Tags Posts tagged with "marijuana"

marijuana

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Florida Marijuana

A proposal that would award $2.5 million for UF to study medical marijuana recently moved forward in the Florida House of Representatives. The proposal states that money from the General Revenue Fund will be used to fund UF’s study on the safety and efficiency of medical cannabis. The bill, which passed through the Health Care Appropriations Subcommittee, moved into the Appropriations Committee on Friday.

If the bill is passed in the committee, it will go to a full House vote for final approval. If it passes through the House, the proposal states the one time fund will be finalized in July. House member Dane Eagle, a republican who represents District 77, sponsored the proposal, which was first submitted February 7. Janine Sikes, spokesperson for UF, wrote in an email that the money would fund UF’s proposed Cannabis and Safety Outcomes Surveillance System, a program which would monitor the safety and effectiveness of medical cannabis on 25,000 enrolled patients throughout the state.

Florida’s Amendment 2, a constitutional amendment that allows stronger cannabis to be used for a broader list of conditions, took effect in January. Of the six medical cannabis dispensaries licensed in Florida, two are in Alachua County, according to the Florida Department of Health’s Office of Compassionate Use. Sikes said the UF program would monitor treatments that haven’t been approved by the FDA. UF would create a secure Data Warehouse to track patient data as part of the program.

She said the $2.5 million would be for costs such as faculty salaries and data processing. She stated, “Evidence is lacking to evaluate risk/benefit of medical marijuana. It is pivotal that the state establishes a system to monitor emerging safety concerns, especially for use in children.” She said the proposal is related to the Compassionate Medical Cannabis Act of 2014, which requires physicians to submit a quarterly patient treatment plan to the UF’s College of Pharmacy for research on the safety and effectiveness of low-THC cannabis on patients. The details of the proposal state that it would offer funding to implement research provisions in the 2014 act.

A UF nursing senior, Alicia Ciliezar, said she supports the use and research of medical cannabis. The substance helps improve pain levels for individuals with issues such as neurologic conditions and digestive disorders. She said, “I’m very eager to see the aims of the study, the objectives and the outcomes. I’m sure it will be fascinating and shape our perception on the substance.”

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cannabis biotech


$FFRMF Acquires High Volume, State-of-the-Art Cannabis Oil Extraction Equipment

 

Future Farm Technologies Inc. (the “Company” or “Future Farm”) (FFRMF) (FFT.CN) is pleased to announce that its majority owned subsidiary, FFM Consulting Services, LLC, has purchased a state-of-the-art extraction machine, for the manufacture of concentrated cannabis oil and purified distillate.

The equipment purchased is designed to rapidly manufacture premium cannabis oil, to supply the growing demand for cannabis concentrates, in the state of California. The equipment utilizes a closed-loop system, to produce high quality oil in a high throughput system with minimal maintenance and labor. The equipment is estimated to be delivered, installed and in full production within the next 90 days.

 


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San Francisco May Form Cannabis Commission And Cannabis Department

 

Supervisor Jeff Sheehy, who Mayor Ed Lee appointed to the District 8 post in January, introduced legislation last week that would create a seven-member Cannabis Commission and Cannabis Department with a director and staff in San Francisco. The commission will decide whether to grant or deny permits related to commercial cannabis businesses as well as decide whether to suspend such permits based on yet-to-be-developed guidelines. San Francisco is currently working on regulations for the recreational cannabis industry after California voters legalized the substance by passing Proposition 64 back in November.


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Marijuana Stocks Especially Cannabis-Biotechs are Capturing Wall Street’s Attention in a Big Way

Marijuana Stocks, especially Cannabis Companies with strong ties to Biotech have been increasingly front and center on Wall Street’s main stage. Marijuana Stocks and the Cannabis-Biotech sector continue to evolve and grow into the mainstream powerhouse we know it can and will be. We have identified a small Cannabis-Biotech start up that deserves your attention.


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Pursuant to an agreement between MAPH and Future Farm Inc., we were hired for a period of 30 days to publicly disseminate information about (FFRMF) including on the Website and other media including Facebook and Twitter. We are being paid $37,500 (CASH) for and were paid 1 million shares of restricted common shares. We may buy or sell additional shares of (FFRMF) in the open market at any time, including before, during or after the Website and Information, provide public dissemination of favorable Information.PLEASE READ OUR FULL PRIVACY POLICY & TERMS OF USE & DISCLAIMER

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Rocky Mountain High Brands Discusses Series A Preferred Restructuring

DALLAS, March 17, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Rocky Mountain High Brands, Inc. (RMHB), a fully reporting consumer goods company specializing in hemp-infused food and beverage products and a naturally high alkaline water, offered an explanation of its recent move to increase the voting and conversion rights of its Series A Preferred Stock.

Michael Welch, President and Chief Executive Officer of Rocky Mountain High Brands, Inc., said, “With the recent acquisition by LSW Holdings, LLC of the Company’s Series A Preferred Stock, we have reviewed our equity structure and are making changes to it to both protect the Company and to provide for its future growth. The Series A Preferred Stock is the Control Block for the Company. It has special rights associated with it and is not designed or intended to be converted to Common Stock. Changes to its voting rights and conversion rights were made to ensure that LSW Holdings maintains control of the Company in the event of corporate actions such as a merger/acquisition or hostile takeover.”

Welch continued, “Lily Li and other principals and representatives of LSW Holdings were in Dallas this week to meet our Rocky Mountain High team and discuss future plans for the Company. With the opportunities that LSW Holdings will bring into the Company, we need to protect the Company and its shareholders from a hostile takeover or any other uninvited action not in the best interest of the Company or its shareholders. The restructuring of the Series A Preferred Stock voting and conversion rights are a part of that plan.”

About Rocky Mountain High Brands:

ROCKY MOUNTAIN HIGH BRANDS, INC., is a consumer goods company specializing in brand development of health conscious, hemp-infused food and beverage products. The Company currently markets a lineup of four naturally flavored hemp-infused beverages (Citrus Energy, Black Tea, Mango Energy and Lemonade) and a low calorie Coconut Lime Energy drink. Rocky Mountain High Brands also offers hemp-infused 2oz. Mango Energy Shots and Mixed Berry Energy Shots. The Company recently launched a naturally high alkaline spring water, Eagle Spirit Spring Water.

For interested investors, our stock symbol is RMHB.

For ordering information please visit: LiveRockyMountainHigh.com

For corporate information please visit: RockyMountainHighBrands.com

For information on our high alkaline water visit: EagleSpiritWater.com

For Rocky Mountain High Distribution Contact:

Chuck Smith (972) 955-0964
chuck@rockymountainhighbrands.com

Visit us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rockymountainhighbrands?fref=nf

Visit us on Twitter:
#GetYourHempOn

Visit us at Investors Hangout: http://investorshangout.com/Rocky-Mountain-High-Brands-Inc-RMHB-69150/

Investors Hangout is the only authorized Investors blog page for Rocky Mountain High Brands, Inc.

Safe Harbor Act: This release includes forward-looking statements made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 that involves risks and uncertainties including, but not limited to, the impact of competitive products, the ability to meet customer demand, the ability to manage growth, acquisitions of technology, equipment, or human resources, the effect of economic business conditions and the ability to attract and retain skilled personnel. The Company is not obligated to revise or update any forward-looking statements in order to reflect events or circumstances that may arise after the date of this release.

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marijuana_glaucoma

Research has shown that cannabinoids can alleviate glaucoma-related symptoms because they lower the intraocular pressure (IOP) and have neuroprotective actions. For example, in 1971, one of the first studies of its kind found ingestion of cannabis lowers IOP by 25 to 30%. Despite the findings from early research, very few ophthalmologists support the use of medical cannabis in patients with early to mid-stage glaucoma. The main issue ophthalmologists have with marijuana is that the potential adverse effects, particularly smoking cannabis, outweigh the short term benefits. For example, smoking can lead to unstable intraocular pressure, which heightens the risk of permanent vision loss.

Additionally, because its therapeutic effects on glaucoma are short-term, patients would have to consume marijuana frequently; once every three to four hours. Physicians claim that because glaucoma needs to be treated 24 hours per day, patients would need to consume marijuana six to eight times over the course of a day to achieve consistently decreased IOP levels. Such frequency is difficult to maintain and could heighten the risk of developing a marijuana use disorder. However, when it comes to late stage glaucoma, ophthalmologists are more inclined to embrace cannabis as a treatment. At the end stages of glaucoma, it is less about directly targeting the glaucoma and more about alleviating the accompanying symptoms.

Ophthalmologist Andrew Bainnson, MD stated, “We’ve known for some time that medical marijuana is very effective for treating nausea and pain, but not so much for glaucoma. However, there are some patients with end stage pain and nausea who may benefit [from medical marijuana], but not from the glaucoma point of view.” The body’s own internal cannabinoid system, called the endocannabinoid system (ECS), is one of our most important physiological systems. Nearly every aspect of our health including: inflammation, immune response, neuroprotection, pain modulation, are all dependent on the ECS. Given the vital role of the ECS, particularly in neuroprotection and inflammation, many scientists believe the development of cannabinoid-based medications may be useful in treating glaucoma.

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Cannabis shops and manufacturers have increasing concerns that the Trump Administration will enforce federal laws that restrict farming and selling the drug. This will reverse the president’s stance during his campaign and potentially overturn what has become a $7 billion industry. The worry was provoked by comments from White House spokesman Sean Spicer recently that the government would most likely boost its enforcement of drug laws.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions stated that he is “dubious” about the benefits of marijuana. He said, “Marijuana is against federal law, and that applies in states where they may have repealed their own anti-marijuana laws. So yes, we will enforce law in an appropriate way nationwide. It’s not possible for the federal government, of course, to take over everything the local police used to do in a state that’s legalized it. And I’m not in favor of legalization of marijuana. I think it’s a more dangerous drug than a lot of people realize.”

The comments have sparked worry with Chuck Smith, co-founder of Dixie Brands, a Denver-based company that manufactures topicals and edibles infused with THC, the active ingredient in cannabis. He founded the company in 2010 and now employs more than 100 people across Arizona, Colorado, California, and Nevada. Smith stated, “My concern right now for both the company and industry is just uncertainty. It’s hard to build an industry or a company when you don’t have clarity.”

The administration’s statements affected shares of Innovative Industrial Properties, which invests in cannabis-growing facilities and is one of the few publicly traded cannabis companies. Its stock price plummeted on the day of Spicer’s press conference and are down more than 13% since then. However, two other marijuana stocks, GW Pharmaceuticals and Cara Therapeutics, seem to have not been affected by the news.

Eight states now allow the use of cannabis recreationally, while more than two dozen states have legalized it for medical purposes. Twenty-one states have decriminalized cannabis. A recent Quinnipiac Poll found 71% of voters think the government should not restrict federal drug laws in states where marijuana is legal. Increasing acceptance has led to an jump in the market for cannabis in North America, with sales rising 34% to nearly $7 billion in 2016, according to Arcview Market Research. By 2021, the industry is likely to climb close to $22 billion.

Companies like Dixie Brands are charging that hike. The privately held company would not disclose current numbers, but in 2014 it was valued at $40 million. Smith said, “It’s hard for us to kind of go backwards. President Trump said he was going to allow this to be a state’s rights issue. We took him at his word.” Trump has sent mixed messages on cannabis. In the 1990s, he called for legalizing all drugs. On the campaign trail, he reiterated his support for medical cannabis and his deference to states to pass their own laws regulating the drug.

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The cannabis industry continues to face threats from Attorney General Jeff Sessions as his campaign against cannabis continued this week.

The AG recently said, “I realize this may be an unfashionable belief in a time of growing tolerance of drug use. But too many lives are at stake to worry about being fashionable. I reject the idea that America will be a better place if marijuana is sold in every corner store. And I am astonished to hear people suggest that we can solve our heroin crisis by legalizing marijuana – so people can trade one life-wrecking dependency for another that’s only slightly less awful. Our nation needs to say clearly once again that using drugs will destroy your life.”

Sessions should take a lesson from Joe Rogan. In a YouTube video, Rogan said, “The only reason why marijuana is illegal is because of economics. If marijuana was legal, it would cost pharmaceutical and alcohol companies billions of dollars every year. The Partnership for a Drug-Free America is funded by alcohol companies. Alcohol is a sanctioned drug”

Marijuana can treat several debilitating diseases and improve the daily life of millions of people around the world.

Ten illnesses that can be treated by marijuana

1.Marijuana can be used to treat and prevent glaucoma. According to the National Eye Institute, marijuana decreases the pressure inside the eye. “Studies in the early 1970s showed that marijuana, when smoked, lowered intraocular pressure (IOP) in people with normal pressure and those with glaucoma.”

2.Marijuana helps reverse the carcinogenic effects of tobacco and improves lung health. In January 2012, a study was published in Journal of the American Medical Association which said marijuana does not impair lung function and it can even increase lung capacity.

3.Marijuana can help control epileptic seizures. Charlotte Figi suffers from Dravet’s Syndrome and a strain of marijuana called “Charlotte’s Web” has decreased Charlotte’s seizures from 300 a week to just one every seven days.

4.Marijuana can decrease anxiety. In 2010, researchers at Harvard Medical School suggested that that some of marijuana’s benefits may be associated with reduced anxiety.

5.THC slows the progression of Alzheimer’s disease. A study led by Kim Janda of the Scripps Research Institute suggests that marijuana may be able to slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease. In 2006, the study published in the journal of Molecular Pharmaceutics found that THC, the active chemical in marijuana, slows the formation of amyloid plaques by blocking the enzyme in the brain that makes them. These plaques are what kill brain cells and cause Alzheimer’s.

6.Marijuana helps ease the pain associated with multiple sclerosis. GW Pharmaceuticals (GWPH) has developed a drug derived from cannabis called Sativex which helps patients who suffer from multiple sclerosis.

7. Marijuana relieves arthritis discomfort. In 2011, researchers said that marijuana alleviates pain, reduces inflammation and promotes sleep, which may help relieve pain for people suffering from rheumatoid arthritis.

8.Marijuana can potentially eliminate Crohn’s disease. A study in Israel showed that smoking a joint significantly reduced Crohn’s disease symptoms in 10 out of 11 patients. Marijuana caused a complete remission in five of the patients.

9.Marijuana helps veterans suffering from PTSD. The Department of Health and Human Services recently signed off on a proposal to study marijuana’s potential as part of the treatment for veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder.

10.Marijuana reduces some of the pain and nausea from chemotherapy and stimulates appetite.

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Biotech companies will be one of the greatest beneficiaries of the global cannabis movement as the plant can improve daily life for tens of millions every day.

After securing a potentially highly lucrative licensing contract, InMed Pharmaceuticals,
(OTCQB: IMLFF CSE: IN) looks even better positioned to benefit for positive tailwinds facing the global cannabis industry.

What does InMed Pharmaceuticals Do?

InMed Pharmaceuticals is a pre-clinical biopharmaceutical company that is focused on the research and development of novel and cannabinoid-based therapies in Canada. The products under pre-clinical development stage include:

• INM-750 for the treatment of Epidermolysis Bullosa
• INM-085 for the treatment of Glaucoma

InMed is also developing various drugs for diseases, such as ocular, pain and inflammation, dermatology, central nervous system, metabolic, and respiratory disease. InMed is following a traditional pharmaceutical of drug development through the FDA and other regulatory agencies.

Owns Valuable Proprietary Property

InMed Pharmaceuticals possess valuable intellectual property. In addition to their pipeline of therapies they are also developing:
1.) Ocular Delivery Technology – Potential stand alone business
2.) A cannabinoid manufacturing process – a disruptive technology for the industry.
3.) Bioinformatics Database Assessment Tool. – Burgeoning licensing opportunities

This last product will be attractive to countless biotech, research and healthcare firms as it provides cannabinoid recommendations based off a vast database and proprietary algorithms. The platform operates can cut costs and improve margins for firms by shortening the discovery period. It also improves the chances of success when it comes to drug commercialization.

The Bioinformatics Database Assessment Tool is comprised three core components. One such component is a database of the chemicals found in the cannabis plant. With the ability to network with other databases in metabolics, genetic pathways and protein interactions to name a few. Effectively a drastic reduction in the time and cost for drug discovery.

The opportunity here is evidenced by a recently signed a term sheet for its first potential licensing deal with Revive Therapeutics Ltd. The company hopes to assist Revive as it works to develop cannabinoid-based therapeutics for kidney diseases. Expect more licensing deals in the future that will further unlock value for InMed’s shareholders.

Outlook is Bright

The positive tailwinds pushing the global cannabis industry makes InMed an attractive candidate for biotech cannabis investors. The vast capabiltities of the Bioinformatic division and the large number of illnesses that can be identified and treated with cannabis is only one attractive aspect of the company. We expect InMed’s 21st century approach to cannabinoid drug development , delivery and production to advance and expand significant catalysts for shareholders over the coming year and beyond.

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MCIG Sells Stony Hill Corp. an 80% Stake in its VitaCBD Brand

HENDERSON, NV / ACCESSWIRE / February 27, 2017 / mCig, Inc. (MCIG), a diversified company focused on the cannabis industry, announced today that it has entered into an asset purchase agreement with Stony Hill Corp. (STNY) for the purpose of pursuing mutually beneficial business opportunities in the Cannabidiol (CBD) Industry. Under terms of the agreement, MCIG will sell the VitaCBD brand to STNY, in exchange for total consideration of $850,000 in cash and common stock, and a 20% stake in VitaCBD, LLC, a subsidiary of STNY.

Paul Rosenberg, President and CEO of MCIG, commented, “MCIG has worked diligently to build the VitaCBD product line, but recognizes the need for a strategic partner to assist in branding and marketing of the product. After months of discussions and negotiations, we believe we have found that partner with Stony Hill. We are very bullish on the future revenue potential of VitaCBD and its ability to create value for our company and its shareholders.”

VitaCBD is a highly dedicated group devoted to engineering the purest hemp derived products available. Both hemp and marijuana contain dozens of cannabinoids, naturally occurring chemical compounds, but it is cannabidiol (CBD), in particular, that offers the potential for health and therapeutic benefits without the high. Hemp plants typically contain elevated levels of health-enhancing CBD, but by definition contain only trace levels of THC. This makes the hemp plant attractive to those seeking its potential health benefits as part of an antioxidant-rich lifestyle.

Chris Bridges, President of STNY, stated, “This transaction will expand Stony Hill’s platform of products and accelerate its growth strategy in the industry. Stony Hill and mCig will have a synergistic relationship, combining management and personnel with a dedicated focus on the promotion and deployment of the VitaCBD brand. We are excited to have mCig as a strategic partner and a shareholder in Stony Hill.”

About mCig, Inc.

Headquartered in Henderson, Nevada, mCig Inc. (MCIG) is a diversified company servicing the legal cannabis, hemp and CBD markets via its lifestyle brands. MCIG has transitioned from a vaporizer manufacturer to an industry leading, large scale, full service cannabis cultivation construction company, with its Grow Contractors division currently operating in the rapidly expanding Nevada market. The company looks forward to growing its core competencies to service the Ancillary legal Cannabis, Hemp, and CBD markets, with broader expansion to take place once federal laws change. For more information, visit www.mcig.org.

Safe Harbor Statement

Any statements contained in this press release that do not describe historical facts may constitute forward-looking statements as that term is defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Any forward-looking statements contained herein are based on current expectations, but are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties. The factors that could cause actual future results to differ materially from current expectations include, but are not limited to, risks and uncertainties relating to the Company’s ability to develop, market and sell products based on its technology; the expected benefits and efficacy of the Company’s products and technology; the availability of substantial additional funding for the Company to continue its operations and to conduct research and development, and future product commercialization; and the Company’s business, research, product development, regulatory approval, marketing, and distribution plans and strategies.

Contact:

CEO of mCig, Inc.
Paul Rosenberg
paul@mcig.org

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By Jason Spatafora @WolfofWeedSt

“I fear the Greeks, even those bearing gifts.”- Virgil

The DEA’s recent cannabis research expansion is a Harry Houdini inspired smoke show of misdirection all to set up the next trick; there I said it. While some view it as a positive first step, I tend to think it served a very deliberate function. Optically it played directly into expected vitriolic fallout from advocates, activists and media touts, all of which lined up to ignite their “DEA should reschedule cannabis” torches. In a “perfect world” scenario these people aren’t wrong, cannabis isn’t Heroin’s equal & 1+1=2, but just as fire cannot exist in a vacuum, neither can a rational cannabis debate. And while everyone on the side of reason is shouting in unison about rescheduling they failed to see that they might have just had their pockets picked. DEA’s policy statement that everyone seemed to ignore there are 33 words that have the potential to create the legal framework for the monopolization of Cannabis by means of an exclusionary application process.

Prologue – August 10th, 2016

Russ Baer, a staff coordinator for the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) media affairs wing gave a response to Steven Nelson of USNEWS.com via email. Nelson later shared a screen grab of the email via tweet. The statement made to him from this Drug Enforcement Administration staff coordinator read:

“Tomorrow morning (August 11th, 2016) the Drug Enforcement Administration will be making some important announcement regarding Marijuana related topics that will be published in the Federal Register. Because of your interest and/or prior engagement with the DEA on this subject, the DEA office of National Media Affairs is reaching out to you regarding these anticipated announcements.”

Over the next 24 hours social media was a blaze, with many people within the industry uncovering the fact that Rescheduling wouldn’t happen and that the DEA response would have to do with research. As expected, the incendiary scheduling of cannabis debate raged on into the following day.

August 11th, 2016

As expected, the Drug Enforcement Administration disappointed the advocates and activists of medical marijuana by not removing or rescheduling marijuana from its class 1 controlled substance status. Yet the DEA, in all of its benevolence, offered a consolation prize of sorts, by “deciding” to expand the study of Medical Marijuana for researchers, Universities & drug companies outside of the confines of a single federally legal facility. The facility, to refresh your memory is located at the University of Mississippi, (ranked 164th in Bio Sciences) and had up to this point been the sole research monopoly on legally grown marijuana, courtesy of the NIDA (National Institute on Drug Abuse).

DEA’s Misdirection Strategy

Over the next few days it seemed that every headline following the DEA’s deliberation was about the archaic rescheduling system & how cannabis is safer statistically than opiates that are schedule 2. Some media outlets went as far as to paint a “glass half full” picture. The LA Times for example did a piece titled “DEA ends its monopoly on marijuana growing for medical research.” The social reaction from cannabis enthusiasts, advocates and potrepreneurs from Main Street to Wall Street was as expected with everyone chiming in on social media to wag their fingers at the DEA. Representative Barbara Lee, a congresswoman from Oakland California stating via tweet “Politicians aren’t doctors or scientists. Marijuana research prohibitions are outdated, unscientific, & dangerous for those who need #MMJ.” As expected the rhetoric from the cannabis side was “The DEA is bad, the War on Drugs is a complete failure, Big Pharma is to blame,” so on and so forth.

IMG_8473

The people aren’t wrong on many of these points. The War in Drugs is a failure when considering addiction has been plateauing since its 1970 inception and US drug control spending is up 2000%, which to date stands at $1.5 trillion dollars. We can go on and on as to where that money went, what industries it created (prison industrial complex), the people it disproportionately targeted (minorities), but that’s a whole other article or book for that matter. Big Pharma however does have its trillion dollars hands in this story, but more on that later as I’ve digressed.

Not to go back and pick on the LA Times click-bate headline of “DEA ends its monopoly on marijuana growing for medical research,” but did it really end the monopoly? Let’s evaluate the idea. Yes, a monopoly is defined as “the exclusive possession or control of the supply or trade in a commodity or service.” The University of Mississippi was in fact in exclusive possession of the NIDA edict to legally grow marijuana and study it. On the surface the Monopoly has ended, but the reality is that we are just switching out the term Monopoly for an Oligarchy. Is an oligarchy any different than a monopoly in the sense that it’s just a smaller group carving out the biggest slices for themselves, eliminating competition by means of out maneuvering or outspending their opponent in an effort to influence policy such as this? Consider that the biggest lobby against the cannabis Industry is the pharmaceutical industry, yet they’re simultaneously studying cannabis for the purpose of synthesizing its many chemical compounds to create their high margin drugs.

Currently, their high margin bread and butter are the opioids for pain management such as OxyContin, Percocet and their generic versions of each. The drug companies are experts at isolating molecules from nature to create drugs that cost pennies to manufactures. In a zero sum game, cannabis is a direct threat to pharma companies, by snatching billions in profit and simultaneously causing billions in losses. Anti-cannabis lobbies would also be at risk as the pharmaceutical giants that feed them down on K Street would lose out on easy paydays. These anti-Marijuana lobbyists provide a micro look at the systemic problems within American politics illustrating how/why elected officials in Congress consistently vote against the interests of their collective constituency and bring forth carefully crafted bills or amendments like this one.

On the DEA’s policy statement and legal considerations section, under, legal applicable considerations it states.

“Second, as with any application submitted pursuant to section 823(a), in determining whether the proposed registrationwould be consistent with the public interest, among the factorsto be considered are whether the applicant has previous experience handling controlled substances in a lawful manner and whether the applicant has engaged in illegal activity involving controlled substances. In this context, illegal activity includes any activity in violation of the CSA (regardless of whether such activity is permissible under State law) as well as activity in violation of State or local law. While past illegal conduct involving controlled substances does not automatically disqualify an applicant, it may weigh heavily against granting the registration.”

Translation, grow marijuana even in a state where it’s legal and you are going to have a hard time becoming a manufacturer or researcher for the DEA’s new policy, thus excluding tier one cultivators in practice and likely creating a perpetual home for cannabis on the scheduling list. Prohibition’s end could very well be right around the corner, but the fear is in the form of legal medical marijuana at a Walgreens near you. I asked the DEA’s Russ Baer directly if the inserted language above in bold would be a non-starter for current cultivators wanting to become manufacturers as they are in clear Violation of CSA? In a written statement to Marijuana Stocks the DEA’s official response was:

“DEA is serious about facilitating marijuana research and that there is a lawful pathway for doing so. This DEA decision will facilitate increased research involving marijuana, within the framework of the law and U.S. treaty obligations, to enhance the drug’s supply available to researchers. The goal of this historic and monumental policy shift is to increase the amount and variety of marijuana available to researchers and make it easier for researchers to obtain marijuana as compared to current system under which marijuana must be obtained from NIDA. Growers must become registered with DEA, following the submission of an application, which DEA will evaluate in accordance with the CSA. Registered growers will need to comply with all CSA regulatory requirements, such as quotas, record keeping, order forms, and maintenance of control against diversion. Marijuana produced under this proposal may only be supplied to DEA-registered manufacturers and researchers, and only for purposes authorized by the CSA.

All potential new drugs, including drug products made from marijuana, are subject to the rigors of the drug approval process mandated by the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act (FDCA). This drug approval process requires that before a new drug is allowed to enter the U.S. market, it must be demonstrated through sound clinical trials to be both safe and effective for its intended uses,” stated Russ Baer of the Drug Enforcement Agency.

When asked if the inserted language also creates an unfair advantage for Pharma companies the response from the Drug Enforcement Administration circled back to the CSA (Controlled Substance Act) stating that the “DEA has adopted a new policy, consistent with the CSA and U.S. treaty obligations, under which additional entities may become registered with DEA to grow and distribute marijuana for research purposes. DEA will evaluate each application it receives to determine whether adding such applicant to the list of registered growers is necessary to provide an adequate and uninterrupted supply of marijuana to researchers in the U.S. In addition, applicants must demonstrate their ability to safely secure the drugs to prevent diversion, while abiding by the approved research protocol.”

The Controlled Substance Act

Everything points back to the Controlled Substance Act, a bill that was introduced into the Congress by Harley Staggers and took less than 6 weeks to get passed by the Senate and signed into law by President Richard M. Nixon. The signing of this document not only created the “War on Drugs,” but put an enforcement agency (DEA) in charge of Cannabis scheduling, circumventing the FDA in a move that creates an inter-agency firewall of sorts. The DEA’s position on why the FDA, who already regulates pharmaceutical drugs, isn’t in charge of marijuana rescheduling was point blank, “The Controlled Substances Act provides a mechanism for substances to be controlled (added to or transferred between schedules) or decontrolled (removed from control). The CSA provides roles for DEA and the FDA. Proceedings to add, delete, or change the schedule of a drug or other substance may be initiated by DEA, HHS, or by petition from any interested party. Once initiated, the process involves a deliberate and collaborative interagency exchange.”

IMG_8472

In Laymen’s terms CSA effectively says “DEA you’re in charge of this, FDA you’re in charge of that.” Unfortunately, Marijuana will never be completely removed from the scheduling list unless there is a major political overhaul in every branch of government, if and only if elected officials stop letting lobbies pour honey in their ears and money into campaigns. The reality from my perspective is that the DEA is a scapegoat, the perfect Boogey Man, simply because their job is to follow orders. They are soldiers in a sense, adhering to the guidelines of the Controlled Substance Act (CSA), a legal document crafted by a congress, molded in the image of benefactors, used to fuel a fake war and create cottage industries.

The DEA knows marijuana is safer than Oxy and that’s not speculation that’s a direct quote. They don’t want to go after the mother transporting medication to her sick child because they’re suffering from seizures. They want the dangerous individuals like El Chapo or the pill mills slinging Oxy off the streets. They have no interest in going after all cultivators following state law to the letter. Are there exceptions, of course! Does it make these comments directly from them any less true? No.
DEA’s direct position on which drug is more dangerous from a consumption standpoint as it relates to Cannabis vs OxyContin? “There were more than 47,000 drug overdose deaths in 2014, or approximately 129 per day, more than half (61 percent) of which involved either a prescription opioid or heroin. Marijuana meets the statuary criteria of a Scheduled I controlled substance, and has been determined to have a high abuse potential with no currently accepted medical use. Schedule I includes some substances that are exceptionally dangerous (including heroin and LSD) and some that are less dangerous (including marijuana, which is less dangerous than some substances in other schedules).” When asked point blank, what’s more dangerous Oxy or Marijuana DEA says “Oxy.”

Robert Capecchi, Director of Federal Lobbying at the Marijuana Policy views medical marijuana legalization as a means to an opioid end as well as fiscal no brainer with far reaching benefits.

“Ending marijuana prohibition will allow licensed businesses to cultivate, distribute, and sell marijuana to adults. Unlike the criminal market, a legal and regulated market means products are pure, tested and labeled, sales are taxed, and business disputes are resolved in the courts, not with violence. Additionally, there is promising evidence to suggest that legal access to medical marijuana reduces the rates of opioid overdoses and the reliance on prescription pain killers.”

Foregone Conclusion?

Prohibition’s end could very well be right around the corner, but would we want it in the form of legal medical marijuana at a Walgreens near you? August 11th’s ruling was either one of many dominos in the quest for the monopolization of cannabis or just a pessimistic idea based off of history repeating itself. Regardless of which reality we are presently in, it doesn’t hurt to try and connect the dots, but if I can leave you with one last thing it’s the number 6630507. In case you’re wondering that’s the United States patent # they filed for cannabis in 2003 citing “multiple therapeutic uses.” I can only postulate why they did that….

Regards,

Jason Spatafora

Drug War

6 11995

The Truth is Out There

Find anyone who is against the legalization of marijuana and ask them why they believe the “drug” should remain illegal. After they respond with narrow-minded statements that they believe to be facts but actually have zero scientific backing or support whatsoever, I want you to ask this series of questions:

  1. “How come the U.S. government actually used to tax marijuana?”
  2. “How come the U.S. government tested marijuana as a truth serum?”
  3. “Why are thousands of marijuana plants grown today on public land?”

And lastly, my absolute favorite question to make every nay-sayer respond with “uhhhh, ummm, uhhh duuhhh, ummm,”

  1. “Why has the U.S. government been growing marijuana for decades?”

After you ask that last question make sure to pull out your smart phone or camera and snap a selfie with them because the expression on their face will be priceless. Then upload it to Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram with the hashtag #dumbass.

The truth is that marijuana and hemp used to be widely accepted and used by the U.S. government and citizens across the country until one political event changed everything. I am about to share with you just how and why marijuana became outlawed in the United States. And it has absolutely NOTHING to do with its effects on the human body as a “drug.”

Mexicans are Responsible for “Marijuana?”

First, consider this. Throughout the 19th century, Americans used the word “cannabis” when referring to the plant, not marijuana. Pharmaceutical companies like Bristol-Myers Squib and Eli Lilly used cannabis in medicines — widely sold in U.S. pharmacies — to treat insomnia, migraines and rheumatism. From 1840 to 1900, U.S. scientific journals published hundreds of articles touting the therapeutic benefits of cannabis. But not once, not never, not ever was the plant referred to as “marijuana.” So where the hell did that word come from and why does it dominate the discourse in the United States today?

The answer can be found in the Mexican Revolution. Beginning in 1910, the Mexican Revolution is responsible for not only the creation of the word “marijuana” but for the radical change in our government’s stance on the plant. And here’s why.

After the war, waves of Mexican peasants migrated to U.S. state borders bringing with them their popular and preferred form of intoxication, what they termed “mariguana.”

With so many Mexican immigrants knocking on the doors of Southern state borders, anti-immigrant fears spread quickly. And after the Great Depression, these fears and prejudices against the Mexican people only grew. Historians and analysts attribute the creation of our nation’s very first marijuana laws to an attempt at trying to place social controls on the immigrant population.

In an effort to marginalize the new migrant population, the first anti-cannabis laws were targeted at the term “marijuana,” says Amanda Reiman, a policy manager at the Drug Policy Alliance. Scholars say it’s no coincidence that the first U.S. cities to outlaw pot were in Border States. It is widely believed that El Paso, Texas, was the first U.S. city to ban cannabis, when it approved a measure in 1914 prohibiting the sale or possession of the “drug.”

Around the same time, West Indian and Mexican migrants started taking marijuana with them to ports along the Gulf of Mexico — most notably New Orleans, where the media began associating cannabis use with jazz musicians, blacks and prostitutes. Media outlets across the country helped fuel the hysteria, churning out headlines like “Loco weed now cultivated and smoked in cigarettes” and “Murder weed found up and down coast.” By the early 1930s, 29 states had banned marijuana.

Politics and Racism

But the man most largely responsible for cementing the negative view on marijuana is undoubtedly some jackass named Harry Anslinger, director of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics from 1930 to 1962. An outspoken critic of the “drug,” he set out in the 1930s to place a federal ban on cannabis, embarking on a series of public appearances across the country.

Anslinger is often referred to as the great racist of the war on drugs, says John Collins, coordinator of the LSE IDEAS International Drug Policy Project in London. That’s funny because I refer to him as the “not-so-great asshole.”

Collins is not certain if the “not-so-great asshole” truly was a bigot. “But he knew that he had to play up people’s fears in order to get federal legislation passed,” Collins said. “So when talking to senators with large immigrant populations, it very much helped to portray drugs as something external, something that is invading the U.S. He would use the term ‘marijuana’ knowing that it sounds Hispanic, it sounds foreign.”

Anslinger began his federal campaign against the drug by publishing a report titled “Marijuana: Assassin of Youth” in 1937. That year, Anslinger testified before Congress in favor of marijuana prohibition stating, “Marijuana is the most violence-causing drug in the history of mankind.” “Most marijuana smokers are Negroes, Hispanics, Filipinos and entertainers. Their satanic music, jazz and swing, result from marijuana usage.”

Was this guy f@cking serious?! How stupid were people back then?

But wait, it gets worse guys…

Big Business and Monopolies Hated Hemp

You see, Anslinger had a friend by the name of William Randolph Hearst. Hearst was not only a notoriously known racist with a strong hatred towards Mexicans, but he also happened to be the owner of the largest media conglomerate of the early-mid 1900s. Hearst owned just about every major newspaper in every major city in the United States. And get this, was heavily invested in the timber and paper production business to support his newspaper chain. Ahhhh, did that little light bulb inside your head just turn on?

What’s very similar to marijuana that could threaten a timber, paper business? Hemp!

Hemp was exploding on the scene in the early 1900s and it was a HUGE threat to Hearst. Early colonists were required to grow hemp, during World War II you could actually dodge the draft by growing hemp, and Henry Ford even made a car entirely from hemp! The mass production of hemp paper threatened to tear Hearst’s empire apart and he wasn’t going to stand for it. So what did he do?

Hearst is the creator of something known as yellow journalism, a practice that involves very little or no research and news but rather exaggerated and outlandish headlines to sell more newspapers. He used eye-catching headlines to captivate an audience and emphasized sensationalism rather than facts about how marijuana was ruining our country. This helped Anslinger build a political following for his fight against the Mexicans, I mean marijuana.

Hearst lost 800,000 acres of timberland to Pancho Villa, a prominent Mexican Revolutionary war general, which only fueled his hatred for the Mexican people. And the bottom line people is that telling outlandish lies about Mexicans and their crazy marijuana usage sold newspapers and made him filthy disgusting rich.

Their combination of political influence and media persuasion proved successful as Congress approved the Marijuana Tax Act in 1937 criminalizing pot possession throughout the United States.

Go ahead, take a moment to really let that sink in. We outlawed an extremely useful plant because we wanted to put restraints on Mexican immigrants and some racist guy in a position of power was scared of losing money. Well, I guess nothing’s changed in nearly 100 years because I’m pretty sure immigration is still a major political debate, people are still racist, and big business still has a grasp on global economies.

And considering how big of a political topic immigration laws are today, I’d say the outlawing of marijuana was a complete failure!

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