Kentucky Legislature Passes Resolution Urging Federal Government to End Hemp Prohibition

A resolution urging the federal government to end its prohibition on industrial hemp has been passed by the full Kentucky Legislature.

Kentucky House Concurrent Resolution 35 was given unanimous approval (36 to 0) Wednesday by the state’s Senate. The vote comes a little over a month after the House passed the resolution 93 to 2. Yesterday it was delivered to Governor Matt Bevin, who now has the option of signing it into law, allowing it to become law without his signature, or vetoing it (although a veto could be overturned by a 2/3rds vote in the legislature).

The resolution states that the “General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Kentucky urges the United States Congress to take action by enacting legislation that:

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Study: Cannabinoids May Help Treat Gut Inflammation

There’s “abundant preclinical literature demonstrating the anti-inflammatory effects of cannabinoid drugs in inflammation of the gut”, according to a new study published by the journal Inflammatory Bowel Disease.

For the study, researchers “systematically reviewed publications on the benefit of drugs targeting the endo-cannabinoid system in intestinal inflammation.” They “collated studies examining outcomes for meta-analysis from EMBASE, MEDLINE and Pubmed until March 2017. Quality was assessed according to mSTAIR and SRYCLE score.”

For the study, “51 publications examining the effect of cannabinoid compounds on murine colitis and 2 clinical studies were identified. Twenty-four compounds were assessed across 71 endpoints. Cannabidiol, a phytocannabinoid, was the most investigated drug.”

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Canada Senate Votes to Legalize Marijuana for Those 18+

Canada’s Senate has voted to pass a marijuana legalization bill through its second reading.

The Senate passed Bill C-45 yesterday in a 44 to 29 vote. The measure, which would legalize marijuana for everyone 18 and older, passed the House of Commons  in November by a vote of 200 to 82. The bill will now go through a third reading in the Senate. If passed, as expected, it will be sent to the Governor General for Royal Assent (final approval).

If the measure does become law as many anticipate and as Prime Minister Justin Trudea has promised, the possession and personal cultivation of marijuana will become legal for those 21 and older. The measure would establish a system of licensed brick-and-mortar cannabis retail outlets, while also allowing cannabis to be sold online.

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Hawaii Committee Passes Resolution Urging NFL to Allow Players to Use Medical CBD

A Hawaii House Committee has given approval to a resolution urging the National Football League (NFL) to allow players to use CBD (cannabidiol) for medical purposes.

Hawaii’s House Health and Human Services Committee unanimously approved House Resolution 40 on Wednesday, sending it towards a vote by the full House of Representatives. The resolution states; “BE IT RESOLVED by the Senate of the Twenty-ninth Legislature of the State of Hawaii, Regular Session of 2018, the House of Representatives concurring, that the National Football League is urged to allow injured National Football League players to use cannabidiol in pill or liquid form, in lieu of opioids, to address the pain from work-related injuries”.

The resolution also states; “BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that certified copies of this Concurrent Resolution be transmitted to the Commissioner of the National Football League and the respective General Managers of each of the teams that compose the National Football League.”

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Study: Marijuana Use Associated With Reduced Mortality Following Orthopedic Surgery

Marijuana use was associated with decreased mortality in patients undergoing a variety of surgical procedures, according to a study of over 9 million patients, published in the journal Substance Abuse.

“The association between marijuana use and surgical procedures is a matter of increasing societal relevance that has not been well studied in the literature”, states the study’s abstract. “The primary aim of this study is to evaluate the relationship between marijuana use and in-hospital mortality, as well as to assess associated comorbidities in patients undergoing commonly billed orthopedic surgeries.”

To do so, the National Inpatient Sample (NIS) database from 2010 to 2014 was used to determine the odds ratios for the associations between marijuana use and in-hospital mortality, heart failure (HF), stroke, and cardiac disease (CD) in patients undergoing five common orthopedic procedures: hip (THA), knee (TKA), and shoulder arthroplasty (TSA), spinal fusion, and traumatic femur fracture fixation.

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Voters in Illinois’ Most Populated County Approve Marijuana Legalization Referendum

Voters in Cook County, which includes Chicago, have overwhelmingly approved a nonbinding referendum calling for the legalization of marijuana.

With over 63% voting in favor, Cook County voters approved the resolution asking: “Shall the State of Illinois legalize the cultivation, manufacture, distribution, testing, and sale of marijuana and marijuana products for recreational use by adults 21 and older subject to state regulation, taxation and local ordinance?”

The resolution, which was supported by Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, isn’t legally binding, meaning it will have no effect on the county’s marijuana laws. However, it does give state lawmakers a good indication of how strong support is for legalization among a very large chunk of voters.

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Alaska House Unanimously Approves Resolution Urging Feds to Respect Their Marijuana Law

Alaska’s House of Representatives is formally calling on the federal government to respect their marijuana laws.

The House on Monday voted unanimously, 38 to 0, to pass a resolution asking the federal government to respect Alaska’s law that allows, regulates and taxes marijuana use, production and distribution. According to the Associated Press, the resolution also urges the federal government to reconsider its listing of marijuana as a controlled substance.

The resolution now goes to the Senate. The Senate has thus far rejected a resolution from Senator Berta Gardner (D) that pushes back against Attorney General Jeff Sessions decision to rescind the Obama-era Cole Memo (which allowed state-legal marijuana businesses to operate without federal interference given they follow a set of guidelines). However, their refusal to act on that resolution isn’t necessarily an indicator that they won’t approve the House’s measure, especially since it was passed unanimously.

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Study: Cannabinoid Receptors a Promising Target for the Treatment of Suicidal Behavior

Targeting the body’s cannabinoid receptors provides a “promising targets” for the treatment of suicidal behavior, according to a new study published by Current Psychiatry Reports.

“The current serotonin-based biological model of suicidal behavior (SB) may be too simplistic”, begins the study’s abstract. “There is emerging evidence that other biomarkers and biological systems may be involved in SB pathophysiology. The literature on the endocannabinoid (EC) systems and SB is limited.” The objective of the present article “is to review all available information on the relationship between cannabinoidreceptors (CB1 and CB2 receptors), and SB and/or psychological pain.”

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Maryland Senate Advances Bill to Increase Marijuana Possession Limit from 10 Grams to 28 Grams

Legislation to nearly triple the amount of marijuana allowed under a decriminalization law passed in 2014 has been passed through its second reading in the Maryland Senate.

In Maryland, the possession of up to 10 grams of marijuana for personal use has been decriminalized since 2014. Senate Bill 127, according to an official summary, “increases the amount of marijuana below which possession is a civil offense from 10 grams to one ounce and makes conforming changes.” The measure was passed Thursday through its second reading in the Senate, the day after it was approved by the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee.

Senate Bill 127, filed by Senator Robert Zirkin, must now be passed through a third and final reading in the Senate before it can be sent to the House of Representatives. If also passed by the House, the bill would go to Governor Larry Hogan for final consideration.

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Missouri Legislature Votes to Legalize Hemp

Missouri’s Senate has approved a bill to legalize industrial hemp, less than a month after the House passed a similar measure. 

Senate Bill 547 was passed yesterday by the Senate in a 29 to 3 vote. A similar measure, House Bill 2034, was passed last month by the House of Representatives in an almost, but not quite unanimous 141 to 4 vote. The two chambers must now reconcile the two bills (or simply pass the measure the other chamber passed) before it can be sent to Governor Eric Greitens for consideration.

According to the official summary of House Bill 2034; “This bill exempts industrial hemp, which is defined as Cannabis sativa L. containing no greater than 0.3% THC, from the definition of marijuana and the list of controlled substances. In addition, it is legal for any person who has received an industrial hemp license to grow, harvest, cultivate, and process industrial hemp.”

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