Cannabis Extract Recommended for MS
The American Academy of Neurology issued new recommendations this week for patients with multiple sclerosis. Their recommendations now include oral cannabis extract to help ease spasticity symptoms and pain.
More Cannabis Strains to Be Available Soon for Researchers
Director of the National Institute for Drug Abuse’s Marijuana Project Dr. Mahmoud Elsohly told Nature.com that for the first time in decades the Marijuana Project is expanding the strains it offers. The Marijuana Project is a farm at the University of Mississippi that is the only federally-approved source for cannabis for research. In addition to their usual high-THC, low-CBD strains, they now grow a variety containing equal amounts of CBD and THC. They hope to begin growing a high-CBD, low-THC variety later this year.
U.S. May Help Ukraine By Buying Hemp Seeds
As the Obama administration readies an aid package for Ukraine and as it struggles with this four-month political crisis capped by Russia’s annexation, they are now looking at how the U.S. could help the Ukraine by purchasing its hemp seed. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack told Bloomberg.com, “We are now involved in trying to figure out ways in which we might be able to use the industrial hemp seeds that are created in the Ukraine in the U.S.” Ukraine is reportedly the world’s fourth-biggest producer of hemp seed.
California Public Support Up But Patients Still Face Challenges
- A new poll conducted by the Public Policy Institute of California pegs statewide cannabis support among registered voters at 53 percent.
- And this Tuesday, Fresno County supervisors issued the first two fines under the new cultivation ban. The ban took effect in February and allows the county to issue $1,000 fine per plant. A man was fined $30,000 for 30 plants found in his garage and a woman was fined $43,000 for 43 plants found in her mother’s home.
- Medical cannabis activists concerned that local bans on cultivation violate medical marijuana patients rights established in California laws SB 420 and Proposition 215 suffered a setback this week. The California Supreme Court on Wednesday denied a request from a Cal NORML attorney to review the case Maral v. Live Oak. In that case, the 3rd district appellate court upheld the right of the City of Live Oak to completely ban personal cultivation by medical cannabis patients. Attorney Bill Panzer, a member of Cal NORML’s board of directors, says the decision does set a legal precedent in the 3rd district that will allow local cultivation bans. Panzer says, however, it’s not a binding legal precedent in other Districts.
CBD Making Waves in Conservative States But Bills Not Perfect
Last Friday the Governor of Utah, Republican Governor Gary Herbert signed into law a bill to allow children in Utah with severe epilepsy to obtain extracts of non-psychoactive CBD-only medical cannabis. A similar law awaits the signature of Alabama’s governor, while a CBD-only medical cannabis bill in Georgia failed to come to a vote last week before the end of the legislative session. CBD-only medical cannabis legislation moved forward in Kentucky this week, with the house voting unanimously for it. Now the bill returns to the senate for a second vote to approve minor changes. In Florida, this Monday a CBD-only bill passed a senate committee.
Critics of these CBD bills say they are largely unworkable. According to Paul Armentano, Deputy Director of NORML, although Utah is the first state to sign CBD-only legislation into law, parents of epileptic children in Utah will still face virtually insurmountable obstacles to obtaining CBD medicine because of the way the law is written. Marijuana Business Daily calls the CBD-only legislation passed in Alabama pseudo-medical marijuana bills that will not achieve the desired goal of making high-cbd medicine accessible for children and adults suffering from severe epilepsy.