March 2020: Recent Cannabis News

recent cannabis news as of march 2020

The source for cannabis and CBD business owner education is CannaCon. Below, find recent cannabis news as of March 2020.

NFL Proposes to End Marijuana Suspensions

On February 20th, under a proposed collective bargaining agreement approved by team owners and circulated to players, National Football League players would no longer face the possibility of being suspended from games for simply testing positive for marijuana. The potential new policy would also reduce the number of players subject to testing for cannabis and narrow the window in which tests can be administered to just two weeks at the start of training camp. It is currently four months.

Additionally, the document contains a requested increase in the threshold for positive THC metabolite tests from 35 to 150 nanograms. In December 2019, Major League Baseball announced removal of marijuana from its list of banned substances.

Staking on Chocolate and Canada

Organigram is a cannabis operator who aims to focus on high-quality production at low costs via a vape product with a 510 cartridge, a dried powder formulation consumers can add to beverages, and premium chocolate products called Edison Bytes, a $15 million production line investment. In late February 2020, Organigram sent its first shipments of Edison vape pens to Canadian jurisdictions. These inhalation-activated pens include iconic aroma profiles such as Rio Bravo, with terpinolene, caryophyllene, myrcene and pinene terpenes, Lola Montes, with limonene, caryophyllene, myrcene and linalool terpenes, and La Strada, with myrcene, alpha and beta pinene, caryophyllene, and humulene terpenes.

Legalization Hearing in Connecticut Focuses on Social Equity

March 2nd saw the Connecticut Judiciary Committee holding a public hearing on Senate Bill 16, which legalizes adult use and regulates sale of cannabis, as well as includes important social equity and criminal justice reform provisions. Under the bill, a nine-member Equity Commission would be created to “encourage” business participation in the cannabis industry by persons from communities unreasonably harmed by the prohibition of cannabis and enforcement of related laws.

Criminal justice reform organizations including the Connecticut Defense Lawyers Association and the Last Prisoner Project also testified in support of the bill, which includes mechanisms for the automatic removal of past cannabis offenses. The governor’s top criminal justice aide, Mark Pelka, noted Connecticut has identified 558 collateral consequences to having a criminal record; a criminal conviction remains on record for 110 years after date of birth. Further, Senate Bill 16 includes policy proposals to ensure individuals with cannabis offenses on their records can participate in the legal industry.

Sale of Medical Cannabis Begins in Utah

Utah’s first medical marijuana dispensary, Dragonfly Wellness in Salt Lake City, opened Monday, March 2ndin accordance with a gradual rollout of its medical cannabis program. Fourteen dispensaries are expected to open in 2020, as noted by Director of the Utah Center for Medical Cannabis, Rich Oborn. State officials will issue additional licenses if market demand warrants, however, initial demand is expected to be limited, as few health professionals are participating in the program. According to Oborn, 60 physicians are approved to recommend the use of medical marijuana for qualifying conditions. Smokable medical marijuana products and MMJ edibles are prohibited, but vaping is legal. Additionally, unprocessed flower is required to be sold in blister packs.

Preclinical Study Links Human Gene Variant to THC reward in Adolescent Females

A study released on February 12thfrom Weill Cornell Medicine has identified a common variation in a human gene which affects the brain’s reward processing circuit. According to preclinical research, this increases vulnerability to the rewarding effects of the main psychoactive ingredient of cannabis in adolescent females, but not males. As adolescence represents a highly sensitive period of brain development with the highest risk for initiating cannabis use, these findings in mice have important implications for understanding the influence of genetics on cannabis dependence in humans.

An enzyme called fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) breaks down a cannabinoid called anandamide naturally found in the brain and is most closely related to THC, helping to remove it from circulation. Investigators examined mice harboring a human gene variant which causes FAAH to degrade more easily. They discovered the variant resulted in an overactive reward circuit and led to higher preference for THC in females only.

California Experiences Issues in Cannabis Unions

Labor unions have accused California’s largest cannabis industry association of distributing an anti-union document. The Los Angeles Times reported last week the California Cannabis Industry Association (CCIA) told its roughly 500 member companies a unionized workforce means “a cannabis employer will encounter decreased flexibility in operating their business.” The CCIA says it has since retracted the document, but some worry the incident could hinder efforts to pass key cannabis legislation this session, including bills on taxes, banking, and opening more of the state to retail sales.

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Recent Cannabis News as of March 2020

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