All posts tagged: medical marijuana

With CBD, marijuana-based medicine gets its first greenlight from the FDA

In a news release today, the FDA announced its approval of a marijuana-derived drug called Epidiolex for the treatment of seizures in a subset of patients suffering from severe epilepsy. Epidiolex contains CBD, a cannabis chemical compound skyrocketing in popularity and driving what is estimated to have doubled into a $200 million market in 2018.

CBD is the common abbreviation for cannabidiol, a chemical derived from cannabis. In contrast to THC, the far more popular cannabinoid CBD does not produce strong psychoactive effects when consumed. The chemical’s use in seizure prevention is well-documented in reputable research, and now, after conducting its own trials, the FDA is on board.

As the FDA itself notes, “this is the first FDA-approved drug that contains a purified drug substance derived from marijuana.” Epidiolex, produced by GW Research Ltd., is now approved to treat the conditions known as Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome.

The FDA news signals that the DEA will likely adjust its scheduling for CBD, which is currently a Schedule I substance, denoting high potential for abuse and no medical applications.

“The FDA prepares and transmits… a medical and scientific analysis of substances subject to scheduling, like CBD, and provides recommendations to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) regarding controls under the [Controlled Substances Act],” the FDA stated, indicating that it will recommend that CBD be rescheduled but the act of shifting the substance’s legality is ultimately in the DEA’s hands.

Prior to the FDA decision, a press officer for the DEA confirmed to Leafly that the FDA decision will prompt action from the DEA. “If they on June 27 announce that they’re approving Epidiolex, absolutely we’ll go into a different schedule. There’s no ifs, ands, or buts about it.”

The FDA notes that it will still “take action” against illegal CBD products making “serious, unproven medical claims.”

The medicinal acknowledgment of CBD should come as good news to marijuana startups eyeing the compound for consumer and medical consumption. Cannabis-derived CBD products are available where recreational marijuana is sold, though CBD derived from industrial hemp faces fewer regulations and is even stocked by some grocery stores.

By some measures, consumer interest appears to be moving away from traditional high-potency THC-based products and toward CBD. In February, even Bon Appétit magazine got in on the trend with a story titled “What Is CBD, and Why Is It in Everything Right Now?” Cannabis startups are likely tuned into that fact and keeping an ear to the ground for the DEA decision on what by most accounts is the next big thing in cannabis.

Read more: https://techcrunch.com

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Eaze is moving into recreational marijuana delivery with $27 million in new funding

The cannabis industry has lit up in the last year, including weed delivery startup Eaze, which just raised $27 million in Series B financing and claims a 300 percent year-over-year increase in gross sales.

But the weed delivery startup has come under scrutiny recently for burning through at least $1 million in cash per month. In contrast, other software-based pot delivery startups like Meadow have played it lean, focusing more on improving the software and logistics.

Eaze has gone hard on marketing spend, using aggressive growth tactics and burning through the $24.5 million it had previously raised in VC cash.

New CEO of the company Jim Patterson, who took over the role in December 2017 explains his approach as just part of the Silicon Valley cycle to get ahead, “We are a tech startup…we’re investing in growth,” he told TechCrunch when asked about the high burn rate. “We’re investing the money now in what’s clearly going to be a very big market.”

Part of the pop in the pot delivery industry is due to tech finally meeting the needs of the medical marijuana community in the state of California, where Eaze operates. Eaze uses its proprietary software to help consumers with a medical marijuana license in the state buy pot from local dispensaries and then delivers those purchases to their door.

However, California is set to begin issuing licenses for the cultivation and selling of the plant for recreational use at the beginning of 2018, which will open up a whole new revenue stream for Eaze and others in the space.

Colorado, a state where recreational use of the drug has been legal for a couple of years now, is reportedly pulling in nearly $100 million in pot sales per month and the marijuana industry is slated to balloon to a $24 billion dollar business by 2025.

Eaze is making the bet on high growth now to cash in on a good piece of those profits later, telling TechCrunch this was the reason for the Series B raise.

We should note that its conceivable other larger tech companies in the delivery logistics space like Amazon could just as easily decide to get into the space, crushing little startups like Meadow and Eaze in the process.

Patterson admits that’s not a far-fetched scenario but doesn’t think it will happen. “If you’re doing anything in retail and not thinking about Amazon at this point you’re crazy,” he said. “But the reality is [weed delivery] is still complicated at the federal level.”

Medical marijuana is now legal in 29 U.S. states and the District of Columbia. Laws recently passed for Arkansas, Florida and North Dakota have yet to become effective. Recreational use is legal in eight states, though, as mentioned above, certain licensing provisions don’t take effect in California until the new year.

It may not be so complicated as more states adopt marijuana legalization for both medical and recreational use in the years ahead and Patterson doesn’t count out future competition from the Everything Store.

“But I do think we have a couple of years and hopefully Eaze will be a lot bigger by then and by then maybe it will be less scary than it would be now with only 80 employees,” he told TechCrunch.

Bailey Capital led the round, with participation from DCM Ventures, Kaya Ventures and FJ Labs.

Read more: https://techcrunch.com

Mary JaneEaze is moving into recreational marijuana delivery with $27 million in new funding
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Eaze is moving into recreational marijuana delivery with $27 million in new funding

The cannabis industry has lit up in the last year, including weed delivery startup Eaze, which just raised $27 million in Series B financing and claims a 300 percent year-over-year increase in gross sales.

But the weed delivery startup has come under scrutiny recently for burning through at least $1 million in cash per month. In contrast, other software-based pot delivery startups like Meadow have played it lean, focusing more on improving the software and logistics.

Eaze has gone hard on marketing spend, using aggressive growth tactics and burning through the $24.5 million it had previously raised in VC cash.

New CEO of the company Jim Patterson, who took over the role in December 2017 explains his approach as just part of the Silicon Valley cycle to get ahead, “We are a tech startup…we’re investing in growth,” he told TechCrunch when asked about the high burn rate. “We’re investing the money now in what’s clearly going to be a very big market.”

Part of the pop in the pot delivery industry is due to tech finally meeting the needs of the medical marijuana community in the state of California, where Eaze operates. Eaze uses its proprietary software to help consumers with a medical marijuana license in the state buy pot from local dispensaries and then delivers those purchases to their door.

However, California is set to begin issuing licenses for the cultivation and selling of the plant for recreational use at the beginning of 2018, which will open up a whole new revenue stream for Eaze and others in the space.

Colorado, a state where recreational use of the drug has been legal for a couple of years now, is reportedly pulling in nearly $100 million in pot sales per month and the marijuana industry is slated to balloon to a $24 billion dollar business by 2025.

Eaze is making the bet on high growth now to cash in on a good piece of those profits later, telling TechCrunch this was the reason for the Series B raise.

We should note that its conceivable other larger tech companies in the delivery logistics space like Amazon could just as easily decide to get into the space, crushing little startups like Meadow and Eaze in the process.

Patterson admits that’s not a far-fetched scenario but doesn’t think it will happen. “If you’re doing anything in retail and not thinking about Amazon at this point you’re crazy,” he said. “But the reality is [weed delivery] is still complicated at the federal level.”

Medical marijuana is now legal in 29 U.S. states and the District of Columbia. Laws recently passed for Arkansas, Florida and North Dakota have yet to become effective. Recreational use is legal in eight states, though, as mentioned above, certain licensing provisions don’t take effect in California until the new year.

It may not be so complicated as more states adopt marijuana legalization for both medical and recreational use in the years ahead and Patterson doesn’t count out future competition from the Everything Store.

“But I do think we have a couple of years and hopefully Eaze will be a lot bigger by then and by then maybe it will be less scary than it would be now with only 80 employees,” he told TechCrunch.

Bailey Capital led the round, with participation from DCM Ventures, Kaya Ventures and FJ Labs.

Read more: https://techcrunch.com/2017/09/14/eaze-is-moving-into-recreational-marijuana-delivery-with-27-million-in-new-funding/

Mary JaneEaze is moving into recreational marijuana delivery with $27 million in new funding
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Florida Marijuana Supporters Wants A Special Session For Legal Marijuana

Gov. Rick Scott is called upon by the supporters of legalized marijuana to order a special session after state lawmakers failed to pass a bill that would have implemented a ballot measure approved by 71 percent of voters in November. In the constitutional amendment, it’s in the discretion of the Florida Department of Health to make rules that would let patients with ailments like HIV/AIDS, cancer and multiple sclerosis access to marijuana.

However, a few patient advocates and some marijuana activists are afraid that the DOH won’t make suitable rules.

“DOH has an obligation to implement this,” said Ben Pollara, among the writers of Amendment 2 and executive director of Florida for Care. “That’s all the more reason that people really need implementing laws.”

Pollara joined a group of lawmakers and lobbyists who say that the Legislature has to play a part — even if it’s in the following legislative session, which commences in January.

Sen. Rob Bradley, who had driven a medical marijuana bill, said he isn’t assured that the DOH rules will be in line with bills the Legislature put forward, which had a wide-range agreement on many problems, even though they couldn’t achieve a final deal.

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Massachusetts Marijuana Regulatory Panel to be Patterned After the Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission

House Speaker Robert DeLeo on Monday proposed a fresh approach state officials could do regarding how to regulate the new legal marijuana industry in Massachusetts.

The ballot law that legalized adult use of marijuana and set up a regulatory framework for the market calls for a Cannabis Control Commission within Treasurer Deborah Goldberg’s office. The Legislature agreed to delay execution of the law and its new Marijuana Policy Committee has been considering alterations to it, including creating a more independent commission and possibly removing the panel from Treasurer Deborah Goldberg’s purview.

DeLeo said he believes the state “can do a combination of both.”

“Our conversations today were attempting to get an amalgamation, in the event that you will, without coming to any final conclusion, to try to find out what can work in relation to marijuana,” DeLeo said.

Goldberg called the meeting “a great first conversation” and said discussion covered “a lot of the technical facets.”

“I think this was merely a first conversation, and there’s an acknowledgement that we will all be working collaboratively, and with the members of the committee since they have done a large amount of work to try and determine how to satisfy the needs of and the will of the people of Massachusetts and the way in which they voted,” Goldberg said.

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Austin’s Potential to be the Capital for Marijuana Start-ups

Anybody who has stood a little too close to Willie’s tour bus or has drifted through the vibrant wonderland that is Eeyore’s Birthday Party understands that pot use is big business in Austin. The city’s enormous student population, sprawling music scene and Dazed & Confused vibe allow it to be fertile soil for herbal treatments.

Of the four principal marijuana bills filed at the statehouse this year, only one has gotten a favorable committee vote — it’s yet to receive a full House vote. That proposed law would ease the law so no one with less than an ounce of grass would face arrest or jail time. Recreational marijuana like they have in Colorado appears to be a pipe dream in Texas.

Dallas city council members, in a way, have recently passed a law that decriminalizes possession. Those caught with less than four ounces get order to appear in court and a ticket instead of being booked and arrested in jail.

Texas lawmakers have brushed aside proposals to legalize marijuana fora long time. And, it was not until 2015 that the state passed a law allowing for a very limited use of cannabis oils for individuals who have epilepsy and suffer from seizures.

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Ohio Doctors Already Giving Out Medical Marijuana Cards

Some doctors in Toledo are already giving patients cards enabling them to buy medical marijuana, and classes are popping up for Ohio physicians in this new legal field.

But proper rules to help physicians sail these uncharted waters are still months away. No physician has been certified in Ohio to recommend cannabis, and no continuing education seminar has been formally sanctioned.

Omni Medical Services, which began in Michigan and runs in Florida and Illinois, also provides doctors to clinics in Toledo, Lima. Qualifying patients walk away with “affirmative defense” letters as well as a list of Michigan dispensaries where they may buy marijuana to bring back to Ohio, without hindrance by law enforcement.

It could be as late as September 8 before Ohio’s rules for physicians are finalized, and the program’s deadline to be completely functional isn’t until a year after that. Marijuana still cannot be lawfully sold or bought here.

The Ohio State Medical Association has advised members to wait until rules are finalized before stepping into this overcast legal territory.

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Michigan’s New Centralized Medical Marijuana Agency

Michigan recently created the Bureau of Medical Marijuana Regulation to centralize all facets of medical marijuana regulation, the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs reports.

The brand new agency, placed in LARA, combines the present supervision functions of the state’s patient and caregiver registry with the recently established statutory requirements for medical marijuana facility licensing.

“BMMR’s organizational structure places Michigan at the forefront of state medical marijuana regulation,” LARA Director Shelly Edgerton said. “Many other states have various licenses and patient programs spread throughout different departments and bureaus.”

Centralized services will improve patient protections and make regulations more efficient for business customers.

BMMR is in the procedure for executing the regulatory framework made by legislation signed by Gov. Snyder in September 2016. Regulatory functions comprise the investigation, licensing and enforcement of medical marijuana growers, processors, secure transporters, provisioning centers and security compliance facilities.

The law requires the agency to make licensing programs accessible by December 15, 2017.

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Arizona Moms Speak Up On Medical Marijuana’s Impact On Their Kids

A group of mothers who’ve been fighting the stigma, paving the way and educating themselves about the benefits of medical marijuana. They say they are doing it for their kids, all of whom are fighting chronic diseases.

Parisa Mansouri-Rad, one of the moms, says she began looking into the benefits of marijuana while striving to figure out methods to bring comfort to her 16-year old daughter, Yazy, who was born premature at 23 weeks. She’s blind, has cerebral palsy and scoliosis. A spinal fusion operation left her in a great deal of pain. Subsequently her lower intestine failed, resulting in a serious chronic illness, that also caused a great deal of pain and distress.

“We attempted a multitude of pharmaceuticals to figure out what would work, she was like a guinea rabbit for the doctors,” said Mansouri-Rad.

“Not only was she on pain medication that was really damaging to her body, but on other pharmaceuticals that we then had to treat with other pharmaceuticals due to the side effects,” she added.

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Alaska Lawmakers Delay Proposal On Onsite Marijuana Use

Alaska marijuana regulators have delayed discussions about onsite marijuana consumption until next month.

The state’s Marijuana Control Board was expected to consider whether to move forward with proposed rules for letting retail cannabis customers to consume their purchases on site

It’s something that no other state that has legalized the recreational use of marijuana has permitted.

The board used its two day meeting to go through a backlog of permit applications for retail stores and manufacturing facilities.

“They really wanted to concentrate on approved applications at this meeting so people could begin with their businesses as we move into summer,” said Erika McConnell, director of the Alcohol and Marijuana Control Board. “Onsite consumption was kind of the big time-consuming issue that they pushed until the end and then we ran out of time. ”

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