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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

Mary JaneWith CBD, marijuana-based medicine gets its first greenlight from the FDA
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Top Senate Democrat Endorses Decriminalizing Marijuana at the Federal Level

The push to decriminalize marijuana has picked up another high-profile backer — Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer — just a week after President Donald Trump endorsed letting states decide how to regulate the drug.

"I’ll be introducing legislation to decriminalize marijuana at the federal level from one end of the country to the other," Schumer, of New York, told Vice News in an interview airing Thursday evening. "I’ve seen too many people’s lives ruined because they had small amounts of marijuana and served time in jail much too long."

Schumer’s backing of decriminalization adds to what has become a bipartisan effort in the Senate, led by Republican Senator Cory Gardner of Colorado, which was the first state to legalize recreational marijuana. Marijuana currently is legal for medicinal use in 29 states and for recreational use in eight.

Trump’s promise to let states handle the issue caused pot-related stocks to spike. It also eased the threat that the Department of Justice under Attorney General Jeff Sessions — a staunch foe of legalization — would step up enforcement of federal prohibitions on sales and use of marijuana in states like Colorado.

Gardner separately said in an interview Wednesday he is 80 percent finished with legislation he is writing to ensure states don’t run afoul of the federal prohibition on marijuana and to allow marijuana businesses access to the financial system.

It’s not clear, however, when or if such a bill might move. In the meantime Schumer’s backing could help Democrats, given that polls have increasingly shown a strong majority backing legalization.

Previous efforts to expand an existing appropriations rider protecting state-licensed medical-marijuana operations failed.

Read more: http://www.bloomberg.com/

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Ex-Speaker John Boehner Joins Marijuana Firms Advisory Board

  • Former Massachusetts Governor William Weld also added
  • Watershed moment for cannabis as drug goes mainstream

The U.S. marijuana industry has a new spokesman: John Boehner.

The Republican former Speaker of the House has joined the advisory board of Acreage Holdings, a company that cultivates, processes and dispenses cannabis in 11 U.S. states. Boehner’s endorsement, after saying nine years ago he was “unalterably opposed” to legalization, could be considered a watershed event: Marijuana has gone mainstream.

“Over the last 10 or 15 years, the American people’s attitudes have changed dramatically,” he said in an interview. “I find myself in that same position.”

Sixty-four percent of Americans, including a majority of both Republicans and Democrats, want to legalize it, according to an October Gallup survey. That’s the most since the pollster began asking the question in 1969, when 12 percent of the population favored legalization.

Former Massachusetts Governor William Weld will join Boehner on the advisory board of Acreage, which holds 35 licenses for cannabis businesses in the U.S. Boehner, 68, was first elected to the House of Representatives from Southwest Ohio in 1990. He was Speaker from 2011 to 2015, when he resigned amid problems with an increasingly fractious Republican caucus.

Since then, he’s served as a board member for tobacco company Reynolds American Inc. and adviser for global law firm Squire Patton Boggs US LLP. Weld, 72, who was governor from 1991 to 1997, was the Libertarian Party’s candidate for vice president in 2016.

‘Immensely Positive’

“We view this advocacy that we get from these two gentlemen as immensely positive for the industry,” said George Allen, Acreage’s president.

The politicians are a sign of a watershed moment for the industry, according to Vahan Ajamian, an analyst at Beacon Securities Ltd.

“It is difficult to overstate the impact of this monumental event for the U.S. cannabis sector,” he said in a note Wednesday after Bloomberg broke the news.

The two former Republican politicians join Acreage as current officeholders vacillate on their support for weed. President Donald Trump has gone back and forth, while Attorney General Jeff Sessions is a longtime opponent. The Justice Department in January rescinded the Obama-era policies that allowed state legal pot markets to flourish.

Both Boehner and Weld say they’ve never tried the drug, but adult recreational use is legal in nine states and Washington, D.C. That means more than one in five American adults can partake. Twenty additional states allow for some form of medical marijuana. The legal market is expected to reach $75 billion by 2030, according to the investment bank Cowen & Co.

Still, the drug remains federally illegal and is classified as a Schedule I narcotic, the harshest of five government ratings.

Supported Referendum

Weld said he’s been in favor of medical marijuana since 1992 and supported the referendum that legalized recreational pot use in his home state in 2016.

“I was a little bit ahead of the field there,” he said in an interview.

Even so, his belief in the functionality of the plant has grown, he said, especially when it comes to easing the opioid crisis.

“Cannabis could be perceived as an exit drug, not a gateway drug,” he said.

Boehner said his perspective shifted after he saw the plant’s efficacy in helping a close friend deal with debilitating back pain. Marijuana’s potential use as a treatment for veterans helped sway him, too. Plus he’s been studying the problems of the U.S. criminal justice system for years.

“When you look at the number of people in our state and federal penitentiaries, who are there for possession of small amounts of cannabis, you begin to really scratch your head,” Boehner said. “We have literally filled up our jails with people who are nonviolent and frankly do not belong there.”

10th Amendment

On top of all those reasons to support the plant, Boehner and Weld say the debate over legalization is, at its core, a discussion of the 10th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which allows states to do what they want.

“If some states don’t want marijuana to be legal, that’s their prerogative,” Weld said. “But that shouldn’t be dictated by the nanny state in Washington.”

Despite the GOP mostly lauding the amendment, Republican politicians have been split on the cannabis issue. Sessions’ harsh words for marijuana, and his decision to roll back Obama-era protections, didn’t deter Boehner or Weld’s decisions to get involved with the industry, they said.

“When I saw the announcement, I almost chuckled to myself,” Boehner said, referring to the policy reversal. “I don’t know why they decided to do this. It could be that the attorney general is trying to force the Congress to act.”

Winding Road

The politicians’ years in public office may help the company navigate the winding road to federal legalization.

“When it comes to an issue like this, that has what I’ll call murky legal issues and political issues, we’re there to provide advice to Acreage in terms of how they work with state and federal governments, how they work with local governments and advice on what states look promising,” Boehner said.

Neither Boehner nor Weld has made a financial investment in Acreage, though Weld says he’s considering it.

“Millennials who will inherit the kingdom before long, they are even more positive about cannabis than the populous at large,” Weld said. “You can look at the trend of millennial opinion and you can see the future.”

Read more: http://www.bloomberg.com/

Mary JaneEx-Speaker John Boehner Joins Marijuana Firms Advisory Board
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Canada’s Trudeau says cannabis will become legal in mid-October

Prime minister says measure will almost completely replace the organised crime market

Marijuana will become fully legal in Canada on 17 October, prime minister Justin Trudeau has said, ushering in a landmark change that he expects will take significant chunk out of profits flowing to organised crime.

Speaking to reporters for the first time since the senate set the stage for Canada to become the first country in the G7 to fully legalise cannabis, Trudeau said: Obviously the current approach the current prohibition of marijuana has not worked to protect our kids, to keep the money out of the pockets of organised crime and thats why were bringing in a new legalised framework around marijuana, he said on Wednesday.

Trudeaus Liberal government introduced legislation last year in a bid to make Canada the second country in the world to legalise cannabis, after Uruguay. Medical marijuana is already legal in Canada.

Trudeau expected that the end of 95 years of prohibition would immediately begin to curtail the estimated C$6bn ($4.5bn) in profits pouring into the black market. And over the following months, and indeed years, we will almost completely replace the organised crime market on that, he said.

Initially the federal government had hoped to launch retail sales by July this year. Trudeau said: One of the things that we heard very clearly from the provinces is that they need a certain amount of time to get their bricks-and-mortar stores and their online sales ready.

Producers need time to be able to actually prepare for a regimented and successful implementation of the regime … This is something that we want to get right.

Once legalisation goes into effect, Canadians will be able grow up to four plants in their home and carry up to 30 grams of dried cannabis for personal use. Theyll be able to prepare edibles at home for personal use and share up to 30 grams between adults. Those caught with more than this amount, or who supply marijuana to minors, will face stiff penalties.

Sales of cannabis will vary widely across the country. In Alberta, recreational cannabis will be available at more than 200 private retailers while in New Brunswick, the provincial government will operate a chain of stores called Cannabis NB.

Many questions remained unanswered, however, such as how police will test motorists suspected of driving under the influence, whether provinces will be able to ban home cultivation and how legalisation will interact with the roughly 400,000 people a day who cross the US-Canada border.

The federal government is also under renewed pressure to pair legalisation with pardons for the hundreds of thousands of Canadians with prior marijuana convictions. On Wednesday Trudeau said it would be illogical to consider the issue before the new law comes into effect.

Weve said that we will look at next steps once the coming-into-force happens but between now and then the current regime stays.

Read more: http://www.theguardian.com/us

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My Son Pioneered an Epilepsy Drug Derived From Marijuana. An FDA Panel Just Approved It

Yesterday morning a tall, lanky 16-year-old boy in a red polo shirt stood at a podium in front of a roomful of doctors, scientists, and regulators and told them about how a drug they were considering for approval had changed his life. “I had seizures for 10 years,” he said. “My parents tell me there were times I had seizures 100 times a day.” Now, he said, he has been seizure free for nearly two and a half years.

“I can understand what goes on at school,” he said. “And I can have adventures that never would have been possible before.” He told them about how seizure freedom enabled him to study to be a Bar Mitzvah in 2016. He told them about a school trip he’d just taken without his parents to South Africa—12,000 miles from home. And he said that he hoped to become a neurologist one day so that he could help other people with epilepsy. The audience, despite being told not to applaud speakers until the end, clapped anyway.

About an hour later, after about a dozen parents of epileptic children spoke of their struggles with the disease, the Food and Drug Administration panel of scientists and doctors voted 13-0 to recommend approval. The FDA is expected to render a final decision on the drug, Epidiolex, by June. One of the panelists John Mendelson, an addiction treatment executive and a UCSF professor said, “This is clearly a breakthrough drug for an awful disease.”

The whole event, which I watched on a live stream from my home office in Berkeley, was one of the thrills of my life. Sam is my son. He and my wife Evelyn both testified because Sam was the first person in the US to take Epidiolex back in December 2012. After trying more than two dozen medications, a crazy sounding diet, and corticosteroids that made Sam look like a cancer patient, Epidiolex—which didn’t even have a name when Sam tried it—was truly our last option to help him.

The author’s son, Sam Vogelstein, testified Thursday in Washington DC before the FDA’s advisory committee.

Evelyn Nussenbaum

I should mention that Epidiolex is derived from cannabis. Its active ingredient is cannabidiol, aka CBD, which is a chemical in the plant that doesn’t make you high.

The manufacturer, GW Pharmaceuticals, knew little about epilepsy back then. But Sam’s response was so extraordinary, their executives decided they needed to learn more about the disease, and quickly embarked on clinical trials. Sam actually tried the medicine in London under a doctor’s supervision. Such a trial in the UK was straightforward, whereas conducting it in the US would have been impossible because of our cannabis laws. Since then nearly 1,800 patients have tried it at US hospitals, with about 40 to 50 percent seeing greater than 50 percent reductions in seizures. That sounds small until you consider that admission to the trials required patients to have exhausted all other medicinal options. Officially, Epidiolex will be approved only to treat two of the most severe types of epilepsy, Dravet and Lennox Gastaut syndromes. But doctors will likely have the flexibility to prescribe it for other epilepsies too. Many epilepsy drugs are prescribed this way, known as off label. (Many patients, including Sam, are on more than one drug.)

The pending approval of Epidiolex isn’t just a big deal for me and my family. It’s a big deal for 3 million people in the US who have epilepsy, and, if approved elsewhere, 73 million people worldwide. Epilepsy affects about one percent of the world’s population, more than Parkinson’s and Multiple Sclerosis combined. And yet for all humanities’ scientific prowess, only about two-thirds of people who take epilepsy medicines become seizure free. The imminent approval of a medication that might shrink the number of unresponsive patients is a major, even historic, development.

It’s also a big deal for cannabis research and by extension the cannabis legalization discussion. Epidiolex will be the first FDA approved drug derived from a cannabis plant. It can’t get anyone high because the manufacturer extracts all the THC during production.

To manufacture CBD, GW maintains tens of thousands of cannabis plants in hothouses all over the UK. It extracts the CBD from the plants in a lab, ending up with a 100 milliliter bottle of strawberry flavored sesame oil that it ships to the US.

A common refrain from cannabis opponents has long been that there is no scientific evidence that anything associated with cannabis can be medicine. And that’s been true because regulators and police worldwide make studying illegal substances like cannabis nearly impossible.

But to get this far in the FDA approval process, GW had to marshal the same scientific evidence of safety and efficacy that every other drug manufacturer must present. It created a medicine that was consistent from dose to dose, bottle to bottle, and batch to batch. It conducted all the required placebo controlled trials, administered by doctors in hospital settings. And those doctors published peer reviewed research in top medical journals like the New England Journal of Medicine. “It’s an honor to be participating in a (cannabis) decision based on science instead of politics," said panelist Mark Green, professor of neurology and anesthesiology at the Icahn School of Medicine in New York, after the vote.

Indeed, it doesn’t require too much imagination to see how Epidiolex’s pending approval forces a public reckoning on how we think about cannabis nationally. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has made no secret of his virulent opposition to the legalization of cannabis in any form. He has said that “good people do not smoke marijuana.” Yet, assuming Epidiolex gets formal FDA approval, he will have to weigh in through his supervision of the Drug Enforcement Administration.

At the moment, CBD is a Schedule 1 drug like cannabis. Its medical use—except in the specially approved trials that proved its effectiveness—is not allowed. The DEA must reschedule it before it can be sold. Technically, the DEA could refuse. But it would have to explain how it—a police agency—was in a better position to make that call than the FDA, an agency of scientists and doctors. An explanation would also be needed for neurologists, and the parents of millions of very sick children. The DEA can’t delay its decision either. By law it must rule within 90 days.

All that maneuvering would be moot, of course, if Congress decides to pass a law legalizing cannabis entirely, as Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer proposed last night. He is not the first senator to propose such a law, but he is by far the most influential to do it. “If smoking marijuana doesn’t hurt anybody else, why shouldn’t we allow people to do it and not make it criminal" he told Vice News.

By now you are probably wondering what a family from California like us was thinking when it traveled to the UK to have their kid try a drug derived from a cannabis plant. Remarkably, that’s where you had to go to get pharmaceutical grade CBD back then. We tried to procure it from artisanal producers here for six months. Everything we tried turned out to be ineffective and sometimes fraudulent. Getting the CBD out of cannabis plant is complicated, expensive, and time consuming.

The artisanal CBD market is more robust today. There are some good, reliable preparations that are helping epilepsy patients who could not get into the GW trials. Hopefully they will force GW to keep Epidiolex affordable. But many parents have told me that in a perfect world they'd just go to the pharmacy to treat their kids' seizures. They have complicated lives, but simple needs. They want the same experience they get when they fill a penicillin prescription: a cure.

All of this made yesterday one of the best days in Sam's young life. Other parents thanked him for speaking for all the kids who were too sick to speak for themselves, and he felt like he was part of something bigger than himself. “And when I suggested that we made a good team as speakers," Evelyn said, “he said with a big grin, ‘You set ’em up. And I knock ’em down.’ ”

Read more: http://www.wired.com/

Mary JaneMy Son Pioneered an Epilepsy Drug Derived From Marijuana. An FDA Panel Just Approved It
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Canada to legalize marijuana after landmark senate vote

Canada has decided to legalize marijuana for recreational use after a bill was passed by its senate on Tuesday.

America’s northern neighbor will become the first G-7 industrialized nation and only the second in the world to have a legal nationwide cannabis market after the 52 to 29 vote.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau hopes that legalizing the drug will have a positive effect overall.

“It’s been too easy for our kids to get marijuana—and for criminals to reap the profits,” Trudeau said on Twitter.

The only other country to legalize the cultivation, distribution and consumption of cannabis is Uruguay, where the government has aimed to take that business model away from criminals. In Canada, medical marijuana was already legal.

“We have seen in the Senate tonight a historic vote that ends 90 years of prohibition of cannabis in this country, 90 years of needless criminalization, 90 years of a just-say-no approach to drugs that hasn’t worked,” independent Sen. Tony Dean, who sponsored the bill in the upper house, told the Associated Press. 

A final date will be decided by mid-September, so that retail sales could begin before the end of this year.

In the U.S., recreational marijuana is legal in 9 states and for medicinal purposes in 29 states.

International drug treaties, which explicitly ban legalizing marijuana, technically prohibit Canada—and the U.S.—from taking these steps, reports Vox.

NYPD WILL START ISSUING SUMMONSES, NOT ARRESTS, FOR MARIJUANA 

CBC reports that several amendments were stripped from the final bill, including one that would have banned the sale of branded “swag” by pot companies and another that would have created a public registry of investors in cannabis companies to dissuade criminal gangs from trying to gain a foothold in the market with offshore tax havens. 

Canada’s vote came on the same day that former Conservative leader Lord Hague suggested the United Kingdom should also legalize cannabis.

A man makes a cannabis cigarette in the image above.  (Reuters)

Writing in the Daily Telegraph, he said the U.K.’s drug policy is “inappropriate, ineffective and utterly out of date” and that the “battle is effectively over.”

Downing Street doesn’t seem receptive to the idea.

“In terms of decriminalizing cannabis there are no plans in that respect,” Theresa May’s spokesman told the Guardian in response to Hague’s article. “The evidence is very clear that cannabis can cause serious harm when it is misused.” 

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Christopher Carbone is a reporter for FoxNews.com. He can be reached at christopher.carbone@foxnews.com or on Twitter @christocarbone.

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/

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Can You Fly With Weed You Bought Legally?

Buds, oils, tea, brownies, cookies, gummies, lollipops ― today, you can get THC in just about any form. 

What a time to be alive.

Marijuana is legal in some capacity in 29 states and Washington, D.C. As long as you adhere to local laws, you don’t have to worry about the cops harshing your buzz. That is, unless you’re headed to the airport.

Illustration: Damon Dahlen/HuffPost Photos: Getty

The rules surrounding domestic air travel and marijuana possession can seem confusing and contradictory. For example, if you bought weed legally in Colorado, can you take your leftovers home to another legal state like California? The answer might surprise you.

We talked to several experts in Los Angeles ― one of the largest weed-friendly U.S. cities and home to one of the busiest airports in the world ― about what you should know before attempting to fly with legally purchased marijuana.

The tangle of laws is “total chaos.”

On the federal level, marijuana is considered a controlled substance, just like cocaine or heroin. So even if marijuana is legalized in your state, it’s still technically illegal in the eyes of Uncle Sam.

And though airports are owned by the city, “the feds are authorized to operate it … so federal law prevails,” said criminal defense attorney Jonathan Mandel. “Once you enter security, federal law trumps state law.”

That means even if you purchased your weed legally, it becomes illegal as soon as you flash your boarding pass to a Transportation Security Administration agent.

“It is total chaos in terms of congruence between federal law and state law,” said Irán Hopkins, an attorney in the cannabis industry group at the national law firmAkerman. Not only are federal and state laws contradictory, she said, but rules surrounding the possession and use of marijuana vary across states and even airports.

But will you actually get in trouble?

The TSA’s primary job is to make sure another 9/11 never happens. Agents are more concerned about whether there’s a bomb in your shoe than a little weed in your bag.

“TSA’s focus is on terrorism and security threats to the aircraft and its passengers,” said TSA spokeswoman Lorie Dankers in a statement to HuffPost. “TSA’s screening procedures, which are governed by federal law, are focused on security and are designed to detect potential threats to aviation and passengers.”

In other words, they’re not looking for drugs. That’s the job of local law enforcement and federal drug agents. You’re likely to cause more of an uproar with the TSA by leaving a water bottle in your backpack.

That said, it doesn’t mean you’re in the clear.

“As has always been the case, if during the security screening process a TSA officer discovers an item that may violate the law, TSA refers the matter to law enforcement,” Dankers said. According to the TSA website, illegal items include marijuana and cannabis-infused products such as CBD oil.

Nor does the TSA take into account your originating and destination airports, Dankers added. So if you run into a particularly grouchy TSA agent or attempt to get through security with an egregious amount of weed, you will likely be handed over to airport police no matter where you’re coming from or going.

According to Dankers, however, what happens next is up to local law enforcement’s discretion.

When you get busted…

Once the police are involved, there are a number of possible outcomes. In some airports, such as McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas or Aspen-Pitkin County Airport in Colorado, where recreational use is legal, you might be asked to dump your marijuana in an “amnesty box” or simply toss it in the trash, according to Mandel.

In other cases, the officer might decide to allow you through security with your marijuana, especially if you have a prescription.

It’s pretty clear it’s an extremely low priority. Jonathan Mandel

Then again, you could be arrested.

“It is still illegal under federal law,” said Akerman attorney Michelle Lee Flores. Although local law enforcement might not pursue any charges, “there is a possibility to be arrested and prosecuted under federal law.” 

Even so, it’s unlikely you’d be charged with a federal crime unless you attempt something especially brazen.

“Under California law, for example, it’s still a felony to transport for-sale marijuana out of state,” said Allison Margolin, one of the nation’s leading attorneys in cannabis law. “Usually, I can get the charge dismissed if I can persuade the DA that they were using it for personal use,” she said.

Cases that do make it to court are typically tried on the state level, according to Margolin. “Usually, it can be resolved relatively favorably for [the defendant],” she said. 

In most cases, law enforcement simply isn’t interested in prosecuting travelers carrying small amounts of marijuana, according to Mandel.

“They’re not going to do anything unless there’s such huge poundage or money involved that they believe it’s … for profit rather than personal use,” he said. “It’s pretty clear it’s an extremely low priority.”

Bottom line: Carry at your own risk.

Even though catching travelers with marijuana is low on the TSA’s list of priorities, there’s no way to predict how TSA and local law enforcement will handle the situation.

“It’s really a risk assessment and an assumption of that risk by the passenger,” said Hopkins. “Our conservative advice is to be super careful and don’t expose yourself unnecessarily to breaking the law.”

If you do decide to take the risk of flying with legally purchased marijuana, the attorneys shared factors you should consider first.

You’ll want to lie low.

“Minimize anything that would get the attention of the TSA” while going through security, Flores said. That includes carrying bottled water, contact lens solution and other liquids. Don’t pack anything that could be considered a weapon. And it might go without saying, but being noticeably under the influence is another red flag.

Edibles are less obvious.

Rather than the plant or oils, edibles “would be harder to detect,” said Flores, since most products are discreetly packaged to look like everyday food items. Oils or other liquids will undoubtedly catch an agent’s eye, while marijuana in plant form will likely give off a scent. 

Some moves could make you look like a dealer. That’s bad. 

Many of the cases that end up in court do so because it appears the passenger intended to distribute. According to Margolin, you should avoid separating your stash into multiple packages or carrying a lot of cash. It’s also best if you’re carrying only a small amount of marijuana.  

“The lowest amount [of marijuana] I’ve seen prosecuted is a pound,” she said, referring to airport arrests.

There are legal options too.

If you’re not interested in breaking the law but don’t want to travel without some form of relief, Margolin suggested talking to your doctor about Marinol, a drug containing synthetic (and therefore legal) THC.

“It’s a Schedule III drug and you can get it prescribed by a doctor,” Margolin said. “It’s like eating an edible, but it doesn’t have all the other cannabinoids.”

It’s best to stay quiet.

If you do find yourself in hot water, simply keep your mouth shut and cooperate.

“You should not try to talk your way out of the situation to the TSA, the police or anybody,” Margolin said. “There isn’t an actual defense for any interstate transportation.”

Instead, she said, “hire an attorney.”

Read more: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/

Mary JaneCan You Fly With Weed You Bought Legally?
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Canada Votes To Legalize Cannabis For Recreational Use

Canada is now set to become only the second country worldwide to legalize the recreational use of cannabis after the Senate voted overwhelmingly to change the laws. The new legislation could see marijuana sold legally in shops as early as September.

The new bill, known as The Cannabis Act, controls and regulates how the drug is grown, distributed and sold. It means that Canadians can now legally grow up to four plants in their own household, and carry up to 30 grams of dried cannabis for personal use. Anyone found to be carrying more than this amount, or providing it to minors – anyone under the age of 18 or 19 depending on the province – will be breaking the law.

Medical marijuana has been legal in Canada since 2001, and in response to popular opinion, the Liberal Party committed to legalizing it for personal use during the elections of 2015. Now, the Cannabis Act has finally been voted through in the nation’s upper chamber by 52 to 29 votes on Tuesday.

“We’ve just witnessed a very historic vote that ends 90 years of prohibition,” Senator Tony Dean told the press following the vote. “It ends 90 years of needless criminalization, it ends a prohibition model that inhibited and discouraged public health and community health in favor of just-say-no approaches that simply failed young people miserably.”

It means that Canada now joins Uruguay as the only two countries in the world where recreational cannabis is now legal, as technically it is still illegal in the Netherlands although the law is not actually upheld. In Portugal, which famously relaxed its drug laws, the possession and use of the drug is decriminalized, but not legal.

The move by Canada is likely to cause a headache south of the border, and twist an already strained relationship with the current US government. Currently, 29 states have legalized medical marijuana, with nine of those going the whole way and opening it up to personal use. But there have been previous suggestions that the White House may try and stem the recreational use by enforcing federal laws to override individual states.

The Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has been tweeting his support of the successful vote, writing: “It’s been too easy for our kids to get marijuana – and for criminals to reap the profits. Today, we change that.” It has been estimated that the legal sale of the drug could eventually be worth up to C$7 billion annually.

Clearly, there are those members of parliament who are dismayed by the move, but these were massively outweighed by others happy to see the end of cannabis prohibition, and the relaxing of the laws.

Read more: http://www.iflscience.com

Mary JaneCanada Votes To Legalize Cannabis For Recreational Use
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The future of weed is microdosing. This company is ahead of the game

Pax CEOBharat Vasan and the Pax Era (not to scale), which will now help you microdose.
Image: pax

It’s rare that you find a company that specifically wants to help you use its product less, especially in the marijuana space. But that’s just what vaporizer maker Pax Labs is delivering in an update to its Pax Era device and app Tuesday: the ability to inhale cannabis in truly tiny doses.

This is unusual, because the era of pot prohibition was all about more: growers with limited space competed to give you a bigger and better high, packing their strains of weed with ever greater amounts of THC (and more recently the other major active ingredient, CBD). 

In the first flush of pot legalization, this extreme potency trend continued. Edibles were enormously strong (as columnist Maureen Dowd famously discovered to her chagrin), and the fashionable thing among some stoners was “dabbing” — superheating concentrated cannabinoid oil for a fast, insanely strong high. 

But with legalization spreading rapidly across the country — just yesterday, New York state got behind it — times have changed. The frontier of middle-class consumerism has opened up. Stressed suburban moms and busy executives are the new target audience, not stoners with high tolerance levels. 

Microdosing has been a thing for some time; it’s also an increasingly popular therapeutic way to take LSD. But when it comes to marijuana, establishing what doctors call the minimal effective dose has involved experimenting with tinctures or taking tiny amounts of edibles — not necessarily something a newbie has the patience or the gumption to do. 

Enter the Pax Era. Launched in late 2016, this $30 flash drive-sized vape uses concentrate-filled “pods” made by third parties (more than 250 kinds of pod are now available at dispensaries across the U.S.). If it looks just like the popular nicotine vape called the Juul, that’s because Pax Labs was spun off from the company that became Juul in 2017. 

Pax has been busy post-Juul. It brought on a new CEO, Bharat Vasan: steeped in Silicon Valley, Vasan was an executive at Electronic Arts, then co-founded a wearable device company that was bought by Intel for $100 million, then sold a smart lock and doorbell company before Pax came calling. The Era’s new microdosing ability comes via an update to its Bluetooth-linked app (iOS or Android) called Session Control. It marks Vasan’s first major impact on Pax’s direction.

The Pax Era’s new dosing options.

Image: pax

“Session Control make the vaping experience more predictable for people, especially those who are new to cannabis,” says Vasan. He and Jesse Silver, who is both Pax Labs’ VP of product and a prolific Burning Man artist, gave me an advance look at how it works. 

Up until now, the Pax app has allowed you to set the temperature of the vapor, allowing either for more subtle flavor or larger clouds from the Era. If that’s the horizontal axis (literally, on the app) Vasan and Silver see Session Control as the vertical axis controlling how much you get.

Turn the feature on and you have the options of micro, small, medium or large doses. A bar appears on the screen. Once you fill the bar with green by inhaling on the Pax Era, you’re done — or rather, you’re locked out of using the device for 30 seconds. 

Of course, you can just keep hitting the Pax again after 30 seconds if you want to defeat the purpose. (Or, if you’re not in the app, take the pod out and put it back in to disable Session Control.) But for those who are actively seeking moderation, or looking to eke out the contents of those expensive Pax Pods (which sell for anywhere between $30 and $100, depending on the strain), it’s an excellent constraint. 

The microdose is truly micro, and provides probably the most discreet, extremely low-level buzz you’ll ever feel. You could probably take a hit in the middle of a meeting and no one would notice. (Not that we’re recommending that.) 

How did Pax decide what a micro hit was? Technically, it’s all about the number of joules (not Juuls) of energy applied to the Pod by the Pax’s USB-chargeable battery. This is why you shouldn’t expect to see Session Control on Pax’s larger and more expensive vaporizer for cannabis flower, the $200 Pax 3; it’s harder to control the amount of energy provided to the Pax 3’s oven. That thing gets so hot, you can get high from it immediately after it’s turned off.  

But how did Pax decide how many joules were necessary? With the help of feedback from a large and enthusiastic beta testing community. This kind of feedback will determine where the company will go with Session Control technology in the future — possibly providing an “Extra Large” option, Vasan suggested, or an even more micro microdose. Or maybe allowing users with poor impulse control to change the amount of time they’re locked out of the device. 

Regardless, it’s an intriguing strategy that helps Pax in its goal to become what Vasan calls the iPhone of vaporizers: it just works, however you want it to work. Technically, encouraging people to use the product less (or in smaller doses) doesn’t affect Pax Labs’ bottom line, since the Pods are all filled by third parties. Pax just makes empty Pods and licenses their use.   

And if more people have a better, low level, more manageable experience while vaping weed, perhaps they’ll become long-term customers. And perhaps they’ll sample more Pax Pods now that they can effectively sip them. In this, as in so many other areas of consumption, less is more. 

Read more: http://mashable.com/

Mary JaneThe future of weed is microdosing. This company is ahead of the game
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Trump now backs marijuana ‘states rights’ bill, senator says

President Donald Trump has reportedly lent his support to a U.S. senator from Colorado, promising to back legislation that “protects states’ rights” on legalized marijuana.

The president’s decision would represent a split from U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who in January rescinded an Obama-era policy, known as “the Cole memo,” that gave states more leeway over the federal government on marijuana policy.

The name refers to former Deputy Attorney General James Cole, whose memo explained the policy.

In a statement Friday, U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner, a Republican, said he’d received an assurance from the president on the states’ rights’ issue earlier this week.

“Since the campaign, President Trump has consistently supported states’ rights to decide for themselves how best to approach marijuana,” Gardner said. “Late Wednesday, I received a commitment from the President that the Department of Justice’s rescission of the Cole memo will not impact Colorado’s legal marijuana industry.

“Furthermore,” Gardner added, “President Trump has assured me that he will support a federalism-based legislative solution to fix this states’ rights issue once and for all.”

U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner, R-Colo., addresses reporters, Jan. 22, 2018.  (Associated Press)

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders confirmed Gardner’s account of the president’s thinking — but Sessions’ reaction was not immediately known.

During the 2016 presidential campaign, candidate Trump said states should be able to decide their own marijuana policies. “I’m a states person, it should be up to the states, absolutely,” he told a television interviewer in Colorado that year.

However, a year earlier at CPAC (Conservative Political Action Conference) in Maryland, Trump had said he supported medical marijuana but called recreational pot “bad.”

He singled out Colorado, the first state to allow recreational marijuana sales. “They’ve got a lot of problems going on right now in Colorado – some big problems,” Trump said then.

When Trump selected Sessions, a former federal prosecutor and U.S. senator from Alabama, as his attorney general, marijuana supporters girded for a crackdown. But Gardner said Sessions had promised him he’d do nothing to interfere with Colorado’s robust marijuana market.

Gardner said he was blindsided when Sessions made his announcement in January regarding pot prosecutions.

In retaliation, Gardner used his power as a senator to prevent consideration of any nominees for the Department of Justice — an extraordinary step for a senator to use against an administration run by another member of his party.

Recently, Gardner and Justice officials have been in discussions for months to get the holds lifted. Gardner has met with Sessions and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, the official overseeing the Russia probe who has been the target of Trump’s ire.

In his Friday statement, Gardner said he had released some holds, but left others in place until he acquired “a full commitment that the guidelines of the Cole Memo would be respected.”

Meanwhile, legislation to protect states where marijuana is legal is still being drafted. Trump’s backing is seen as key to getting a bill through Congress.

Fox News’ Adam Shaw and Jake Gibson and the Associated Press contributed to this report.

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/

Mary JaneTrump now backs marijuana ‘states rights’ bill, senator says
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