Two Midwestern states are breaking into the recreational marijuana
market, and dispensaries are expecting huge crowds.
Legal weed sales began Sunday in Michigan, where a handful of
dispensaries in Ann Arbor planned to be open for business. The
landmark moment in the state's cannabis industry comes amid a
temporary ban on the sale of vaping devices in Michigan as health
officials investigate the causes of vaping-related lung illnesses nationwide.
In Illinois, where officials are grappling with a lack of racial
equity in the cannabis industry, sales are expected to begin New Year's Day.
The states are the 10th and 11th nationwide to allow recreational
Thirty-three states allow the sale of marijuana for medical use, which
Michigan legalized in 2008, followed by Illinois in 2013.
LONDON - Homeless drug users in Scotland will be allowed to inject
pharmaceutical-grade heroin twice a day under the supervision of
medical officials as part of a new program intended to reduce drug
deaths and H.I.V. infection.
From 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. seven days a week, a $1.5 million facility in
Glasgow that opened on Tuesday will allow a handful of drug users to
receive doses of the drug alongside other treatment for their physical
and psychological health, according to Glasgow City Council.
[continues 841 words]
LOS ANGELES - Every Sunday, about two dozen people gather at a green
cabin along the main drag of Big Bear, Calif., a small mountain town
known for its namesake lake. They go there for Jah Healing Church
services, where joints are passed around.
April Mancini, a founder of the church, said she was drawn to the idea
of cannabis as a religious sacrament back in 2013, after she met a
Rastafarian who was running the place as an unlicensed medicinal dispensary.
[continues 2224 words]
In an effort to discourage drug use and vaping, a Catholic high school in
Ohio has announced plans to begin testing its students for drugs and
nicotine, joining what education professionals are calling a growing trend.
Administrators at Stephen T. Badin High School in Hamilton, Ohio, said in
a letter to parents this week that the drug-testing program, which they
said had been shaped over the course of two years with help from the
Archdiocese of Cincinnati, would go into effect in January.
[continues 670 words]
QUJING, China-In China, marijuana is seen as a dangerous narcotic, and
possession is strictly punished. That hasn't stopped the country from
trying to become a powerhouse in the fast-growing industry for
China has grown hemp, a strain of cannabis, for thousands of years to use
in clothing and traditional medicine and is one of the world's largest
hemp producers. The country is using that foothold to churn out
cannabidiol, or CBD, a loosely regulated chemical related to marijuana
that is finding its way into products as diverse as bath bombs and pet food.
[continues 910 words]
LONDON - Cannabis-based medicines were approved on Monday for use by
the National Health Service in England and Wales, a milestone decision
that could change the lives of thousands of patients.
Three treatments using medicinal cannabis were authorized by the
National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, a public body that
provides guidance on health care practices. The decision comes a year
after Sajid Javid, then the British home secretary, said that some doctors
could legally prescribe the drug in special cases.
[continues 702 words]
Despite bipartisan calls to treat drug addiction as a public health
issue rather than as a crime - and despite the legalization of
marijuana in more states - arrests for drugs increased again last year.
According to estimated crime statistics released by the F.B.I. in
September, there were 1,654,282 arrests for drugs in 2018, a number
that has increased every year since 2015, after declining over the
previous decade. Meanwhile, arrests for violent crime and property
crime have continued to trend downward.
[continues 1130 words]
The Volstead Act prohibiting intoxicating beverages became law on
October 28, 1919-a century ago this week-and came into force a few
months later. Most people now agree that Prohibition was a failure,
driving the alcohol industry underground, where its products became
unsafe, its profits lucrative and tax-free, and its methods violent.
Most countries have since taken the view that it is better to
legalize, regulate and tax drink than to ban it.
Today, there is a similar debate over vaping, a popular new practice
prohibited or heavily restricted in many countries. Electronic
cigarettes, which use heating elements to vaporize liquids usually
containing nicotine, were invented in China in the early 2000s by Hon Lik,
a chemist looking for a way to satisfy his nicotine addiction without
dying of lung cancer as his father had. Nicotine itself is far less
harmful to smokers than the other chemicals created during combustion.
Heavyweight studies confirm that there are much lower levels of dangerous
chemicals in e-cigarette vapor than in smoke and fewer biomarkers of harm
in the bodies of vapers than smokers.
[continues 1175 words]
Last year, after the vote to legalize adult-use recreational marijuana in
Michigan was certified, people lined up outside provisioning centers with
the expectation that they would be allowed to buy some in those locations
- - only to find that a state medical certification was still required.
Nearly a year later, folks are still wondering when they'll be able to
walk into a store and buy some weed.
The conventional answer to that question is probably sometime early in
2020. That's based on the Marijuana Regulatory Agency's stated plan to
start taking applications from businesses that already have medical
marijuana business licenses this fall. MRA people have said that they will
process these applications with dispatch. And since these already
medically licensed businesses have already gone through the rigorous
licensing process, it should be quicker and easier than the first time around.
[continues 870 words]
The sports industry's embrace of cannabis products is continuing to
evolve as U.S.A. Triathlon has become the first national governing
body of an American sport to make a sponsorship deal with a company
that sells products containing cannabidiol, or CBD.
CBD is a nonintoxicating compound that, like the intoxicating compound
THC, is found in varying amounts in hemp, a legal cannabis plant. In 2018,
the World Anti-Doping Agency removed CBD from its list of banned
substances. THC and scores of other cannabinoids remain on the banned
list, but by removing CBD, WADA opened the door for elite athletes to use
and endorse CBD products.
[continues 927 words]
For the past three and a half months, marijuana has essentially been
decriminalized in Miami. After Florida legalized hemp July 1, the
Miami-Dade State Attorney's Office announced it would no longer
prosecute most minor marijuana charges because the substance is
virtually indistinguishable from hemp.
Nevertheless, the City of Miami Beach has passed a municipal ordinance to
discourage people from smoking weed in public. At a meeting last week,
city commissioners unanimously voted to outlaw public smoking of marijuana
[continues 294 words]
SACRAMENTO - Gov. Gavin Newsom led the campaign to legalize marijuana in
California three years ago but has since angered some in the industry by
refusing to allow pot in hospitals and outlawing its use on tour buses and
Newsom took the action on tour buses and hospitals as he signed
several other bills in the last few weeks that will ease pot
restrictions, including measures waiving taxes on cannabis provided
for free by charities to people with serious health problems and
allowing parents to provide medical marijuana products such as oils,
creams and pills to their sick children on K-12 school campuses.
[continues 918 words]
SAN FRANCISCO - For years, a divisive debate has raged in the United
States over the health consequences of nicotine e-cigarettes. During
the same time, vaping of a more contentious substance has been swiftly
growing, with scant notice from public health officials.
Millions of people now inhale marijuana not from joints or pipes
filled with burning leaves but through sleek devices and cartridges
filled with flavored cannabis oils. People in the legalized marijuana
industry say vaping products now account for 30 percent or more of their
business. Teenagers, millennials and baby boomers alike have been drawn to
the technology - no ash, a faint smell, easy to hide - and the potentially
dangerous consequences are only now becoming evident.
[continues 1921 words]
The medical marijuana program in Illinois is seeing record growth
since changes in the law greatly expanded the program and made it
easier for patients to participate.
More than 87,000 patients have qualified for the program since stores
opened in November 2015 - including a spike of almost 37,000 in the fiscal
year ending June 30, a 93% increase, according to state records. The surge
of new patients exceeds the number signed up in any previous fiscal year,
based on the latest annual report on medical cannabis by the Illinois
Department of Public Health.
[continues 976 words]
At 74, the venture capitalist George Sarlo might not have seemed an
obvious candidate for an ayahuasca experience. Mr. Sarlo, a Hungarian
Jewish immigrant who arrived in the United States in 1956, has had great
professional success as the co-founder of Walden Venture Capital. He lives
in an upscale San Francisco neighborhood, in a large house with an
unobstructed view of the Golden Gate Bridge.
And yet something was always lacking. Mr. Sarlo's father had
disappeared from their Budapest home in 1942. He had been drafted in a
forced labor battalion, an experience he did not survive. At age 4, George
had told himself that it was because he was "a bad boy" that his father
had left that day, early in the morning, without saying goodbye. He
believes that he never recovered from that early loss.
[continues 2009 words]
There's no getting around it: Year one of legalized cannabis in Canada was
It was an unmitigated disaster for many investors. The bubble burst, and
the shares of most large Canadian marijuana producers dropped by at least
50 per cent. The public markets are largely closed to the industry; at the
moment, there's simply no appetite for more pot stocks.
The Trudeau government's goal wasn't to make shareholders or investment
banks rich, though. It was to whittle down the black- market marijuana
business. Giving cannabis users a place to buy regulated marijuana would
generate new tax revenue, open up new business opportunities and reduce
the burden on police and the courts.
[continues 2267 words]
I'm sorry to say that Dr. Scott Gottlieb has it completely backward
("Pot Legalization Makes Vaping Deadly," op-ed, Oct. 11). The correct way
to fix the problem of poisonous THC vaping is to legalize and regulate it.
His article goes on and on citing the consequences of not doing so. I'm
sure he doesn't realize it, but he is simply underscoring the reasons why
some states have stepped forward to protect their citizens by bringing
marijuana into the legal and regulated arena.
When Juul Labs and Pax Labs split from one company into two in 2017,
they seemed destined to reach new heights.
Juul would conquer the e-cigarette industry. Pax would dominate the
marijuana vaping business.
Their fortunes, however, quickly diverged. Juul found itself under
fire for its alleged role in getting kids hooked on nicotine after
pitching itself as a safe alternative to cigarettes; Pax largely
escaped scrutiny as the burgeoning cannabis market made the company
irresistible to investors.
But that honeymoon period might be ending for Pax.
A shot glass emblazoned with a marijuana leaf is up for sale. Jackpot
prizes include pure hemp rolling paper. Nearby, groups of people enjoy
drinks and dinner while chatting about why weed should be decriminalized
and legalized in Georgia.
Thaddeus Willis, a Gwinnett County resident and Air Force veteran, has
heard about the push to lessen the penalty for possessing small
amounts of weed in Georgia.
"That's the first step," said Willis, enjoying chicken Parmesan and a soda
at the monthly meeting for Peachtree NORML, a pro-marijuana
advocacy group. Eventually, he said, "It needs to be made legal here."
There may be some hurdles, but there is legal standing for the murder
prosecution of a DeKalb County man who allegedly sold drugs to a
22-year-old who later fatally overdosed, local experts said.
The case against Antoin Thornton, 28, is believed to be the first of
its kind for DeKalb. Thornton allegedly sold heroin to Alexander
Whitehead, who was found dead at a Dunwoody apartment complex in
March. Police said the drugs, laced with the potent opioid fentanyl,
caused the overdose.
[continues 54 words]