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Cannabis edibles expected to take small bite out of illegal sales

Licensed cannabis producers are optimistic that the introduction of legal edibles will help displace the black market, but analysts say it will take time to displace illegal sales. 

Edmonton-based cannabis producer Aurora is launching a line of edibles that include chocolates, gummies and vaping products. 

The company has submitted its products to Health Canada for approval and could begin selling them as of mid-December. 

Recreational Marijuana Would Create More Than 100,000 Jobs in Florida, Study Says

The number of jobs related to hemp, cannabis, and marijuana could increase more than sevenfold in Florida by 2025 — that is, if recreational marijuana gains approval in the November 2020 election.

The prediction comes from a new study on the cannabis industry conducted by New Frontier Data.

Ontario gardeners bring in their 1st harvest of legal backyard cannabis

Along with planting bulbs and clearing out dying annuals, some Ontario gardeners now have a new fall tradition: harvesting their cannabis plants. 

"Now is the most exciting time of growing at home," said Katy Perry, who owns a hydroponic supply store in Toronto. 

"Your plant is finally ready to be chopped down, dried, cured and consumed." 

Last week, Canada marked one year since legalization, making this the first time that Ontarians have been able to legally cultivate cannabis over the summer growing season. 

Democratic Governors meet in New York City to discuss cannabis and vaping

The governors from several Northeastern states said Thursday they want to work together to regulate marijuana and vaping, including possible regional restrictions on flavored vaping products.

Democratic governors from New York, Connecticut, New Jersey and Pennsylvania met in New York City with health and legislative officials. Representatives from Massachusetts and Colorado were also on hand for the meeting.

“What we want to do is coordinate this on a regional basis,” said Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont, noting how the “patchwork quilt of marijuana regulations makes no sense at all.” He said the group came up with “very preliminary” principles concerning how to regulate legalized, recreational marijuana, such as agreeing to have similar policies for THC content, edibles, advertising and taxation in order to dissuade people from turning to the illicit market.

Lamont said “different states are going to have different timeframes” to pass marijuana legislation and he didn’t foresee everyone enacting the exact same law at the same time. He said more work needs to be done and staff from the participating states will continue working together on the issue. Several of the governors unsuccessfully pushed for their states to allow recreational pot sales in the last year.

“We just want to make sure we go in with our eyes open and we’re consistent,” Lamont said.

On vaping, Lamont said there appeared to be “the most unity” among the officials on possibly outlawing flavored e-cigarettes next year, given their appeal to young people and the growing number of vaping-related lung illnesses and deaths across the country.

“I think you’ll see some unanimity on that at the start,” he said.

Earlier this month, a state appeals court temporarily blocked New York from enforcing Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s 90-day emergency ban on such products after the vaping industry sued to block the regulations. In Massachusetts, Republican Gov. Charlie Baker last month announced a statewide ban on the sale of vaping products, a measure that has been challenged in court.

Meanwhile, a new law just took effect in Connecticut that increased the age to 21 for someone to purchase vaping products.

Cuomo said a lack of federal action on pot and vaping regulations means it’s up to states to act. He noted that marijuana is often vaped and states should also consider that when considering marijuana legalization.

Medical cannabis patients in Germany set to top one million

A new report into the German cannabis market estimates the total number of patients has risen 60,000 in less than two years since first approved for medical use.

The ‘Germany Cannabis Report’ from Prohibition Partners also states that within a few years that number will have risen to one million patients. And, it estimates the total German cannabis market will be worth €16.2 billion by 2028, with the medicinal cannabis market estimated to be worth €7.7 billion by the same time.

This comes as Canadian firm Aphria, one of the few from that country to be currently showing a profit, says that by next year Germany will be contributing almost half its revenues. 

German Boost For Aphria

In a first quarter results announcement Aphria said with 2020 revenue projections estimated at $700 million, its ‘German distribution business will represent slightly more than half of the total net revenue’. 

Daragh Anglim, Managing Director Prohibition Partners, says in the introduction to the report, released in mid-October, that the rapid growth of the German market ‘is unprecedented in Europe’. 

Adding: “Major change has followed across the continent but Germany remains one of the most open, promising and exciting markets in the region.” 

The report highlights the supply problems facing the German market which is currently reliant on imports from Canada, Holland, Portugal and Australia. In an effort to combat this production licences were granted earlier this year, and of the 13 lots, Aphria and Aurora secured five, and Demecan received the remaining three lots. 

23 Euros Per Gram

Each lot allows the holder to grow 200 kilograms per year for a four-year period. And the report adds: “The reality is that the German tendered facilities are not going to meet the domestic medical cannabis quantity demand.” 

It says patients requesting medicinal cannabis are being supported by a robust public health insurance regime, which covers 90% of the population. The monthly allowance 100 gramme is generous and the ‘insurance companies cover all cannabis treatments and do not specify which conditions are covered’. 

Medicinal cannabis in Germany is very expensive, however, with an average price to patients of between €20 and €25 per gram for flower. In the Netherlands, medical cannabis is sold to patients for approximately €7 per gram, says the report.

CALIFORNIA | After Newsom bans pot use in limos, and for hospital patients, cannabis advocates are angry

SACRAMENTO — 

 

Gov. Gavin Newsom led the campaign to legalize marijuana in California three years ago but has since angered some in the industry by refusing to allow pot in hospitals and outlawing its use on tour buses and in limousines.

CANADA | Former task force chair sees warning signs from first year of decriminalized cannabis

The former lead of the federally appointed task force for the legalization of cannabis says the first year has gone "extremely well" but there are "yellow flags veering to red" on vaping as laws governing the next wave of pot products come into force.

Anne McLellan, the former deputy prime minister and head of the team of experts assembled by the Liberal government to make recommendations on how recreational pot should be legalized, said the growing number of vaping-related illnesses on both sides of the border is giving her pause.

For Young Farmers, Hemp Is a ‘Gateway Crop’

Asaud Frazier enrolled in Tuskegee University with plans to study medicine, but by the time graduation rolled around in 2016, he’d already switched gears. Instead of becoming a physician, Frazier decided to farm hemp.

“I was always interested in cannabis because it had so many different uses,” he said. “It’s a cash crop, so there’s no sense in growing anything else. Cannabis is about to totally take over an array of industries.”

Medical Marijuana May Help Lessen Opioid Use and Potential Abuse

Medical marijuana shows early promise to lessen opioid use and potential abuse, suggests a systematic review of published studies being presented at the ANESTHESIOLOGY® 2019 annual meeting. However, much more rigorous scientific research must be done to determine if there truly are pain relief benefits to medical marijuana that can ease chronic pain and outweigh potential risks.

Georgia’s new medical marijuana program stalls 6 months after law signed

Six months after Gov. Brian Kemp signed a law allowing companies to grow and sell medical marijuana in Georgia for the first time, the program remains stalled because he and other top politicians still haven’t appointed members of a commission to oversee the expansion. 

Aides to Kemp, Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan and House Speaker David Ralston haven’t said why there’s no members yet for the Georgia Access to Medical Cannabis Commission. But until they do, the expansion is effectively sidelined. 

The legislation, House Bill 324, gave the seven-member commission vast oversight over the state’s medical marijuana operation, including picking which businesses can grow the plant and developing the licensing requirements that retailers must meet to sell it.

It’s a cornerstone of legislation that creates a new but limited marijuana industry in Georgia. The legislation was celebrated as a milestone for patients who were previously allowed to use the drug — but had to violate state and federal laws to purchase it.

One potential cause for the lag time is that the commission is essentially a startup, unlike other boards and agencies with built-in procedures and existing members. State officials say they’ve been inundated with applications — more than 50 candidates have surfaced for the spots.

The law also sets strict requirements for appointments, including a rule that commission members must not have any ownership stake or other financial interest in a cannabis oil firm during their term — and five years after it ends.

Still, the delay is a setback for patients and their families who celebrated the law’s passage with hopes it would provide much-needed treatment for severe seizures, terminal cancers, Parkinson’s disease and other illnesses. 

“It’s extremely frustrating for medically fragile patients to finally get a bill passed that allows the distribution of medical cannabis oil, and then still be waiting on Governor Kemp to establish the commission,” said Blaine Cloud, whose daughter Alaina suffers from a severe form of epilepsy that could be treated by the drug. 

“Registered patients and many others continue to suffer every day – and will continue to suffer since it will take time to get companies licensed once the commission is finally established.”