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Shoppers want Amazon-brand prescription drugs, medical marijuana and cryptocurrency

Consumers can buy almost anything on Amazon.com Inc., but they would like to be able to purchase more, including prescription drugs, medical marijuana and cryptocurrency, according to an Investing.com study.

Investing.com polled about 1,000 Amazon AMZN, -0.81%   shoppers, both Prime members and non-Prime members. Of the 1,013 respondents to a question asking which products and services they would feel comfortable purchasing beneath an “Amazon” brand, 36.7% said prescription drugs, 29.5% said medical marijuana, 16% said virtual doctor visits and 12.7% were OK with cryptocurrencies.

Nearly three-quarters of respondents (72.9%) said they would be comfortable buying an Amazon-branded computer, the top answer.

An Amazon-branded computer is also the most “hypothetically anticipated” Amazon product, the survey found. Medical marijuana and prescription drugs also made the top five of that list, along with health-care coverage.

Amazon has already made inroads into the private label business with names like Mama Bear baby products and Lark & Ro, a women’s fashion brand.

According to an Edge by Ascential report from December 2018, Amazon has been selective about adding to its list of private labels, so shoppers will have to wait for more.

“Amazon’s total number of private products is certainly growing, but it’s doing so at a careful, steady pace and the retailer isn’t shy about discontinuing products and changing its approach,” the report said.

And Edge by Ascential doesn’t think 2019 will be the year that Amazon takes a deeper dive into the private label business.

“Amazon is more likely to continue in its slow build, introducing new products carefully, backed up by plenty of data and research and always willing to experiment with new strategies and change when something isn’t working,” the report said.

“Rather aggressively taking on the competition, Amazon’s private labels and exclusive brands will sneak up on us, growing organically and finding their way into the minds and carts of consumers.”

Competing retailers, including grocers, have focused on private labels as a way of adding something unique to their shelves and build a more expansive moat between their offerings and what can be found on Amazon. Target Corp. TGT, -0.15%  , for instance, had more than 20 private label brands available during the holidays, with A New Day, a women’s clothing brand, and Cat & Jack, a kids brand, reaching more than $1 billion in sales.

Many shoppers polled in the Investing.com survey (88%) say they think there’s even more room for Amazon to branch into new industries. A quarter of respondents think an in-house delivery service will be next, 19% say pharmaceuticals is the big push, 13% pegged artificial intelligence and 9% think it will be health care.

Amazon already dominates the books category, with 48.5% of respondents saying they turn to Amazon exclusively for their reading material. Nearly half (48.3%) say electronics, computers and office is an Amazon-exclusive category.

“As we went through the answers, we got the overwhelming sense that millions of Amazon shoppers will stay with the company through thick and thin,” Investing.com wrote. “To them, Amazon isn’t just any online retailer — they truly trust the brand.”

The survey also found that 43% of respondents say they no longer go to malls, though they shop at brick-and-mortar stores five times per month; the average amount spent with Amazon each month is $120.45; and while 55.5% of respondents trust Amazon to store their personal information, only 37% trust Google GOOGL, -1.07% GOOG, -0.87%   , 35.6% trust Apple Inc. AAPL, -1.10%   and 9.3% trust Facebook Inc. FB, -1.38%  

Amazon shares have gained 15.8% over the past year while the Amplify Online Retail ETF IBUY, -0.66%   is up nearly 7% and the S&P 500 index SPX, -0.22%   has gained nearly 2% for the period.

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Arkansas officially licenses 32 medical cannabis dispensaries

Arkansas regulators have announced that they have formally awarded all 32 licenses for cannabis dispensaries that will operate under the state’s medical marijuana program. Officials at the Department of Finance and Administration said on Tuesday that all 32 licensees approved last month paid the required $15,000 licensing fee and have posted a $100,000 performance bond. Scott Hardin, a spokesman for the department, said the dispensaries are now authorized to begin serving patients.

“They have completed everything required of them, so at this point technically they are licensed,” said Hardin. “They will receive a formal piece of paper, a license over the next week to make it official, but really at this point, it is simply a matter of how quickly can these 32 companies open their doors for business.”

Hardin said that some of the approved dispensaries have already begun construction and should be open as soon as this spring.

“You have some companies that were in anticipation of a license, hopeful anticipation, were proactively getting their facilities ready, so some of those, we think, could be open as early as April,” he said. “We think it would be a very limited number. We think it’s really going to start taking off in the summer.”

MMJ ID Cards On the Way

The department also announced on Tuesday that the state has begun distributing medical marijuana identification cards to patients that have been approved for the program. The cards have an effective date of February 15 and will be required for patients to make purchases at the newly licensed cannabis dispensaries. The department had planned to issue them once dispensaries were prepared to open, but changed course when officials in neighboring Oklahoma announced it would allow patients with cards from other states to purchase cannabis. Connie Melton, branch chief for health systems, licensing and certification for the state Department of Health, said at the time that patients in Arkansas wanted to take advantage of that opportunity.

“Approved patients have called and requested that their card be made available so that they can take advantage of the Oklahoma visiting patient opportunity, and so pending the outcome of the Marijuana Commission meeting next week and the scoring of the dispensaries, the agency anticipates issuing Arkansas Medical Marijuana Registry ID cards within the next 30 days,” Melton said.

So far, at least one company licensed by the state to cultivate cannabis has already begun to grow plants. Hardin said that after many delays, the medical marijuana program approved by voters in 2016 should finally be fully operational by summer.

“This is all hopefully coming together to really see this industry start taking off here in a couple of months. I know it’s been over two years to get to this point, so the frustration is understandable,” Hardin said. “The good news is we’re finally there and it’s just a matter of time until we can have it and Arkansans can go to that dispensary to get that product.”

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Everything you need to know about traveling with marijuana

Rule For The Road

For the vast majority of you, this will be your mode of transportation over the holiday weekend. In most legal marijuana states, it is permissible to travel with up to one ounce of cannabis. But most states require the cannabis to be stored in a sealed container and inaccessible to the driver.

So, basically, pack less than an ounce, put it in a sealed jar and place it in your trunk. An open baggie the passenger seat is not the wisest course of action.

Be careful in states bordering legal states. Patrol officers in Idaho, which borders both Washington and Oregon, are known to pull over out-of-state vehicles. Same with Nebraska, which borders Colorado.

If you are traveling from one legal state to the next (California to Oregon, for example), chances are you will be OK as long as you are not over the legal possession limit.

As for driving while impaired, please don’t. Booze accounts for 4 out of every 10 highway fatalities this holiday. Don’t make it worse by driving if you feel impaired. It’s just not worth it.

The Friendly Skies

If you are flying to your destination, keep in mind that policies — both official and unofficial — vary wildly depending on the state. But keep this in mind: Air travel is federally regulated by the FAA and the agency is crystal clear that cannabis is not permitted on board any aircraft.

So the best advice is to leave it at home. Seriously. It’s the safest way to avoid a crappy weekend. But if you are a chronic rule breaker, there are a few things to know.

The TSA is focused on catching passengers with explosives or weapons. The TSA security officers are not in the business of looking for weed. According to TSA:

TSA security officers do not search for marijuana or other drugs. In the event a substance that appears to be marijuana is observed during security screening, TSA will refer the matter to a law enforcement officer.

Whether or not marijuana is considered legal under local law is not relevant to TSA screening because TSA is governed by federal law. Federal law provides no basis to treat medical marijuana any differently than non-medical marijuana.

So if you get caught trying to bring cannabis with you on your flight, you won’t deal with the federal government, you will deal with local authorities. If you live in states that have a strict marijuana laws (you know, Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri, etc.) expect a hassle and probable arrest.

Some airports, such as LAX, are more, well, lax. The L.A. police officers assigned duty at LAX follow state laws, meaning it is legal for adults to possess up to an ounce of marijuana.

At Denver International Airport, it is illegal to possess marijuana on airport property, even though Colorado is a legal state. If you get nabbed with nugs, you will be kindly asked to place your weed in one of the “amnesty boxes” before getting on the plane.

If you insist on flying with cannabis, just be careful. Use common sense. Bring a small amount. But if you are risk averse or paranoid, just leave it at home.

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Harvard study shows men who smoke cannabis have higher sperm counts

Researchers at Harvard University found that cannabis could affect a man’s fertility, but not in the way you might think.

The surprising results from the research found that men who regularly smoke cannabis have higher sperm counts than men who don’t smoke. The findings were published in the journal Human Reproduction earlier this week and have received worldwide attention since previously it was thought that cannabis consumption will negatively affect a man’s sperm count.

The researchers tested 662 men enrolled at the Massachusetts General Hospital Fertility Center between 2000 and 2017. From these men, they collected 1,143 semen samples. Of the 662 men, 365 reported having smoked marijuana and these men are reported to have had “significantly higher sperm concentration”. They are said to have had 63 million sperm per milliliter of semen whereas the 297 men who reported never smoking cannabis only had 45 million per milliliter.

The researchers appropriately adjusted findings for other factors including abstinence time, smoking, coffee consumption, age, alcohol and cocaine which can all affect sperm counts. They also found that the sperm counts did not differ very much when comparing current and former cannabis smokers.

“These unexpected findings from our study highlight that we know too little about the reproductive health effects of cannabis and, in fact, of the health effects in general, to make strong statements about the impact of cannabis and, in fact, of the health effects in general, to make strong statements about the impact of cannabis on health, with the possible exception of mental health,” said Jorge Chavaro, lead researcher and associate professor of nutrition and epidemiology at Harvard.

The research also found that men who smoke more often within the group that had ever smoked cannabis had higher testosterone levels.

“An equally plausible interpretation is that our findings could reflect the fact that men with higher testosterone level are more likely to engage in risk-seeking behaviors, including smoking marijuana,” said Feiby Nassan, an environmental health and nutrition researcher at Harvard.

Nassan also made a point of acknowledging that there were limitations when conducting the study and that the findings may not be totally accurate as many people may not have admitted to smoking cannabis.

“An equally important limitation is the fact that most of the data were collected while cannabis was illegal in Massachusetts, so it is difficult to know to what extent men may have under-reported use of cannabis because of social stigma or potential consequences related to insurance coverage for infertility services,” said Dr. Nassan.

“Our results need to be interpreted with caution and they highlight the need to further study the health effects of marijuana use.”

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The future of big data in cannabis

People often want to look to hard data to solve the most difficult issues in society. That seems preferable to taking best guesses at predicting the future.

With the legalization of recreational cannabis this past October, the world is looking to Canada for best practices and lessons learned, with regard to recreational and to the country’s longer experience to date with medical cannabis patients.

As the industry continues to evolve, big data is ever more critical in the process to best understand every step of the journey.

As the cannabis industry matures, it is likely more of a range in the data sets will become available. The cannabis industry has no shortage of anecdotal data, but patient-reported outcome data only matches real-world criteria with patient choices.

That said, today’s medical cannabis data lacks standardization. “If cannabis wants to play in the same sandbox as other medications, it really needs to be treated the same way,” Prad Sekar, CEO CB2 Insights, noted during the Cantech Investment Conference in Toronto on Jan. 29 to 30.

What does this mean for the world of data collection? Working with health professionals is critical, although with many being third-party physicians—those who work at cannabis clinics or services like video chats, for example—standardizing data sets can be a challenge.

Creating a standardized data set is the goal of many of today’s larger medical cannabis companies, as is meeting data integrity and data reliability. The key here would be for the major companies to unify their clinics and begin using stage one to stage four—studies assess the safety of a drug or device; studies test the efficacy of a drug or device; studies involve randomized and blind testing; and studies are conducted after a drug or device has been approved for consumer sale—as benchmarks for success.

Where do the opportunities lie?

GettyImages 913616168 534x306 The future of big data in cannabis

Patients need a review platform to help them understand and learn from the empirical experiences of others

Data collection does not end when the cannabis is prescribed. Lift & Co. seems to take the view that patients still need a review platform to help them understand and learn from the empirical experiences of others.

This is where the company claims a large market opportunity exists, as evidenced by review platforms the company has launched over the past year. “The stigmas that led them to investigate and use cannabis, is just as important as their lifestyle data, and just as important as the medical strain data,” says Lise Dellazizzo, vice-president of data strategy at Lift & Co. “The conversations we have most are around tracking data along the patient journey. Its all the ancillary data around the purchase and user behaviour patterns that is the golden nugget of 2019,” Dellazizzo told attendees.

What are the key pillars of data?

For data to stay relevant, high volume, high velocity and high variety is needed. While in years past many industries had small data sets based on transactions, that is not the case today. The shift is now moving towards what type of ancillary data can be pieced together to truly understand who a company’s end-customer is.

In the cannabis context, for example, how much will strain data actually be relevant, if it appears as though the preferred forms of cannabis are edging towards topicals, oils and edibles.

Are trends similar on a global basis?

Although it seems like an ever-shifting battlefield, there are still some traditional marketing tactics that can apply to the cannabis industry. However, the greatest barriers to any market is the adoption of the clinical community because that is the bottleneck for people before cannabis can be understood by the wider community.

“Patients coming to market globally are small and slim compared to Canada and U.S.,” says Shawn Moniz, CEO of Cannvas MedTech Inc.

Will AI play a bigger role in cannabis?

Sooner then later, artificial intelligence (A.I.) may enter the cannabis picture. The challenge in A.I is that people don’t really know the right questions to ask yet. Data is only useful when it begins with the right questions. Looking for patterns through machine learning and observing what people are learning will be important. What are consumers’ likes, dislikes and lifestyle choices. This will give birth to a world of predictive cannabis analytics.

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If you’re a medical cannabis patient, you basically can’t drive in Canada

Medical marijuana has been legal in Canada for almost 20 years. But thanks to the country’s new rules on drug-impaired driving, medical marijuana patients basically can’t drive anywhere in Canada anymore. If they do, they risk getting into the same legal hassle that Michelle Gray of Halifax endured recently, writes Brandon Hicks.

Gray, a 38-year-old woman using medical cannabis to treat symptoms of multiple sclerosis, was arrested on Tuesday for driving high. Her car was impounded, and her licence was temporarily revoked – even after it was determined that she was sober.

According to Gray, she consumed about “half a tiny joint” around 4pm that day, several hours before taking her son out to dinner in order to celebrate his 19th birthday. She also admits to having a single drink with dinner. On their way home, at roughly 10:45pm, they were pulled over at a roadblock set up by the RCMP.

After telling the officer that she’d had a drink, she submitted to a breathalyzer, which she passed. After the officer smelled marijuana in the car, they recommended that she move it to her trunk, as per provincial law. After doing so, she agreed to a roadside oral fluid test designed to detect high drivers – and was subsequently informed that she was over the limit, though the officer did not specify what her levels actually were.

Gray was then placed under arrest, and her car was impounded, forcing her son to get a ride home with a relative.

After being taken to the station, Gray was given two options – getting blood work done, or taking a more extensive sobriety test with a drug recognition expert. Gray chose the latter, and passed, despite her concerns that her symptoms of MS might’ve been misinterpreted as intoxication.  

Still, despite having been found to be unimpaired, Gray lost her license for a week, having to pay $150 to have it reinstated and reprinted. She also had to pay an additional $250 to have her car returned, forcing her to miss four days of work in the meantime.

Her case reveals a major problem with the current laws concerning drug-impaired driving. According to federal law, having between two and five nanograms of THC per milliliter of blood within two hours of driving puts the user over the legal limit. This is despite the lack of a concrete link between THC levels in one’s system and impairment. Some people have a higher tolerance than others, so even though the THC level in their blood is high, they are not. Typically, those people have consumed cannabis over a long period of time. That seems to be the case for Gray – a cannabis consumer since she was a teenager, which is likely why she has a “very high tolerance,” to use her words. But she isn’t the only one. Medical marijuana patients who use their medication daily are also likely to have elevated levels of THC in their blood that do not affect their ability to drive.

Still, according to RCMP Halifax, the provincial penalties remain in place for failing a roadside test, regardless of whether or not the perpetrator is deemed impaired. And that’s a huge problem for every cannabis consumer but especially medical patients. Given the fact that THC can remain detectable in a person’s body for up to a month, patients like Gray could be arrested for impaired driving at any time, regardless of whether or not they are sober.

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Wana Brands products now available to Illinois medical marijuana patients

Medical cannabis patients across Illinois now have access to Wana Brands products, the nation’s most dependable infused edibles, just as the state kicks off the new Opioid Alternative Pilot Program allowing patients suffering from conditions that require an opioid prescription to purchase cannabis. Wana Brands’ consistent, top-quality medical cannabis products are available in Illinois dispensaries through an exclusive licensing agreement with Grassroots Cannabis, Illinois’ largest medical cannabis company.

Wana flavors and ratios available in Illinois include Blueberry Indica (100 mg per package, 10 pieces) and Mango Sativa (100 mg per package, 10 pieces). Known for consistent dosing, Wana gummies are handcrafted and infused with high-quality tincture during the cooking process to ensure the best tasting, highest quality, consistent gummie on the market. Wana gummies are made with fruit pectin, not gelatin. A specially selected fruit pectin gives Wana Sour Gummies their amazing texture and makes them vegan. All Wana products are made with gluten-free ingredients and taste like real fruit, thanks to all-natural flavoring, coloring and sugar. Wana Gummies also have no sorbitol or mineral oil, both of which can cause stomach upset.

“Cannabis offers a safe alternative to the deadly opioid crisis,” said Nancy Whiteman, Founder & CEO of Wana Brands. “Wana Brands is ready to provide safe and consistent products to the state’s medical marijuana patients.”

More than 52,000 patients have joined Illinois’ Medical Cannabis Registry Program since it launched in September 2014, with those numbers expected to double as the Opioid Alternative Pilot Program comes online. Now doctors are allowed to prescribe medical marijuana instead of opioids to help patients with chronic pain, stemming from cancer or other medical issues. Qualifying medical conditions include HIV / AIDS, ALS, Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, Crohn’s disease, severe fibromyalgia, glaucoma, hepatitis C, lupus, multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, Parkinson’s disease, epilepsy, spinal cord disease / injury, traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

With availability to medical patients in Illinois, Wana Brands’ continues expansion from its Colorado headquarters. The Company’s consistent and potent medical marijuana products are also available in Colorado, Arizona, Nevada and Oregon dispensaries, with Florida, Michigan and Ohio among the states imminently coming online. Wana Brands expects to expand into California, Maryland, Pennsylvania and internationally in Canada through 2020. Wana Brands is the No. 1 infused cannabis brand in the United States, selling more units and dollars than any other cannabis products company, according to BDS Analytics.

For more information or to schedule an interview, please contact media@wanabrands.com

Wana Brands: Enhance Your Life

Included in the 2018 Inc. 5000 list at #1087 and boasting a three-year growth rate of 455%, Wana Brands is the No. 1 edibles brand in the United States, with more units and dollars sold than any other brand, according to BDS Analytics. Wana leads the industry in quality, consistency and potency, featuring a carefully curated line of edibles, including market-leading gummies and WanaCapsXR, a family of extended-release cannabis capsules that provide symptom relief for up to 12 hours. Wana products are available in Colorado, Arizona, Oregon, Nevada and Illinois. Wana is currently onboarding in Florida and Michigan to serve medical marijuana patients in those markets by end of 2019. The Company expects to enter California, Maryland, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Oklahoma, Missouri, Massachusetts, New Jersey and internationally in Canada by 2020. For more information or to subscribe to Wana’s e-newsletter, visit www.wanabrands.com. Follow Wana on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter.

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Aleafia Health’s first product data science fellow to lead acceleration of research efforts

Dr. Graham Merry, Aleafia Health Inc.’s first-ever product data science fellow, will lead the company’s ongoing medical cannabis research efforts into the development of evidence-based, proprietary treatment methods and products for chronic illnesses.

Leveraging Aleafia Health’s proprietary, 10 million-point medical cannabis patient dataset, Dr. Merry will guide medical cannabis research into chronic illnesses such as pain, insomnia, anxiety and eating disorders, notes a statement from the company.

A graduate in medicine from The Royal London Hospital Medical College in London, and founder of Photospectra Health Sciences Inc., his appointment “is part of a global initiative by Aleafia Health to build an integrated, scalable cannabis consumer experience, leveraging the company’s in-house, executive leadership experience at multi-billion dollar eCommerce and IT companies.”

Current Aleafia Health research initiatives include an insomnia study in partnership with Cronos Group, a cannabinoid pharmacogenetics study with Guided 420 Genetics and AKESOgen and a recently published study on cannabis and benzodiazepines.

Dr. Merry “has instigated, been a principal investigator and published clinical trials internationally,” reports Aleafia Health, a vertically integrated, national cannabis company that operates a major medical clinic, cannabis cultivation and research and development facilities.

“Aleafia Health tracks all patient interactions with referring doctors, nurse practitioners and educators from diagnosis, treatment, monitoring and continuous learning,” the company notes. It “generated $0.6 million in research revenue in Q3 2018 alone, fuelled primarily by medical cannabis companies subscribing to Aleafia Health’s proprietary medical cannabis patient dataset,” the statement adds.

“We will enable patients to navigate seamlessly through cannabis education, illness-specific questionnaires, medical cannabis script product purchasing, order subscription management and treatment/titration monitoring, says company CEO Geoffrey Benic.

“We will continue to make important contributions to the research of medical cannabis treatment best practices and product development,” comments Dr. Michael Verbora, Aleafia Health’s chief medical officer.

“This initiative will allow the opportunity to obtain clinical evidence to validate and gain wider acceptance in the medical community realizing the benefits of cannabinoid treatment in serious and debilitating disease,” Dr. Merry says. “Together, we will make a huge difference in addressing the unmet needs of patients in this emerging field of medicine,” he notes.

Also at Aleafia Health, Dr. Taylor Lougheed, who has an extensive history in cannabinoid prescribing as the lead physician at Ottawa’s Canabo Medical Clinic, has been appointed as physician lead for QI/QA of clinic operations.

“Dr. Lougheed will help drive efficiencies across a growing clinic network and leverage Aleafia proprietary research data to optimize clinical decision-making to maximize cannabinoid therapy outcomes for patients,” the company statement adds

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Los Grammy 2019 emitirán un anuncio de CBD

El próximo domingo 10 de febrero, durante la gala de los Grammy, se emitirá un anuncio publicitario muy peculiar: el de un café con CBD infusionado.

Por supuesto, el anuncio de CBD en los Grammys no se trata de algo intrascendente. Estamos hablando de la primera vez que un anuncio de un producto de cannabis se emite durante este evento de gran relevancia no solo nacional en EE.UU., sino internacional, con millones de telespectadores.

El anuncio  de CBD en cuestión no se estrena en los Grammy, dado que ya apareció durante la emisión del show del descanso de la Super Bowl LIII, a cargo de Maroon 5, siendo la primera vez que un producto de cannabis era publicitado en este super evento. También se espera que se emita en las competiciones de carreras de automóviles NASCAR de este año.

Se trata de un producto de Baristas Coffee Company, Inc., una muy respetada compañía de cafés de Seattle que, entre otros productos de café, fabrica el EnrichaRoast CBD, un expresso con una cantidad de cafeína superior al de los cafés convencionales y enriquecido con CBD.

La cantante Megs MacLean es quien pone cara a este anuncio de CBD, como el resto de anuncios de Baristas EnrichaRoast CBD y White Coffee.

“Tener a Megs McLean como la cara de los anuncios ayudará aún más a llegar a esta audiencia en otro evento histórico no sólo para Baristas, sino también para todas las compañías legales de cannabis”, afirma el CEO de la compañía, Barry Henthorn. “Los Grammy llegan a un grupo muy selecto que creemos se alinea bien con nuestro EnrichaRoast CBD y otros productos de café. “

No podemos dejar de insistir en la trascendencia de este hecho, que sin duda supone un empujón a la normalización del cannabis, ayudando a crear conciencia acerca del mercado legal de este producto.

Detrás de este singular logro de “colar” un anuncio de un producto de cannabis en eventos de la talla de los Grammy, la Super Bowl o el NASCAR está Canna Consumer Goods Inc. a través de su plataforma Canna Broadcast Media, especializada en la obtención la autorización de los medios de comunicación principales para promover el sector del cannabis, incluidos anuncios de televisión, radio y anuncios digitales. Hoy por hoy es la única plataforma capaz de colocar publicidad del cannabis en los medios mainstream de EE.UU. y Canadá.

Desde luego, la palabra clave en el mundo del cannabis para este año va a ser CBD, término que hace referencia al cannabidiol, el principal componente no psicotrópico de la marihuana, cuya popularidad está aumentando gracias a la investigación científica que está determinando sus múltiples propiedades terapéuticas.

Aunque en Europa comienza a aumentar notablemente el mercado de este cannabinoide, por el momento no hay una regulación que lo autorice como aditivo alimentario, por lo que su presencia se limita a productos de uso cosmético.

 

 

La entrada Los Grammy 2019 emitirán un anuncio de CBD aparece primero en Nekwo.

Florida Judge rejects limits on medical marijuana dispensaries

Following Governor Ron DeSantis’ efforts to get the Florida legislature to lift its ban on smokable marijuana, the state is facing another challenge to laws limiting its medical marijuana program. For the second time, a circuit judge has challenged a 2017 Florida law that placed a cap on the number of dispensaries that are allowed to open.

Both the smokable cannabis ban and dispensary cap were created in a 2017 law that looked to regulate Amendment 2, Florida’s Medical Marijuana Legalization measure, which passed with the support of more than 71 percent of voters in 2016.

On Feb. 2, Karen Gievers, Leon County’s Circuit Judge, definitively sided with the state’s largest chain of dispensaries: Trulieve. Gievers upbraided the state legislature and Florida health officials for ignoring the voters’ will and limiting patients’ access to medical cannabis.

The state’s health department suggests that the dispensary cap works to avoid over-saturation of the medical marijuana market. But Judge Gievers ruled out that theory. “Handicapping existing, performing, competitive businesses to help less competitive businesses, at the expense of consumer efficiency and choice, is not rationally related to a legitimate public purpose,” she wrote.

Republican Governor DeSantis’ push to legalize smokable cannabis made headlines last month after giving legislators until March 15 to correct what the governor believes is an inappropriate ban. But by Monday, that piece of legislation, SB 182, had been considerably weakened. Gayle Harrell, the Senate’s chairperson of its health policy committee, altered the proposed bill to legalize smokable herb in specific instances where it’s been determined as the only form of cannabis that can treat a patient’s health condition.

The Orlando Sentinel reports that Harrell called her alterations “common-sense safety measures,” and “guardrails” to keep patients under safe care.

Changes imposed on the proposal would also make it mandatory for patients to schedule three doctor’s visits to get their meds, none of which are covered by health insurance. In addition to the first mandated visit, Harrell’s changes would require patients to get a second opinion on the recommendation to smoke pot from a doctor who’s not state-certified to supply patients with cannabis. Then they would be required to go back to the original doctor to get their medication.

Not all legislators were happy with the alterations. “I understand that patients right now would be better off with no bill than with this bill,” said St. Petersburg Senator Jeff Brandes, a Republican and sponsor of SB 182.

In regards to the dispensary cap, Judge Gievers ordered the legislature and health department authorities to permit Trulieve to expand to 34 dispensaries state-wide, and to put a halt to the dispensary ban.

In her ruling, Gievers wrote that the cap “erects barriers that needlessly increase patients’ costs, risks, and inconvenience, delay access to products, and reduce patients’ practical choice, information, privacy and safety.”

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