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Source: @norml @WeedConnection
Posted By: norml@weedconnection.com
media :: news
- Tue, 06 Jun 2016 04:20:21 PST

North Dakota: Advocates Turn In Signatures For 2018 Adult Use Initiative

Bismarck, ND: Proponents of a statewide ballot initiative to legalize the adult use of marijuana in North Dakota on Monday turned in nearly 19,000 signatures to the Secretary of State's office in an effort to place the measure before voters this November. State officials must certify 13,452 of those signatures in order to qualify the measure for the 2018 electoral ballot.

The voter-initiated measure, organized by the grass-roots group Legalize North Dakota, legalizes the possession, use, and sale of cannabis, as well as the possession of marijuana paraphernalia, by those over the age of 21 and also expunges past marijuana convictions.

In 2016, nearly two-thirds of state voters approved a ballot measure regulating medical cannabis access. However, state officials have yet to make the program operational - with regulators now aiming to have licensed dispensaries up and running by June 2019. Activists have acknowledged that regulators' failure to swiftly implement the 2016 measure was the impetus for the 2018 campaign.

State officials are expected to either verify or reject proponents' signatures within 30 days. According to internal polling data commissioned by the Legalize North Dakota campaign, a plurality of voters back the measure.

Voters in Michigan will also be deciding this November on whether to legalize the adult use of marijuana, while voters in Utah and Missouri will be deciding on medical access measures.

Study: CBD-Infused Products Often Mislabeled

Brescia, Italy: CBD-based oil preparations sold commercially in Europe are often mislabeled with regard to their potency and ingredients, according to findings published in the journal Molecules.

A team of Italian researchers analyzed the content of 14 commercially available CBD oils. They reported that nearly two-thirds (64 percent) of the products contained CBD concentrations that differed significantly from the declared amount. Typically, these products over-reported the percentage of CBD that was available in the product. Moreover, 12 of the 14 products evaluated (86 percent) contained identifiable quantities of THC despite being advertised as THC-free.

"Taken together, the results presented in this study indicate the pronounced variability of CBD concentrations in commercialized CBD oil preparations," authors concluded. "The differences found in the overall cannabinoid profiles accompanied with discrepancies revealed for the terpenes fingerprint justify the necessity to provide firmer regulation and control."

Unlike in the United States, where CBD is generally considered by regulatory authorities to be a schedule I controlled substance, the compound is unregulated in the European Union.

The study's findings are consistent with those previously reported by a team of US researchers following the analytical testing of 84 different online retail CBD products. That study determined that only 30 percent of the products contained percentages of CBD that were within ten percent of the amount advertised on the label.

Full text of the study, "Quality traits of 'cannabidiol oils': Cannabinoids content, terpenes fingerprint and oxidation stability of European commercially available preparations," appears in Molecules.

More Seniors Are Using Cannabis

Gainesville, FL: Older Americans are using cannabis more frequently than ever before, according to a review of demographic data published in the journal Gerontology and Geriatric Medicine.

A pair of investigators at the University of Florida reviewed 18 peer-reviewed studies published between the years 2000 and 2017 evaluating marijuana use patterns among those ages 50 and older. They reported that past-year prevalence of marijuana use among seniors increased over 70 percent between 2006 and 2013, and that "a larger proportion of adults in the older adult population used marijuana medicinally in contrast to recreational use."

They concluded: "The greatest increase in marijuana use was observed among those in the older adult population 50 years or older, and those 65 years or older had the greatest increase in marijuana use among all older users. ... Common correlates of marijuana use among those in the older adult population included factors such as being male, being unmarried, having multiple chronic diseases, and having psychological stress."

Full text of the study, "Marijuana use among adults 50 years or older in the 21st century," appears in Gerontology and Geriatric Medicine.

Maine: Lawmakers Overturn Governor's Veto, Expand Medical Marijuana Access

Augusta, ME: Legislation significantly expanding patients' access to medical cannabis will become law this fall after lawmakers on Monday decided to override a gubernatorial veto.

Members of the House and Senate voted overwhelmingly to reject Republican Gov. Paul LePage's veto of LD 1539. The bill will become law 90 days after the conclusion of the 2018 special legislative session.

Under the new law, physicians will possess the discretion to recommend cannabis for any patient for whom they believe it will benefit. It also expands the total number of licensed medical dispensaries from eight to 14, earmarks funding for medical marijuana research, permits caregivers to oversee multiple patients, and licenses marijuana extraction facilities, among other changes.

An estimated 42,000 patients are currently certified with the state to use medical marijuana.

Governor LePage has a long history of opposing virtually all marijuana law reform legislation, and has previously vetoed numerous bills seeking to liberalize the state's cannabis policies.

Oklahoma: Health Regulators Approve Emergency Amendments To Voter-Initiated Medical Cannabis Law

Oklahoma City, OK: State health regulators voted 5 to 4 this week in favor of emergency regulations significantly amending State Question 788 - the state's voter-approved medical cannabis access law.

Regulatory changes include: prohibiting the sale of herbal cannabis at licensed dispensaries; requiring dispensaries to have a licensed pharmacist on staff; imposing THC potency thresholds on various cannabis-infused products; and mandating that dispensary managers obtain at least four hours of continuing education training each calendar year. The Oklahoma State Medical Association, which opposed the passage of SQ 788, lobbied for many of the amendments. Republican Gov. Mary Fallin, who also campaigned against SQ 788, signed the regulations into law on Wednesday.

Qualified patients will still be permitted to grow their own medical marijuana flowers.

Proponents of SQ 788 opine that many of the changes violate the spirit of law, and they indicate that they will likely pursue legal actions. Activists are also in the process of gathering signatures to place a broader, adult use legalization measure on the 2018 ballot.

NORML has long argued that patients should not be limited solely to non-inhalable forms of cannabis because these alternative formulations possess delayed onset and their effects are far less predictable than those of herbal cannabis.

Michigan: Regulators Expand Pool Of Eligible Medical Marijuana Patients

Lansing, MI: State regulators took action on Tuesday to expand the pool of patients eligible to receive medical cannabis.

Officials expanded the pool of qualifying conditions under the state's medical access law to include those patients diagnosed with: arthritis, autism, chronic pain, colitis, inflammatory bowel disease, obsessive compulsive disorder, Parkinson's disease, rheumatoid arthritis, spinal cord injury, Tourette's syndrome, and ulcerative colitis. The changes took immediate effect.

Regulators considered and rejected several other additional conditions, including asthma, diabetes, schizophrenia, and social anxiety disorder.

Pennsylvania: Governor Signs Legislation Facilitating Medical Marijuana Research

Harrisburg, PA: Democrat Gov. Tom Wolf has signed legislation into law to facilitate state-sponsored medical cannabis research.

The amended law, House Bill 2477, states: "It is the intention of the General Assembly to create a mechanism whereby this Commonwealth's medical schools and hospitals may provide advice to grower/processors and dispensaries in the areas of patient health and safety, medical applications and dispensing and management of controlled substances, among other areas. It is the further intention of the General Assembly to create a mechanism whereby the Commonwealth may encourage research associated with medical marijuana."

A limited number of states, including California and Colorado, have previously established state-sponsored clinical research programs to assess the safety and efficacy of cannabis in various patient populations.

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