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Cannabis-infused drinks poised to be the next big thing - NOW Magazine

Google - Cannabis - Wed, 11/22/2017 - 17:29

NOW Magazine

Cannabis-infused drinks poised to be the next big thing
NOW Magazine
Constellation Brands recently announced plans to pour almost $200 million into a Canadian marijuana grower with plans to develop non-alcoholic cannabis beverages. And Amsterdam Brewery just released a Cannabis Pale Ale flavoured with terpenes, the ...

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Cannabis sales must avoid mistakes made by alcohol deregulation, Alberta doctor says - CBC.ca

Google - Cannabis - Wed, 11/22/2017 - 16:16

CBC.ca

Cannabis sales must avoid mistakes made by alcohol deregulation, Alberta doctor says
CBC.ca
As the province begins developing a framework for legalizing cannabis, a University of Alberta doctor said she hopes Alberta learns from past mistakes with alcohol deregulation. ... Alberta unveils marijuana framework, calls for minimum age of 18 to buy.

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Cannabis cruising: five weed-friendly places to get stoned in the Big Smoke - NOW Magazine

Google - Cannabis - Wed, 11/22/2017 - 15:28

NOW Magazine

Cannabis cruising: five weed-friendly places to get stoned in the Big Smoke
NOW Magazine
In September, Toronto's Municipal Licensing and Standards Committee voted 4-1 to ban cannabis-friendly businesses. Scarborough-area Councillor Glenn De Baeremaeker was particularly flip. “If you want to smoke marijuana, smoke it in the privacy of your ...

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Why it may not be too late for marijuana dispensaries - NOW Magazine

Google - Cannabis - Wed, 11/22/2017 - 14:55

NOW Magazine

Why it may not be too late for marijuana dispensaries
NOW Magazine
CAMH recently met with officials from Uruguay, the first country to legalize cannabis, and is touting new data suggesting that the only way to eliminate the illegal market in weed is to integrate the grey market (i.e. dispensaries) into the government ...

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In the Face of Massive Depression World-Wide, the High Priestess of Hallucinogens Amanda Feilding Is Exploring Microdosing

Alternet - Wed, 11/22/2017 - 14:54
Click here for reuse options! The Beckley Foundation's new brain imaging study explores psychedelic microdosing.

The Countess of Wemyss, Amanda Feilding, may be the only leader in psychedelic research and drug policy reform who can say with certainty that she’s distantly related to Charles II. She’s almost certainly the only one who grew up in a castle on an English estate, though her description of it is more late Grey Gardensthan Buckingham Palace.

Feilding recalls being intrigued by altered states of consciousness as a lonely and isolated girl. “My mother was a Catholic,” she says in a warble not unlike that of a kindly British aunt. “And sometimes the wonderful singing in church with incense, one could go often to an altered state.”

As an adult, she studied comparative religion at Oxford and immersed herself in the learning of mystical experiences. Now 74, Feilding has never lost her interest in altered states of consciousness. In fact, she has pursued the topic with zeal, even going so far as to perform and film a self-trepanation procedure, or drilling into the skull to remove a piece of bone, an ancient medical procedure thought to relieve pressure and increase blood flow in the brain.

The Oxford UK-based Beckley Foundation, founded in 1998, is her research brainchild. But her research and experiments in consciousness go back more than 50 years, when she first started using LSD. “I set up Beckley to explore consciousness and its altered states,” she says. “Our research has shown that we can treat chronic depression, addiction, PTSD, all of these psychologically based conditions.”

Her instincts about the healing properties of psychedelics have been validated through studies at NYU and Johns Hopkinsadministering psilocybin and MDMA. These studies, using a high dose of psychedelics, seem to reduce the symptoms of many mental health disorders.

Currently, Feilding is eyeing the LSD microdose trend. The Silicon Valley crowd, always in search of new technology to enhance creativity and productivity, has led the microdosing trend, garnering a lot of attention even from staid publications like Business Insider and The New Yorker.Building on this momentum, she is attempting to secure funding for an exploratory brain-imaging study to gain insights on how microdosing could also be a tool in the battle for improved mental health.

“We humans, incredible species, we dominate the world with all the clever things we’re doing,” she muses. “But we’re seriously flawed and have some serious psychological problems.” According to the World Health Organization, depression is the leading cause of disability and ill health worldwide. More than 300 million people around the world suffer from depression, some of it treatment-resistant.

Depression is much more complex than persistent sadness and loss of interest. It also increases rates of addiction, suicidality, heart disease, and diabetes, lethal in their own right. Feilding believes that mental illness may set maladaptive patterns in the brain, which then become the norm. The world is then viewed through the maladaptive lens, perpetuating the pattern.

“What the psychedelics do is shake that setting and open it,” she explains. “It’s the elixir of consciousness, and when the person sets the right intentions, it can reset the badly maladaptive setting. So all of a sudden they say, ‘aha! What a bore this is.’”

So far, informal microdosing studies have been led by James Fadiman and Sophia Korb, who have analyzed results from those who self-report microdosing experiences. Thousands of people have submitted their observations, reporting improvements in mood and vitality, enhanced focus, and boosts in motivation, creativity, and pattern recognition.

Feilding observed similar characteristics during her own LSD experiences in the 1960’s while playing the ancient Chinese game of Go with friends. “Me and the people I played with took it very seriously. I did not like losing,” she laughs. “I found that if I was on LSD and he [her opponent] wasn’t, I won more games. What it enables you to do is to see the board better. It’s an encasement of space, you’re capturing space on the board.”

Thinking of her Go games of the past, Feilding is keen to start Beckley’s microdosing brain-imaging study. “The cohort size I’m going for is by no means my perfect cohort size,” she explains. “One would like the size to be very big. But because of the costings, and particularly if you’re dealing with controlled substances, it can double the cost of everything.” Feilding says she would be satisfied with 20 people on LSD and another 20 on placebo as a start.

But money is a very real problem, and despite the “foundation” part of Beckley’s name, it is not awash in cash. “The Beckley Foundation is funded with great difficulty,” she says. “I would love to be really hitting on all cylinders with the research I want to do.” Feilding is in one stage or another of developing the protocols and recruiting scientists for around 20 studies, all of which need funding. To finance them all, she estimates needing to raise around five million pounds.

Many of the studies Beckley has implemented have focused on high doses of psychedelics that create a “mystical,” or “peak” experience. These are the doses that have been more formally correlated with improvements in mental health. In fact, the more intense the peak experience, the better the outcome.

MIcrodosing is meant to work quietly and behind the scenes. Fadiman recommends microdosing 1/10 of a standard dose, or a “tenner.” Feilding believes that the right dose likely varies from person to person, and that a microdose, which can be taken with more regularity, could potentially be a “smart drug” to improve well-being, mood, and cognitive functioning.

Feilding, who was doing LSD every day in her Go days, says her aim was to hit the sweet spot where vitality and creativity are enhanced while still being fully in control of her behavior. The research Beckley has thus far compiled on the “peak experience” shows that participants felt:

  • A sense of unity with all things
  • Ego dissolution
  • Transcendence of time and space
  • A sense of insight into the ultimate nature of reality
  • Feelings of ineffability and awe
  • Profound positive emotions, such as joy, connectivity, and love

Microdosing also seems to produce positive benefits, but less profoundly. Microdosers report:

  • Improved mood and vitality
  • Enhanced focus
  • Boosts in creativity
  • Increased motivation and drive
  • Remaining in control

Psychedelics, researchers believe, cause the brain to turn off its Default Mode Network, the part of the brain that houses the ego and the referential self. When the brain is not occupied with an attention-hogging task, the DMN lights up and may wander off into daydreaming, worrying, recollecting, and ruminating. Recent research has shown that high activity in the DMN is increasingly linked to depression and anxiety.

Previous LSD brain-imaging studies led by close Feilding associates David Nutt and Robin Carhart-Harris show that, when using 75 mcg of psychedelics, brain networks became more unified while others, like the DMN, go offline, leading researchers to hypothesize that LSD could help reverse intractable, restrictive thoughts. “Psychedelics can induce a state of high plasticity,” says Feilding, “enabling profound shifts in thoughts and behavior to be achieved, rapidly.”

Feilding is pleased to see a groundswell of clinical evidence showing what she’s always believed, that psychedelics can improve the human condition. Whether the microdosing brain-imaging study will show the same results as the higher-dose studies is yet to be seen, but she is optimistic. “I hope that we will have a better understanding of how microdosing can benefit mental health and society,” Feilding says.

Microdosing, she believes, might serve as a more palatable way to open doors for increased psychedelic therapy and gain some additional mainstream exposure. She welcomes widespread and positive publicity, proclaiming, “I always thought that the way through the taboo was through the very best science.”

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When Will Marijuana Be Legal Like Alcohol? - Newsweek

Google - Cannabis - Wed, 11/22/2017 - 13:20

Newsweek

When Will Marijuana Be Legal Like Alcohol?
Newsweek
A ban on recreational marijuana is the modern-day Prohibition, according to advocates who want the drug to be as mainstream as alcohol is for adults. And that's unlikely to change anytime soon. Michigan voters could soon make their state the ninth ...
Michigan Vote On Legalizing Marijuana Is Likely In 2018CBS Detroit

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Study: Does Marijuana Dabbing Cause Cancer?

Alternet - Wed, 11/22/2017 - 11:45
Those dab hits can include not only pot smoke, but also "toxic degradation products."

Marijuana dabbing, the increasingly popular method of inhaling high-potency concentrated cannabis, may be hazardous to your health, according to a new study.

Researchers at Portland State University discovered that dabbing may expose users to elevated levels of cancer-causing toxins, including benzene, compared to other methods of inhalation. 

The study, published earlier this year in the American Chemical Society’s ACS Omega, raises serious health concerns about the practice of dabbing, especially among the younger population who prefer this method of vaporizing.

“Given the widespread legalization of cannabis in the United States, it is imperative to study the full toxicology of its consumption to guide future policy,” said Rob Strongin, a Portland State professor and lead author of the study. “The results of these studies clearly indicate that dabbing, although considered a form of vaporization, may, in fact, deliver significant amounts of toxic degradation products.” 

Dabbing has been around in some form or another since the 1970s, but the practice has skyrocketed into popularity over the past decade. Essentially, a dab is a small dose of highly concentrated cannabis that is heated on a hot surface and then inhaled. Focus on the word “concentrate” — and fully grasp the meaning.

Cannabis concentrates are exactly what they sound like: Take the herb and extract all the THC out of it as you can. The extreme amount of THC in the concentrate means you will need very little (just a dab) to achieve the psychoactive effect.  But trying to accurately and consistently heat the concentrate to the proper temperature is hard — and that is part of the problem.   

The difficulty users find in controlling the nail temperature put users at risk of exposing themselves to not only methacrolein but also benzene,” Strongin said. “Additionally, the heavy focus on terpenes as additives seen as of late in the cannabis industry is of great concern due to the oxidative liability of these compounds when heated. This research also has significant implications for flavored e-cigarette products due to the extensive use of terpenes as flavorings.” 

 

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Women Unite At Largest US Marijuana Business Conference - Forbes

Google - Cannabis - Wed, 11/22/2017 - 11:43

Women Unite At Largest US Marijuana Business Conference
Forbes
In the sea of men descending on Las Vegas for the nation's largest business conference for legal weed, the gender gap in this burgeoning industry was easy to spot. But female cannabis entrepreneurs and industry workers actively sought out each other ...

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Former GOP Attorney General Calls Sessions' War on Weed a Waste of Time

Alternet - Wed, 11/22/2017 - 11:38
The Justice Department should have higher priorities, says Bush Attorney General Alberto Gonzales.

 

 

Sessions's War on Pot Called a Waste of Time

Attorney General Jeff Sessions’s apparent plans to prosecute medical marijuana distributors in states that have legalized it are a waste of time, according to former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales ...

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Funding Big Pharma to Help with Millions of Addicts They Created

Alternet - Wed, 11/22/2017 - 09:53
Click here for reuse options! Lining corporate pockets, one way or another.

The editorial did not beat around the bush. After decades of "expanding opioid use by minimizing the dangers of addiction," Pharma will now receive the reward of taxpayer money to undo what it did andreverse the opioid epidemic, writes the New York Times. Imagine the government giving Big Tobacco our tax dollars to reverse the damage it did pushing cigarettes and you see how obscene this is.

The new public-private partnership between Pharma and the NIH (and supported by both the FDA and DEA) will explore ways to address the opioid crisis such as "nonaddictive painkillers and new treatments for addiction and overdoses."

Not surprisingly, Pharma likes its reward. J. David Haddox, vice president for policy at Purdue Pharma (who makes OxyContin) appreciates the idea of “converting” the opioid market to abuse-deterrent drugs.

But the CEOs of Pharma's lobby group, Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America or PhRMA, and Purdue Pharma do not appreciate the Times' charges.

There is no reason Pharma shouldn't be involved in "the long-term solutions" for the opioid crisis writes PhRMA CEO Stephen Ubl, calling Pharma operatives "the best minds in science," in a letter to the Times. Craig Landau, CEO of Purdue, appreciates the "regulatory framework to incentivize" Pharma to develop post opioid crisis drugs and writes that Pharma cannot "abandon... pain patients," in a letter to the Times.

The NIH partnership is just the latest example of government greasing opioid Pharma's palms. On the same day in 2013 that the FDA announced new Vicodin restrictions, it approved hydrocodone bitartrate-based Zohydro with five to 10 times the abuse potential of OxyContin. The next year the FDA approved Tarrginiq ER while admitting it could cause overdoses and euphoria. In 2015, the FDA approved opioids for children as young as 11.

In 2016, Obama signed a Pharma-bought law curtailing DEA powers to regulate large opioid sales which bowed to "deep-pocketed chain pharmacies such as CVS and Walgreens and drug distribution companies like Cardinal Health and McKesson" wrote the New York Times.

Making Money By Hooking People on Opioids

How did Pharma foster the opioid addiction? By paying medical groups to change pain condition guidelines so that opioids were the first choice for many conditions. (Notice how pain has become the "fifth vital sign" and medical personnel always ask you now "Are you in pain?" We have Pharma to thank for that.)

Pharma also fostered the epidemic by pushing the long-term use of opioids despite zero studies including the Cochrane Collection showing long-term safety or effectiveness. Finally, Pharma did it by telling doctors and patients that opioids aren't addictive like the parallel industry Big Tobacco.

pain guide supported by the American Geriatrics Society and funded by Janssen (which makes Duragesic, Ultram ER and Nucynta) claims that opioids "allow people with chronic pain to get back to work, run, and play sports," and says that worries patients may get hooked are a "myth.” More than a hundred people a day now die in the U.S. from that myth.

According to investigative reporter John Fauber, half the American Geriatrics Society panel’s experts who revised opioid guidelines in 2009 “had financial ties to opioid companies, as paid speakers, consultants or advisers.” What changes did the experts make to the guidelines? “That over-the-counter pain relievers, such as ibuprofen and naproxen, be used rarely and that doctors instead consider prescribing opioids for all patients with moderate to severe pain,” declared the American Geriatrics Society. The University of Wisconsin’s Pain & Policy Studies Group received $2.5 million from opioid makers, too as the group pushed for––any guesses?––looser opioid use guidelines writes Fauber.

Between 1996 and 2002, Purdue Pharma “funded more than 20,000 pain-related educational programs through direct sponsorship or financial grants and launched a multifaceted campaign to encourage long-term use of [opioid painkillers] for chronic non-cancer pain,“ reports Vox Media. Included in the monetary persuasion was financial support to the American Pain Society, the American Academy of Pain Medicine, the Federation of State Medical Boards, the Joint Commission, pain patient groups, and other organizations, writes Vox, which in turn “advocated for more aggressive identification and treatment of pain, especially use of [opioid painkillers].

Last year, the Los Angeles Times exposed a trove of emails, memos, meeting minutes and sales reports from Purdue Pharma admitting that it falsely marketing OxyContin as a 12-hour med when they knew it was an eight hour med leading the way to overdoses and addiction.

Pharma has got so many people on opioids, an ad for opioid-related constipation ran during the 2016 Super Bowl.

Addiction Medicine--Playing Both Sides of the Street

In the last decade "addiction medicine" has become a boom business with profit margins of over 20 percent. For example, Bain Capital paid $720 million for CRC Health in 2006 and sold it for $1.18 billion to Acadia Healthcare Company Inc. in 2014. Today Acadia boasts 576 behavioral healthcare facilities with approximately 17,300 beds in 39 states.

Unlike traditional "rehab" which de-emphasized prescription drugs and promoted abstinence, current rehab, whether private or taxpayer funded, is an unapologetic Pharma enterprise and profit center. Pharma has recast addiction as a psychiatric condition and unless expensive psychiatric drugs are prescribed, rehab will be not be reimbursed two psychiatrists working in the field have told me. This further raises health care costs and taxes.

Addiction medicine, is, unsurprisingly, enmeshed with Pharma. The American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) received $47,500 from Pfizer  between 2013 and 2016 according to Pfizer reports. It published a consensus statement in the December 2011 Journal of Addictive Medicine titled, "Statement of the American Society of Addiction Medicine Consensus Panel on the Use of Buprenorphine in Office-Based Treatment of Opioid Addiction," that was supported "by an unrestricted educational grant to ASAM from Reckitt-Benckiser Pharmaceutics Inc, manufacturer of Subutex and Suboxone." No conflicts there.

Board of directors at the American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry (AAAP) have financial links to Pharma including three who actually serve on drug makers’ speaker boards.

Like the new Pharma/NIH partnership, these Pharma-funded groups also receive our tax dollars. The program for AAAP’s 25th Annual Meeting thanks four government for their financial support: the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment, the Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration, the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism and the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

For opioid addiction, these groups push buprenorpine, marketed as Suboxone, selling for $560 at CVS and $553 at Target for a 30-day supply last year.

Not surprisingly, buprenorpine has its own Pharma marketing group. The National Alliance of Advocates for Buprenorphine Treatment (NAABT), which admits it has "received donations from pharmaceutical companies" says its mission is to "Educate the public about the disease of opioid addiction and the buprenorphine treatment option; help reduce the stigma and discrimination associated with patients with addiction disorders; and serve as a conduit connecting patients in need of treatment to buprenorphine treatment providers."

Intended to replace opioid/heroin addiction, Suboxone is notoriously difficult to quit and has its own abuse potential. Statistics "show sharp increases in buprenorphine seizures by law enforcement, in reports to poison centers, in emergency room visits for the nonmedical use of the drug and in pediatric hospitalizations for accidental ingestions," wrote the New York Times.

When Big Tobacco was busted for lying to consumers that its products were neither addictive or deadly, it was forced to pay $206 billion in the 1998 Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement. Provisions include paying states, in perpetuity, for some of the medical costs of people with smoking-related illnesses. When Big Pharma caused a similar scourge it paid nothing. Worse, it is now receiving millions to "fix" the crisis it started by selling even more drugs.

 

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The Evidence Says Legal Marijuana Reduces Opioid Deaths But Chris Christie Won't Believe It - Entrepreneur

Google - Cannabis - Wed, 11/22/2017 - 07:28

Entrepreneur

The Evidence Says Legal Marijuana Reduces Opioid Deaths But Chris Christie Won't Believe It
Entrepreneur
He's not for it. He made that clear once again this month. As chairman of a committee appointed by President Donald Trump to make recommendations on dealing with the nation's opioid crisis, Christie took the opportunity to again attack cannabis ...

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How to Pair Marijuana with Your Thanksgiving Meal - Lifehacker - Lifehacker

Google - Cannabis - Wed, 11/22/2017 - 06:13

Lifehacker

How to Pair Marijuana with Your Thanksgiving Meal - Lifehacker
Lifehacker
Thanksgiving is stressful. Whether you're preparing a huge Friendsgiving feast for your crew or headed to a family gathering, it's an easy holiday to get ...

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Marijuana Users Have More Sex - Forbes

Google - Cannabis - Wed, 11/22/2017 - 06:00

Forbes

Marijuana Users Have More Sex
Forbes
A Gallup poll found that, in only three years, the percentage of Americans saying they currently smoke marijuana almost doubled, from 7% in 2013 to 13% in 2016, and with increased legalization and social acceptance, this trend will only continue.

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CANADA: Liberals announce pot regulations -- consultation - The Kingston Whig-Standard

Bot - Cannabis - Wed, 11/22/2017 - 00:22
thewhig.com (Canada) Liberals announce pot regulations b consultation ! The Kingston Whig-Standard Liberals announce Canadian legalized marijuana regulations with public consultation Liberals announce Canadian legalized marijuan... (Wed Nov 22 02:22:54 2017 PST)
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CANADA: Kelowna asking court to shut down pot shops - Kelowna Capital News

Bot - Cannabis - Wed, 11/22/2017 - 00:21
kelownacapnews.com Kelowna asking court to shut down pot shops - Kelowna Capital News Kelowna asking court to shut down pot shops City seeking injunction to stop five marijuana dispensaries from operating The City of Kelowna is going to court to shut down five of the eight marijuana dispensaries operating in the city. (Wed Nov 22 02:21:49 2017 PST)
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CANADA: Terms of use - Kelowna Capital News

Bot - Cannabis - Wed, 11/22/2017 - 00:21
kelownacapnews.com Kelowna asking court to shut down pot shops City seeking injunction to stop five marijuana dispensaries from operating City seeki... (Wed Nov 22 02:21:49 2017 PST)
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CANADA: 5 minutes - Nouvelles legA(res et diverses - JDM

Bot - Cannabis - Wed, 11/22/2017 - 00:21
journaldemontreal.com QuC)bec a dC)posC) un projet de loi jeudi pour encadrer la consommation de cannabis et lb interdire aux jeunes de moins de 18 ans. Pas de pot pour les ados ... (Wed Nov 22 02:21:04 2017 PST)
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CANADA: Pot bill sponsor wants to shake up Senate schedule, but Tories push for status quo - The Hill Times - The Hill Times

Bot - Cannabis - Wed, 11/22/2017 - 00:19
hilltimes.com (US) Pot bill sponsor wants to shake up Senate schedule, but Tories push for status quo - The Hill Times Pot bill sponsor wants to shake up Senate schedule, but Tories push for status quo Tony Dean has proposed modelling the debate over cannabis legalization after the process used for the medical assistance in d... (Wed Nov 22 02:19:13 2017 PST)
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CANADA: Cannabis Act, finance minister's ethics controversy to be front-and-centre for last sitting stretch of 2017 - The Hill Times - The Hill Times

Bot - Cannabis - Wed, 11/22/2017 - 00:19
hilltimes.com (US) Cannabis Act, finance ministerb s ethics controversy to be front-and-centre for last sitting stretch of 2017 - The Hill Times Cannabis Act, finance ministerb s ethics controversy to be front-and-centre for last sitting stretch of 2017 Government House Leader Bardish Chagger said Bill C-45, the Cannabis A... (Wed Nov 22 02:19:13 2017 PST)
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OR: Portland Mayoral Candidate Ted Wheeler on Developing Fair Cannabis Industry Banking Policy - Salem-News.Com

Bot - Cannabis - Wed, 11/22/2017 - 00:18
salem-news.com (US) Portland Mayoral Candidate Ted Wheeler on Developing Fair Cannabis Industry Banking Policy - Salem-News.Com Portland Mayoral Candidate Ted Wheeler on Developing Fair Cannabis Industry Banking Policy - Salem-News.Com Cannabis News Portland Mayoral Candidate Ted Wheeler on Developing Fair Cannabis Industry Banking Policy Portland Mayoral Candidate Ted Wheeler on ... (Wed Nov 22 22:18:43 2017 PST)
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