#NORML #News
Source: @norml @WeedConnection
Posted By: norml@weedconnection.com
media :: news
- Tue, 15 Jul 2014 04:20:21 PST

Washington: State-Licensed Retail Cannabis Sales Begin

Olympia, WA: Washington's first state-licensed retail cannabis operators opened for business on Tuesday.

The state's Liquor Control Board issued 24 marijuana retailer licenses late last week. (Under state regulations, the Board may issue up to 334 licenses to retail facilities.) Of those, six opened for business on Tuesday - the first day legal sales were permissible - according to the Associated Press.

Retail sale prices for a gram of cannabis ranged from $10 to $20 per gram on opening day, according to news reports. Prices are expected to fall once additional retailers are up and running and once existing retailers obtain additional supplies of the product.

Similar state-licensed stores have been operating in Colorado since January 1.

Voters in both states in 2012 approved ballot measures regulating the commercial production, retail sale, and adult use of cannabis.

Voters in Alaska and Oregon will vote on similar measures this November.

Said NORML Communications Director Erik Altieri: "Every day in America, hundreds of thousands of people engage in transactions involving the recreational use of marijuana, but only in two states - Colorado and Washington - do these transactions take place in a safe, above-ground, state-licensed facility where consumers must show proof of age, the product sold is of known quality, and the sales are taxed in a manner to help fund necessary state and local services."

Washington, DC: Marijuana Initiative Backers Turn In 57,000 Signatures For Proposed 2014 District Ballot Measure

Washington, DC: Proponents of a District initiative to permit the possession and cultivation of limited amounts of marijuana by those age 21 or older have turned in 57,000 signatures to the DC Board of Elections. The number is more the twice the total of signatures from registered voters necessary to place the measure on the 2014 electoral ballot.

District of Columbia election officials will meet in mid-August to certify the measure for the ballot.

The proposed ballot initiative (Initiative Measure 71) seeks to remove all criminal and civil penalties in regard to the adult possession of up to two ounces of cannabis and/or the cultivation of up to six plants (no more than three mature).

Nearly two out of three District residents favor legalizing the possession and use of marijuana by adults, according to a January 2014 Washington Post poll.

Even if approved by District voters this fall, members of the DC City Council still possess the authority to amend the measure. Members of Congress could also potentially halt the law's implementation. Federal lawmakers possess oversight regarding the implementation of all District laws.

This spring, DC city council members approved legislation reducing minor marijuana possession offenses to a $25 civil fine. That ordinance is expected to take effect later this month. However, federal legislation seeking to undermine this measure is presently pending in the US House of Representatives.

Study: Synthetic Cannabinoid "Safe And Effective" Treatment For Post-Traumatic Stress

Ontario, Canada: The administration of nabilone, a synthetic cannabinoid, safely mitigates symptoms of post-traumatic stress (PTS) syndrome, according to clinical data published online ahead of print in the Journal of Psychopharmacology.

Investigators at the University of Ottawa, Department of Psychiatry assessed the safety and efficacy of nabilone, an FDA-approved selective CB1 agonist, as an adjunct treatment in 104 subjects with mental health issues residing in a correctional facility.

Researchers reported that naboline administration was associated with significant improvement in post-traumatic stress symptoms, including nightmares and insomnia, as well as subjective improvement in chronic pain. Nabilone treatment was also associated with a reduction in subjects' use of other prescribed medication, particularly the use of anti-psychotic and sedative agents.

Investigators concluded, "This study supports the promise of nabilone as a safe, effective treatment for concurrent disorders in seriously mentally ill correctional populations."

Clinical trial data published last month in the journal Clinical Drug Investigation similarly concluded that the administration of an absorbable preparation of THC "caused a statistically significant improvement in global symptom severity, sleep quality, frequency of nightmares" in patients suffering from chronic post-traumatic stress.

In 2013, researchers at the New York University School of Medicine published findings indicating that PTS subjects experience a decrease in their natural production of anandamide, an endogenous cannabinoid neurotransmitter. They hypothesized that an increase in the body's production of cannabinoids would likely restore subjects' natural brain chemistry and psychological balance. "[Our] findings substantiate, at least in part, emerging evidence that ... plant-derived cannabinoids such as marijuana may possess some benefits in individuals with PTSD by helping relieve haunting nightmares and other symptoms of PTSD," they concluded.

Full text of the study, "Use of a synthetic cannabinoid in a correctional population for post-traumatic stress disorder-related insomnia and nightmares, chronic pain, harm reduction, and other indications," appears in the Journal of Psychopharmacology.

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