of issues that we wanted to address as the league and as ownership. I expect, and we put on that list, the drug policy as one of those issues.”

The current collective bargaining agreement runs through 2020, but the league has urged for an extension. Smith said no extension will be agreed upon until changes are made to the current arrangement. Among those changes the NFLPA wants is a new drug policy. Although cannabis is now legal for recreational or medical purposes in more than 24 states, it remains a federally illegal substance. Over the last year, many retired players have urged for the acceptance of hemp and cannabis extracts to treat pain from football-related injuries, and symptoms of brain injuries and concussions.

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If U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions decides to enforce a devastating strike on legal cannabis states, industry leaders believe it would be disastrous to Colorado’s economic interest. During an interview with the Denver Channel, Kristi Kelly, executive director of the Marijuana Industry Group, said any decision by the Trump administration to launch a full-scale war against the legal marijuana industry would “cause a recession,” taking employment away from thousands of Colorado workers.

With the state now bringing in almost $1 billion a year in legal cannabis sales, she said federal interference would have catastrophic consequences. Kelly stated, “The economics of this are huge in Colorado. There is a billion-dollar economic impact in Colorado, which is directly attributable or affiliated with the cannabis industry, so that equates to 20,000 people licensed in trade.” Ever since President Trump announced that Alabama Senator Jeff Session was his pick for the next US attorney general, much of the marijuana industry has been greatly concerned. This worry recently heightened when the Republican-dominated Senate confirmed Sessions for the job. Our new attorney general has yet to say exactly what he plans to do in reference to legal marijuana.

During his confirmation hearing, Sessions told a Senate committee that he would “not commit to never enforcing federal law.” Some people interpreted his statement as not having any dangerous implications, while it led others to believe the entire scope of the cannabis movement was on the verge of being shut down. There are some psychoanalysts who predict the legal marijuana industry will grow into a $50 billion market within the next ten years, which is the reason some members of the legal cannabis scene believe they are untouchable. Tony Alfiere, president of Colorado cannabis extract company Quigley’s stated, “I fully expect Sessions to do the job he has accepted. The very idea that the attorney general of the United States of America would allow himself or be allowed to trample on the rules that govern our nation is laughable. Once this media hysteria dies down and the man is allowed to do his job, we will see the cannabis industry is here to stay.”

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Morning sickness and a hormonal roller coaster are symptoms associated with pregnancy. Physical pain turns into mental agony, as the joy of bringing a human into the world can turn into sorrow and anger. For a lot of women, the “baby blues” go away after a few days. For some, it never goes away and becomes postpartum depression. As much as 20% of women suffer from anxiety, have trouble sleeping, and suffer other symptoms a year after their pregnancies “ending.”

Celia Behar could not get out of bed after her first child was born. She cried uncontrollably. She felt no connection to her daughter. She wanted to hurt herself. She was given Prozac. While that left her with migraines and insomnia, things were better. After her second child was born, she started smoking marijuana. She told Texas-based TV station KXAN that it worked right away.

Behar is lucky. She lives in California, where marijuana use is common and the substance is universally available. Even so, parents who consume marijuana are generally frowned upon. They also run a risk of a visit from child-protective services. In Texas, marijuana is completely prohibited. This is why, KXAN reports, there’s a “growing group of mothers in Austin” who “secretly use marijuana to treat postpartum depression.”

One of them, a 34-year old mother of three who wished to remain anonymous, told KXAN she tried marijuana at the suggestion of a therapist, after finding herself ridden with intractable “postpartum rage.” She’s used the substance for several months. Texas does have a very limited medical-cannabis program, but only low-THC, high-CBD cannabis oil is available, and it is confined only to patients with severe epilepsy. Texas state Senator Jose Menendez is pushing a proposal that would expand marijuana access to patients afflicted with a wide range of “debilitating” conditions.

His Senate Bill 269 would provide medical cannabis to people suffering from cancer, PTSD, chronic pain, nausea, post-concussion syndrome, and “any other medical condition approved as a debilitating medical condition” by health officials. Does postpartum depression count as debilitating? According to some researchers, “absolutely.” However, Menendez’s bill also allows Texas medical cannabis to contain THC. That may prove debilitating in the State House, especially considering how challenging the state has made access to low-THC marijuana.

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Countries across the globe continue to legalize cannabis and it is only a matter of time until the U.S. gets on the bandwagon.

The biotech sector will be one of the greatest beneficiaries of legal cannabis and companies focused on this opportunity have outperformed the market over the last quarter.

A Stock to Watch

Today, Vinergy Resources (VIN: CSE) (VNNYF: OTCQB) reported a breakthrough while conducting R&D on its oral cannabinoid (CBD) delivery strips and controlled time release capsule technology.

We highlighted VIN.CN as a stock to watch after its acquisition of MJ Biopharma in mid-December and the market responded very favorably to this all-stock purchase. MJ Biopharma is a private cannabis technology company focused on manufacturing breath strips, time release capsules, extract oils, food products such as infused juices, teas, coffee and extract drinks, as well as the development of pharmaceutical grade delivery systems.

MJ Biopharma is also focused on licensing and partnering on the development of technologies and products for the medical and recreational cannabis market in Canada and abroad. The company said that the novel approach that is under development will become the basis for new products where water or saliva is the catalyst used to activate the carrier for delivery and absorption of CBD in the body.

Opportunity to Create a New Product Category

This unique approach forms the basis for a fundamentally new technology and possible new product category. The technology is called BURST due to the speed at which it can enhance the body’s absorption of various ingredients. The BURST system is built on natural botanical polymers delivering specialty processed high purity cannabinoids.

MJBiopharma CEO Kent Deuters said, “This is a great breakthrough for us and the product line we have planned. The technology can also be utilized in our time release capsules which of course will have a slower absorption rate. We think time release capsules are extremely important as they help bridge the gap in terms of familiarity with many patients who want to switch from synthetic drugs to a natural drug as a way to reduce side effects, reduce drug costs and just feel better all around.”

Two Top Picks

Two other biotech cannabis stocks we are watching are Zynerba Pharmaceuticals (ZYNE) and GW Pharmaceuticals (GWPH).

GWPH has rallied off its recent lows and we remain bullish on the company due to its deep pipeline of pharmaceutical products that are in advanced stages of FDA testing. The company has several catalysts in the back half of 2017 and we see significant upside to current levels.

ZYNE continues to remain one of our top picks in the cannabis sector as we see significant upside to current levels. The average Wall Street price target on ZYNE is north of $30 and we view the company as an acquisition candidate for any biotech company interested in the cannabis industry.

We continue to view GWPH as one of the top investment opportunities within the cannabis sector as it is the only Nasdaq traded company focused on developing treatments from the actual cannabis plant.

Unlike Zynerba Pharmaceuticals (ZYNE) which develop its treatments from synthetic cannabis, GWPH uses the actual cannabis plant and the benefits of this are reflected in its continued success in FDA trials.

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One of the decisions President Donald Trump will have to make is whether to move forward with the federal government’s hands off policy on cannabis, which has allowed the sale of the substance in 27 states. President Trump’s nominee for attorney general, Senator Jeff Sessions, has signaled that the new administration could end the practice of allowing states to legalize marijuana. Sessions stated, “It’s not so much the attorney general’s job to decide what laws to enforce. We should do our job and enforce laws as effectively as we’re able.”

Paul Callan and Danny Cevallos, from CNN, were asked for their views on the subject.

1. Cannabis is illegal under federal law. It’s a Schedule 1 controlled substance. Does the President have an obligation to enforce the law as written until the law is repealed?
Danny Cevallos: Yes. As a criminal defense attorney you might think I’d be anti-enforcement instead of pro-enforcement. But there’s no question that the President and the Attorney General are charged with enforcing the law. Arbitrary or selective enforcement of existing law is itself an abuse of power. The Equal Protection Clause already prohibits the “selective enforcement” of a law based on standards like race or religion. The broad discretion of the executive branch or a prosecutor to charge identical defendants with different crimes creates a real threat of unequal, and unconstitutional, treatment. If you want to legalize marijuana, the solution for the federal government is not to be willfully blind to existing federal law. That sends a bad message. The solution is to be proactive: get rid of the outdated federal law.

Paul Callan: No. Sure, Danny is correct that the President and the Attorney General are supposed to enforce the laws as written, but there is also an important concept called prosecutorial discretion. The government has limited resources and can choose to focus on terrorists, kidnappers, murderers and big-time white collar criminals rather than pot smokers listening to Daft Punk’s latest rendition of “Human After All.” The statute books are filled with laws that are not being enforced because they are obsolete and legislators haven’t gotten around to repealing them. There are an abundance of such laws listed in numerous internet sites. But more serious examples are closer at hand. For example, in 2013 the Justice Department issued a memo from Deputy Attorney General James Cole outlining a limited enforcement policy of only prosecuting federal marijuana criminal violations in cases of violence, interstate smuggling, distribution to minors and in matters of adverse impact on public health. Attorney General nominee Sessions would be wise to follow the Obama approach here, and President Trump should understand that there are a lot of electoral votes in those weed-legal states. And as for my friend Danny Cevallos; it is time for him to face reality and, as they say in Colorado, “chill.”

2. President Obama has excused thousands of drug offenders serving substantial amounts of time in prison for the sale and possession marijuana. Should President Trump continue with the Obama pardon policy given the number of states which have now legalized the drug?

Callan: Yes. President Trump would be wise to follow the example of his predecessor by making use of the pardon and commutation power, with care and discretion. The prisons are filled with inmates who have been sentenced to lengthy prison sentences for drug-related crimes. Many have gotten old in prison and no longer pose a threat to society. Many were unjustly convicted. We have seen a massive increase in costly, wrongful conviction lawsuits throughout the nation. Members of America’s minority communities have been aggrieved by what they perceive as the mass incarceration of their young men due to unjust drug laws that are no longer relevant in modern America. The pardons and commutations should be carefully monitored to make sure violent criminals are not slipping through the cracks but President Trump should follow President Obama’s example in continuing this policy.

Cevallos: No. Does anyone else think it’s a huge waste of resources for President Obama to pardon federal drug offenders instead of getting rid of the federal law that made many of them federal drug offenders in the first place? Think of the resources frittered away: existing federal law is what causes investigations, arrests, trials, appeals, and incarceration. Then, ultimately the same branch of government that spent all that time and money convicting the person grants a pardon or commutation, effectively canceling out all those resources spent getting the conviction. Wouldn’t it be a lot less expensive to get rid of the federal law that led to the expensive investigation, arrest, trial, appeal, and incarceration in the first place? President Obama’s pardon policy for drug offenders is a good thing, but it’s largely cosmetic, and it only conceals the bruises that the federal government itself continues to inflict upon the citizenry. Paul Callan wants to paint himself as a freedom fighter here, and he’s right that the pardon power is good for freeing those for acts no longer considered crimes. But true freedom isn’t pardoning the crime after the person has been incarcerated. It’s getting rid of the crime itself.

3. Republicans have commonly supported the doctrine of federalism. Should President Trump’s Republican Administration allow the states to experiment with cannabis legalization under the doctrine of federalism?
Cevallos: No. As Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis put it: “it is one of the happy incidents of the federal system that a single courageous State may, if its citizens choose, serve as a laboratory; and try novel social and economic experiments without risk to the rest of the country.” I agree completely with that general sentiment. But marijuana is different. States legalizing pot is “experimenting” with something that is flat-out illegal under federal law. When the threat of federal prosecution hangs over a marijuana shop owner or user, states cannot truly serve as laboratories. It’s hard to experiment when banks, investors, insurance companies, and even attorneys are reluctant to provide necessary services, for fear of federal criminal penalties or professional discipline. Paul Callan may cheer states for their open flouting of federal law, but would he represent a shop owner if he thought the bar association’s disciplinary committee would come after him? Heck no. He’s as afraid of the ethics board as I am. And so are plenty of other lawyers, who fear potential disciplinary action for counseling a client to engage in the business of violating federal law. Everyone loves the idea of civil disobedience, until it’s their turn to actually get hit with the fire hose or the police truncheon.
Callan: Yes. There is a lot of truth in a statement often heard in conservative gatherings: “The states created the federal government and not the other way around.” The Constitution was drafted by founding fathers deeply sensitive to the concept of a limited federal government with a vibrant democracy flourishing at the local level. Nowhere is the leadership of the states more clearly demonstrated than in the approval of recreational and medical marijuana in 27 states at last count. This state laboratory creates a superb opportunity to test different approaches to legalization rather than rely on the alleged wisdom of Cevallos’ elite pals in DC, many of whom have just been unceremoniously kicked out of office in the tumultuous election of 2016. Local authorities will ensure that rather than a “one size fits all” federal approach, the best state ideas will be imitated and implemented by other states. And as for the Cevallos claim that lawyers will never represent weed store owners for fear of an ethics prosecution, the Colorado Supreme Court has just given the weed lawyers the green light to represent marijuana businesses. Perhaps Danny Cevallos should consider opening a Denver office.

4. Should cannabis be legalized because taxing it will lead to a rich source of government revenue?
Cevallos: No. Don’t get me wrong. I think ending federal marijuana prohibition is a good idea. I also hope that taxing the drug will be a good source of revenue for states and the federal government. Paul Callan knows that this is a popular argument. But when you think about it, taxing vices hasn’t always been the cure for all ills. Gambling has been legal and taxed for years in places like Atlantic City, where it is the town’s primary industry. Has anyone strolled down that town’s main drag lately? It’s hardly a monument to American prosperity. Speaking of gambling, how about the lottery? State-sponsored gambling is heavily taxed and supposedly goes to help senior citizens and schools. But, would Paul Callan honestly say that the net effect of the lottery on society has been a good one? Hopefully marijuana taxation will be different. Early reports are positive: marijuana generates a lot of tax revenue in the legalized states. But there’s good reason to remain skeptical.
Callan: Yes, Danny raises a legitimate point that taxing vices often fails to raise the large amounts of revenue promised. Things like the lottery seem to generate more money for state bureaucracies than for education. Although Atlantic City looks grim, the gambling vice tax is thriving in Las Vegas, Indian Reservations around the country and even in Bethlehem, PA in Danny’s home state. The lesson is that you must carefully pick the vice you seek to tax. Given the track record to date marijuana seems a winner on the tax revenue side. In Colorado and Oregon, recreational use has spawned a $7.1 billion tax-generating industry. And for vice comparison purposes, the taxing of alcohol has proven to be quite lucrative to the states. Alcohol taxes yielded over $9 billion in revenues in 2015 with projections of $10.18 billion by 2021. As a drug which is arguably far less dangerous, marijuana is likely to generate an even greater revenue stream. The states are finding it difficult to overlook such a revenue stream given the thriving underground economy where only illegal producers and dealers enjoy the profit. If Mr. Trump really does want to lower corporate and personal income taxes, legalized, taxed marijuana may be of assistance in achieving that goal.

5. Many argue that cannabis is no more dangerous than alcohol, yet it’s illegal under the laws of many states and the federal government. Is it fair to treat the substances differently under law?

Callan: No. Wisely, Cevallos will not even fight me on this one. Marijuana is far less dangerous than alcohol and there is a great hypocrisy in permitting legal sales of the older generation’s vice, alcohol, while locking up younger Americans who partake of the far less dangerous marijuana. Of course it must be conceded that the drug is not without serious risks, particularly for those with a propensity toward drug abuse. This is yet another reason to allow experimentation on a state level to see how legalization works out in the real world. As for the Cevallos argument that a teetotaling POTUS will resist legalization, there are more than a few reasons to suggest otherwise. He has previously indicated support for medical marijuana stating: “In terms of marijuana and legalization, I think that should be a state issue, state-by-state. Marijuana is such a big thing. I think medical should happen, right? Don’t we agree? I think so. And then I really believe we should leave it up to the states.” Washington Post, October 29, 2015 And let’s face it, most liberals and progressives would have to be under the influence of drugs to support him, so there may be new Trump supporters if legalization succeeds. Though, let’s hope the new president maintains his teetotaling ways as heaven help us all if POTUS starts smoking “Trump Weed” before preparing his next 3 a.m. tweet.
Cevallos: No. Paul Callan has me here. Prohibiting marijuana and allowing alcohol makes zero sense. But then again, nothing about vice crimes is “fair” or even “logical.” In fact, alcohol is much more dangerous than marijuana. Not only is it bad for your body, it’s a major contributor to accidents, and violence. But the real question is: could Mr. Callan convince Mr. President? Our new POTUS is a self-described teetotaler, a nondrinker and non-drug user. And he’s not the kind who stopped drinking because he used to have a problem, who hit a Bukowski-like bottom and turned his life around in AA. Trump is the kind who says he has never had a sip of alcohol in his life. Those people are intense. They usually like order and control. It’s easy to imagine Trump might be intolerant of vices like marijuana. Then again, he’s been socially liberal in many ways too. It’s hard to predict where his administration will come down on the marijuana industry.

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As discussed in previous articles the endocannabinoid system, or ECS, is an extraordinary complex signaling network that has widespread effects on the body. Many studies have been published studying the effects of various components of the ECS on metabolic health, appetite, obesity, blood sugar regulation, thermoregulation, pain sensation, oxidative stress, thermoregulation, mood, eye health, memory, oxidative stress, and many more. One compelling therapeutic application of the ECS is its effect on the immune system, or what some scientists refer to as “immuno-cannabinoid” modulation. To put it simply, the ECS can help regulate the tone, properties, and overall function of the immune system.

Although the immunomodulatory effects of the ECS have not been fully figured out, here is what’s known. First, certain cannabinoids can reduce inflammatory responses in patients with autoimmune diseases. Cannabidiol is especially potent in this regard. Second, cannabinoids have been shown to play a role in modulating neurogenesis and neurodegeneration. It has been concluded that the immune system plays a crucial role in many of these neurodegenerative and neuroinflammatory disorders. It’s critical to acknowledge that these immunomodulatory effects are the result of a coordinated cascade of responses from the so-called “innate immune system” as well as the “adaptive immune system.” The immune system is a network of assorted immune cell types that express many different receptors, and release and respond to many cytokines/hormones.

Cell-mediated immunity is one of the fundamental components of the adaptive immune system that responds by utilizing specialized T-cells and natural killer cells to seek out and neutralize pathogens, viral infected cells, and tumor cells that are recognized as foreign. Humoral immunity complements the cell-mediated system by using B-cells and developing antibodies to neutralize antigens or pathogens that are identified as foreign. If there is an imbalance between cell mediated and humoral immunity, it results in disease and dysfunction. For example, multiple sclerosis is an example of an autoimmune disease, in which the cell-mediated immune system is hyper-activated against the individual’s own brain and nervous system—as if it were foreign. The ECS and cannabinoids have been shown to play a fundamental role in “balancing” the various arms and components of the immune system.

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