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CN ON: Ontario Late On Warning Teens About Marijuana

MAP Drugnews - Top Stories - Tue, 11/21/2017 - 00:00
Toronto Star, 18 Nov 2017 - With legalization looming, doctors say province not ready to handle risks Ontario is slow to launch a public education campaign warning parents about the dangers of marijuana to children, which include the risk associated with second-hand pot smoke, the Pediatricians Alliance of Ontario warned Friday.
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CN SN: A Little Pot On The Prairies

MAP Drugnews - Top Stories - Tue, 11/21/2017 - 00:00
Moose Jaw Times-Herald, 18 Nov 2017 - Saskatchewan Government looking to privatize marijuana Saskatchewan's government is not interested in operating pot shops. Instead, they want to concentrate on regulating the product.
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CN AB: Column: Alberta Pot Rules Largely Workable

MAP Drugnews - Top Stories - Tue, 11/21/2017 - 00:00
The Calgary Sun, 18 Nov 2017 - The Alberta government's proposed rules for selling legal marijuana are a bit fuddy-duddy. For the most part, they're pretty good. Private retailers will handle in-person sales; unionized government workers will be in charge of online purchases. (Please allow six to eight weeks for delivery).
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Canada: Clearing The Air On Cannabis

MAP Drugnews - Top Stories - Tue, 11/21/2017 - 00:00
Winnipeg Free Press, 18 Nov 2017 - THE flurry of news articles on the upcoming legalization of cannabis is everywhere, and seems to be creating substantial fear among most employers. Much of this fear, of course, is about having to deal with the unknown. For instance, will recreational cannabis use increase among employees and how will this impact the workplace? What about medical marijuana? Are employers ready for this new challenge? Will current policies stand the test against cannabis?
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CN AB: Editorial: Govern Your Own Pot Behaviour

MAP Drugnews - Top Stories - Tue, 11/21/2017 - 00:00
The Calgary Sun, 17 Nov 2017 - Be smart. Not stupid. As we travel down the road to pot legalization in Canada, provincial governments across the country are scrambling to update a number of laws, including impaired driving rules.
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CN AB: Column: Uptight Not All Right

MAP Drugnews - Top Stories - Tue, 11/21/2017 - 00:00
Edmonton Sun, 17 Nov 2017 - Pot rules largely workable but ban on weed sales at liquor stores makes no sense The Alberta government's proposed rules for selling legal marijuana are a bit fuddy-duddy. For the most part, they're pretty good. Private retailers will handle in-person sales; unionized government workers will be in charge of online purchases. (Please allow 6 to 8 weeks for delivery).
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CN AB: Retailers Can't Sell Cannabis And Chips

MAP Drugnews - Top Stories - Tue, 11/21/2017 - 00:00
Fort McMurray Today, 17 Nov 2017 - Private retailers who want to sell legal marijuana in Alberta come July 1 won't be able to do so alongside alcohol, or even a bag of chips. Under proposed rules introduced by the provincial government Thursday, retailers will be restricted to sales of cannabis and cannabis-related goods.
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CN ON: Pot Dispensary Employee Gets $10 Fine

MAP Drugnews - Top Stories - Tue, 11/21/2017 - 00:00
The Record, 17 Nov 2017 - KITCHENER - A judge who granted an absolute discharge to a Kitchener couple running an illegal marijuana dispensary has handed out a tiny fine to one of them for careless storage of a loaded handgun. Nour Louka, 30, owned and operated the Waterloo Dispensary, which sold marijuana out of a second-floor business on King Street in uptown Waterloo. Her husband, Shady Louka, 32, was a part-time, temporary employee.
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Beaconsfield resident asking council to prohibit local marijuana shops - Montreal Gazette

Google - Cannabis - Mon, 11/20/2017 - 17:25

Montreal Gazette

Beaconsfield resident asking council to prohibit local marijuana shops
Montreal Gazette
This file photo taken on Dec. 15, 2016 shows Marc Emery, Canada's self-proclaimed "Prince of Pot," and founder of the Cannabis Culture dispensary chain, in his illegal recreational cannabis storefront in downtown Montreal. JULIEN BESSET / AFP/Getty ...

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Cannabis firm with Alberta holdings plans IPO with big warnings for investors - Calgary Herald

Google - Cannabis - Mon, 11/20/2017 - 16:49

Calgary Herald

Cannabis firm with Alberta holdings plans IPO with big warnings for investors
Calgary Herald
A Vancouver cannabis firm with holdings in Alberta and a greenhouse under construction in California expects to debut its shares on a Canadian stock exchange in the coming weeks — with big warnings to investors. Sunniva Inc. will be the first pot ...

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Cannabis sales price, tax bite remain unknown - Whitehorse Star

Google - Cannabis - Mon, 11/20/2017 - 14:59

Whitehorse Star

Cannabis sales price, tax bite remain unknown
Whitehorse Star
The Yukon government released the territory's cannabis legalization framework today, with many elements that reflect the government's self-professed “cautious approach” toward legalized marijuana. The framework outlines a proposed legal age, ...

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Michigan Vote on Cannabis Legalization Is Likely in 2018 - Leafly

Google - Cannabis - Mon, 11/20/2017 - 13:49

Leafly

Michigan Vote on Cannabis Legalization Is Likely in 2018
Leafly
LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Organizers of a ballot drive to legalize the use of marijuana for recreational purposes in Michigan submitted 365,000 signatures to the state Monday, which appears to be more than enough to qualify the initiative for a statewide ...
Marijuana industry high on prospect of Michigan's cannabis marketDetroit Free Press
Marijuana legalization one step closer to getting on the ballot in MichiganMLive.com
More than 360000 people sign petitions to legalize marijuana in MichiganWDIV ClickOnDetroit
Detroit Metro Times -The Detroit News -UpperMichigansSource.com
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How One Painting Class Is Bringing Art, Cannabis, and People Together - Leafly

Google - Cannabis - Mon, 11/20/2017 - 13:41

Leafly

How One Painting Class Is Bringing Art, Cannabis, and People Together
Leafly
This is Puff, Pass & Paint, a series of classes designed to awaken the artist in everyone with a little help from cannabis. After Colorado fully legalized cannabis in 2012, Heidi Keyes saw a golden opportunity to combine her two greatest passions ...

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87% of Canadian cannabis producers say industry consolidation inevitable: Survey - BNN

Google - Cannabis - Mon, 11/20/2017 - 13:16

BNN

87% of Canadian cannabis producers say industry consolidation inevitable: Survey
BNN
Speculation that a wave of consolidation is coming to Canada's marijuana industry, in which larger players buy smaller ones to build scale, was sparked last Wednesday when Saskatoon-based CanniMed Therapeutics Inc. (CMED.TO) said it needed time to ...
Consolidation fever intensifies in Canada's cannabis sectorFinancial Post

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Massachusetts Towns Reject Cannabis Bans, Bucking Early Trend - Leafly

Google - Cannabis - Mon, 11/20/2017 - 12:16

Leafly

Massachusetts Towns Reject Cannabis Bans, Bucking Early Trend
Leafly
Recent votes in several cities and towns against prohibitions on retail marijuana shops have cheered advocates for the nascent cannabis industry who say it could signal that communities around the state are slowly concluding that potential benefits ...
Where will you be able to buy cannabis in Massachusetts when sales start?The Cannabist

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Cannabis Ice Cream Is Here to Mellow Out the Family During Thanksgiving

Alternet - Mon, 11/20/2017 - 11:30
More powerful than pumpkin pie.

As the holidays approach, it’s time to start thinking about what you’ll be bringing to the party — whatever party that is. We have the perfect suggestion: cannabis ice cream. It’s a treat the whole family can enjoy, whether they know it or not.

Introducing Drip, a THC-infused ice cream from Portland. The company launched three years ago, before marijuana was even legal in Oregon and now the nation is taking notice.

Mother-daughter team Andi and Kathy Bixel have the honor of masterminding the city’s first canna-ice cream. Mom Kathy makes the ice cream and founder Andi runs the company. Currently, two flavors are on the board: Salted Caramel and Cookies & Cream.

Andi Bixel tells Westwood that she operates with the mantra “It’s good to feel good” and that when she started the company, it was strictly medical and a fun passion project.

As to how she keeps up with legislation:

I have to be super involved with the politics and what’s going on. There are so many nuances in the ways the rules were written, I’ve learned that whatever is the harshest way you could interpret the law is the way you need to follow it.

For Andi, Drip is all about experiences, getting people to a place of imagination, creativity and intuition. That’s why she’s in the cannabis business.

Cannabis serves as a tool to get us to these places a bit faster. It opens up a space in our mind where we can shift our perception and play with the concept of reality.

She says Drip is just one way of allowing people to push their boundaries and “new levels of conversation” with other people.

Other business owners often focus on physical and medicinal values only…and I’m like, “What about our SOULS?” There’s some serious soul-work that needs to happen in this time for humanity.

Currently, Drip is on the shelves of more than a dozen retailers throughout Oregon.

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The Biggest Legal Pot Economy in the World Starts January 1—What Will It Look Like?

Alternet - Mon, 11/20/2017 - 11:25
Click here for reuse options! California kicks off a whole new era in the history of cannabis consumption.

When California initiates legal marijuana commerce on January 1, it will be the world's largest legal pot economy. Now, just weeks away, we're finally seeing the rules that are going to govern the transition from a black and gray market to a legal, taxed and regulated market. (Never mind for now that huge swaths of the state's marijuana industry are going to remain in the black market because their crops are destined for states where pot remains illegal; this is about the legal market in California.)

“I feel a big sigh of relief. It’s a big milestone for us to release these regulations,” said Lori Ajax, chief of the state’s Bureau of Cannabis Control. “But there’s still a lot of work to be done. No rest for the weary.”

State officials unveiled the regulations—276 pages of them—on Thursday. They will govern licensing for state-legal marijuana businesses, as well as a huge range of regulatory issues, from edibles, deliveries and store hours to locations and the size of marijuana farms.

The regulations are temporary and will be subject to modification as the state eases into the new legal marijuana regimen, but this is where the new era begins. 

Here are the links to the regs:

And here are some of the highlights:

  • Sales will begin January 1, but—and this is a big but—only in localities where local officials have created local permitting processes. The state will license businesses only when they have local permits, so cities and counties that have dilly-dallied, like San Francisco, will not be ready to start sales on day 1. And some localities have decided not to allow marijuana businesses at all, so access to pot shops is going to be patchy.
  • Marijuana retailers will be allowed to operate between 6am and 10pm, but will have to be at least 600 feet away from schools and daycare centers. And they will need to have 24-hour video surveillance.
  • Free samples only for medical marijuana patients or their caregivers.
  • No marijuana sales at strip clubs. Sorry.
  • Licensing fees are spelled out, and they range from $800 a year for a marijuana delivery service up to $120,000 a year for businesses doing multiple activities that make more than $4.5 million a year. For growers, license fees will range from as low as $1,200 to as much as $80,000, depending on the size of the grow.
  • There are no limitations on the size of marijuana farms. The Agriculture Department had proposed a one-acre cap, but dropped it before issuing its regulations. Also dropped was a cap on how many small farms and nurseries individuals can own. This likely means the emergence of large-scale pot farming operations and increased pressure on the ma-and-pa producers who created the state's pot industry in the first place.
  • Marijuana delivery services will be allowed, but will be limited to motorized vehicles driven by humans. No bicycles, boats or drones will be allowed, and neither will self-driving vehicles.
  • Edibles will be limited to serving sizes that contain no more than 10 milligrams of THC and no edible can contain more than 10 servings, or a maximum of 100 milligrams of THC. The term "candy" cannot be used in any branding, and product labels that portray cartoons or otherwise target kids will not be allowed. And edibles can't be made in the shape of a human being, animal, insect, or fruit.
  • While edibles are allowed, marijuana-infused alcohol, nicotine, caffeine, or seafood (!) is not. No pot lobster for you.
  • Advertising is going to be very restricted. The regulations limit advertising to outlets where at least 71.6% (?) of the audience is "reasonably expected to be 21 years of age or older." Good luck with that.
  • Marijuana-themed events at public facilities, such as fairgrounds, are allowed, but only with a special license.
  • All products must be tested, but the regulations will allow the sale of untested products through July 1—if the product is labeled as such or if it is put in child-resistant packaging.
  • Prices are going to go up. A bag of good quality bud that currently goes for $35 is likely to cost $50 or $60 when recreational sales and other taxes kick in.
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What To Do About Kratom?

Alternet - Mon, 11/20/2017 - 11:15
The plant is unregulated in the United States. How should we treat it?

Given the opioid addiction crisis, it would seem preposterous that an opioid is legal for use in the United States and can be purchased at tea stores, convenience stores, over the internet and, yes, even from vending machines.

However, kratom is not your average opioid. The Drug Enforcement Agency found this out when it tried to ban the herb in 2016.

Public outcry from users and 51 congressmen around the country from both political parties was loud. The DEA has since dropped its attempt to ban kratom, although its use is banned in Alabama, Arkansas, Indiana, Tennessee, Vermont, Wisconsin and Louisiana.

More recently, on Nov. 14, 2017, the FDA issued a public warning about kratom, citing 36 deaths that the agency has attributed to kratom use.

Kratom lies at the intersection between natural product and drug of abuse, areas I have been been exploring as a clinical pharmacology researcher and a pharmacist for two decades. From ephedra for weight loss to MDMA (molly) for PTSD, experience has taught me that natural products are not always safe and that banned drugs may actually benefit some patients.

A popular plant

Thousands of people take kratom, which grows naturally in Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia and Papua New Guinea, to relieve pain, believing a natural herb to be safe. However, we just do not know enough about the herb to deem it safe, or effective.

We do know that kratom has very mild pain-relieving effects and a slight stimulant effect. It brings a low risk of stopping breathing, the main risk of stronger opioids.

The opioid effects from kratom come from two potent chemicals, mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine in kratom’s leaf. Mitragynine is the more prominent and has very mild opioid effects, while 7-hydroxymitragynine is 13 times more potent than morphine milligram for milligram.

But just because kratom is not as dangerous as heroin and fentanyl does not mean it is free of adverse effects. In fact, they are all highly addictive.

In an assessment of the 660 calls about kratom to United States poison control centers from 2010-2015, the major adverse effects included racing heartbeat, agitation or irritability, drowsiness, nausea and high blood pressure. The adverse effects were moderate or severe in 42 percent and 7 percent of people, respectively.

In addition, unlike prescription drugs, the quantities of the active ingredients in unregulated kratom products can change over time or can be adulterated with other products. In an assessment of several kratom products commercially sold in the Western world, the concentrations of 7-hydroxymitragynine were substantially higher than could be achieved naturally, which negates the safety benefits of using kratom versus other opioids.

Help for hard workers?

Kratom has been used widely in Southeast Asia for millennia, but it was banned in Thailand in 1943. Fans of the herb said the ban was due to politics, not health.

The ban hardly stopped its usage there. According to the 2008 national survey in Thailand, more than a million people reported using kratom. In several southern districts in Thailand, up to 70 percent of the male population reportedly uses kratom daily.

In Malaysia, the majority of people reported use of kratom to enhance their ability to work long hours with less pain and fatigue, but 31 percent began out of curiosity or peer pressure. Fifteen percent reported using kratom to wean off illicit drugs and alcohol. Eighty-nine percent of subjects tried to abstain from kratom in the past but all had relapsed due to withdrawal symptoms, such as insomnia, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, muscle pains and shakiness, runny eyes and nose, anxiousness, depression and tension.

In the U.S., kratom’s safety profile – at least compared to other opioids – led people as far back as 1836 to recommend kratom as a substitute for people who became addicted to opioids. This belief was the main reason for the outcry against the proposed DEA ban in 2016. Despite the internet hype and extensive anecdotal experience, I do not think there any high-quality studies assessing how well it actually works and the best ways to use it.

Keeping quiet

A small study in Malaysia of 136 kratom users in 2010 suggested that kratom was effective at reducing the use of opioids. But, of the 78 percent of the respondents who subsequently tried to quit using kratom, none was successful.

We already have drugs that can be used for opioid addiction, including suboxone and methadone, which have been rigorously studied but also are addictive. It is reasonable to ask: Why would someone use kratom to help treat addiction?

Kratom offers something that other drugs to treat addiction do not – the ability to treat oneself in anonymity and to receive treatment without involving the health care system or law enforcement.

We need more information. Having the DEA ban a product makes the scientific inquiry into that product extremely difficult. This has impaired researchers’ ability to sensibly investigate the medicinal properties of marijuana, to the detriment of patients, I believe.

What is the bottom line?

Kratom is a promising option as an effective and safe substitute for people addicted to prescription opioids, which needs to be explored.

At the same time, kratom has high addiction potential and is risky when combined with other psychiatric drugs or drugs of abuse. Having kratom available to purchase in nearly unlimited quantities in venues that do not restrict purchase by age is a very bad idea.

A middle ground between this Wild West policy and a ban on kratom is to establish it as a third class of drugs. In 2006, Congress passed a law moving decongestants(pseudoephedrine, ephedrine and phenylpropanolamine) from over-the-counter to behind-the-pharmacy-counter status.

That law limits the monthly amount of the decongestants any individual could purchase. It also limits the sale to adults with photo identification and requires retailers to keep personal information about these customers for at least two years after purchase. Congress could pass a similar law for kratom and even place further restrictions, such as requiring kratom products to contain a standardized amount of the active constituents and that patients provide a medication history to the pharmacist, who can check for harmful drug-drug interactions and counsel patients on safer ways to use the drug.

As with decongestants, this can be done efficiently and discreetly, because there are over 275 million patient visits to places that have pharmacies in them in the United States each week.

 

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Don't Blame Wildfires for Rising California Cannabis Prices - Leafly

Google - Cannabis - Mon, 11/20/2017 - 10:39

Leafly

Don't Blame Wildfires for Rising California Cannabis Prices
Leafly
And while whatever impact the fires had on the statewide marijuana market has already been absorbed, farmers and analysts say, small and medium cannabis cultivators are still at serious risk of being driven out of business. The real knockout blows to ...
Canada cannabis stocks come off high as challenges loom before legalizationBNN
Top GOP Senator's Bill Lets DC Legalize Marijuana SalesMarijuana Moment
Countdown to California recreational cannabis: Where, when, how it will workThe Cannabist
KUSI -Long Beach Press Telegram
all 40 news articles »
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America Only Started Caring About the Opioid Epidemic When It Hit Suburbia

Alternet - Mon, 11/20/2017 - 08:10
Only when the victims are white does our government pay attention.

President Trump recently declared the opioid epidemic a public emergency.

But drug abuse has been a public emergency in inner cities like Los Angeles, Detroit, and New York for decades.

The crisis was just under another name—crack cocaine.

For 35 years, crack-cocaine has been the center of attention in my family and my community.  Since I can remember, I have seen crack cocaine chopped, smoked, and sold. I have seen my family rob elderly people to get a fix. I have seen a person get pushed out of a window, sixteen stories high, in downtown Los Angeles, because she owed money to her dealer. The final moments before death are harsh—that woman was scrambling for breaths. I’ll never forget the rise and fall of her chest.  

We were living in the Frontier Hotel on Skid Row, where drug abuse was rampant. I was on my way to elementary school when I witnessed this woman fall to her demise. This is common practice, a dealer killing an addict who owes money. Many people fell, but I survived because I saw the ramifications of drug abuse—death.  

My relatives have abused crack cocaine, have been killed for crack cocaine, and have been incarcerated for crack cocaine, and nobody signed a bill nor ignited a sense of urgency due to a crack-cocaine epidemic.

Instead, people in my community were called predators and criminals. There was no leniency. Some of these people are still rotting in prison because they had an addiction.

And now we’re are suggesting treatment because this epidemic has reached suburbia.  

In the 1980’s and 1990’s, the judicial system imposed minimum mandatory federal prison sentences—a predetermined term for certain crimes. Possession and distribution of crack-cocaine was one of these crimes. The Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1986, more popularly known as the War of Drugs, made drug abuse less rehabilitative but punitive.

This led to mass incarceration across the nation, predominantly in the black community. According to the American Civil Liberties Union, prison incarceration increased by 800 percent due to this excessive sentencing.  It wasn’t until a few years ago that the Fair Sentencing Act of 2010, eliminated the five-year mandatory minimum sentences for simple possession of crack cocaine.

Yes, drugs like crack cocaine are illegally distributed through street pharmacists, and drugs like oxycodone are legally prescribed from doctors. But both substances are an opioid and millions of people in the U. S. are addicted.

So why does one merit the reference public emergency epidemic and the other merit the reference as criminalized behavior?  Let’s stop polarizing addiction based off of one’s skin color, ethnic background, and/or economic status.

Again, like the 1980’s, we are classifying opioids according to which group of people are likely to abuse the substance. In the 1980’s, blacks were most likely to abuse crack cocaine and whites were most likely to abuse powdered cocaine. Because of the War on Drugs, people of color were more likely to be penalized for their addiction.

We see the same thing happening today in differentiating the name and the method of use. It’s all opioid abuse, and somebody is guilty of selling drugs.

When are these doctors going to go to prison for prescribing opioids to long term addicts?

They are no different than the street peddler because everybody is making money off these drugs. It’s all dirty money, just in different redlined zip codes.  

Let’s begin to reconsider some of the people still serving lengthy prison sentences over opioid addiction and distribution, and give them some treatment.

 

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