It's been an eventful week for our little green buddy: as the industry freaks out over Sessions’s confirmation, state lawmakers scramble to protect cannabis businesses in Washington, and some important clinical trials for THC and CBD-based therapies to treat brain cancer and PTSD in veterans are currently underway.
Sessions Has Been Confirmed
It happened: Senator Jeff Sessions has been confirmed as U.S. Attorney General. While there are many, many more serious issues to be concerned about than what he will do with marijuana laws (like voter suppression, immigration bans, and the dismantling of civil rights protections), that hasn’t stopped the cannabis industry from wondering what’s going to happen next.
In Response, Washington Lawmakers Seek to Build a Wall Around Marijuana
A metaphorical wall of legal protections, that is. Amid fears that Sessions will destroy state cannabis programs, Washington State lawmakers have quietly introduced a bill protecting cannabis businesses from federal law enforcement actions. The bill, which is currently in committee, would prohibit public resources from helping the federal government interfere with Washington state’s regulation of marijuana.
They’re Trying to Protect the State’s $730 Million in Revenues from Marijuana Sales
This fascinating article and accompanying infographic is absolutely worth a look if you’re curious about where Washington’s legal weed money is going. While $730 million sure does seem like a lot of money, once you take out the 60 percent that goes into public health programs like Medicaid (and substance abuse prevention programs), then the $17 million that goes to the Liquor and Cannabis Board, and the $30 million cut for local governments that allow marijuana sales within their jurisdictions, the grand total comes down to about $211 million—about half of one percent of the state’s operating budget. So, alas, Washington’s marijuana revenues won’t be nearly enough to fill the McCleary education-funding gap.
You Put the Lime in the Coconut…Waaaaaaaait a Minute
Do these look like real limes to you? Yeah, didn't think so.
Cannabis Chewing Gum is a New Product for Treating Irritable Bowel Syndrome
CanChew is a new cannabidiol-based chewing gum that purports to help treat IBS. Cannabidiol (or CBD) is a chemical compound found in marijuana, just like THC, but unlike THC, cannabidiols don’t have psychoactive properties, so the substance won’t get you high….
…But It Might Help Brain Cancer Patients Live Longer
Promising research from a UK pharmaceutical firm found that patients suffering from an aggressive form of brain cancer lived longer when treated with cannabinoid-based therapy. Participants who received the combined THC and CBD product showed an 83 percent one-year survival rate (compared to the 52 percent rate of placebo-takers).
…And Help Veterans Deal with PTSD
The first clinical trial using marijuana to help treat U.S. military veterans who suffer from PTSD has begun. The study is funded by a $2 million grant from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, although the recipient is a California-based nonprofit research organization called the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS).
“By exploring the effectiveness of a variety of marijuana potencies, the study seeks to generate research data comparable to what veterans in medical marijuana states currently use,” MAPS said in a press release this week. “Results will provide vital information on marijuana dosing, composition, side effects, and areas of benefit to clinicians and legislators considering marijuana as a potential treatment for PTSD.”