Study: Medical Marijuana Legalization Associated With Lower Opioid Prescription Rates

According to a new study published by the journal Preventive Medicine, medical marijuana legalization is associated with reduced opioid prescription rates.

The study, titled “Association between cannabis laws and opioid prescriptions among privately insured adults in the US,” analyzed how different cannabis laws influenced the rate of opioid prescriptions among adults from different age groups in 2016.

According to High Times, who first reported on the study, researchers examined the relationships between a few different variables. First, age, breaking it up into five groups, 18-25, 26-35, 36-45, 46-55, and 56-64 years. Second, changes in state cannabis law, whether decriminalization, medical legalization, or adult-use legalization. And third, the pattern and rate of opioid prescriptions, broken down into greater than 30-day and greater than 90-day prescriptions.

Read moreStudy: Medical Marijuana Legalization Associated With Lower Opioid Prescription Rates

Illinois Senate Approves Bill to Legalize Marijuana

Legislation to legalize marijuana for everyone 21 and older has been passed in an overwhelming vote by the Illinois Senate.

The Illinois Senate voted Wednesday to pass the bill, sending it to the House for consideration with just a couple days left in the legislative session. The vote was 38 to 17, with just two Republicans voting in favor, reports the Associated Press.

“This bill is going to set the model, I believe, the gold standard for how to approach social equity issues, relating (to) cannabis legalization,” Sen. Heather Steans, D-Chicago, the bill’s chief sponsor, said in her closing statement on the Senate floor.

Read moreIllinois Senate Approves Bill to Legalize Marijuana

Over 150 Athletes Sign Letter to World Anti-Doping Agency Asking for Removal of Marijuana from Prohibited List

Over 150 current and former athletes have signed a letter that’s been sent to the World Anti-Doping Agency, asking them to remove marijuana from its list of prohibited substances.

Mike Tyson (Photo:

Retired NFL players Jake Plummer and Ricky Williams, famed boxer Mike Tyson and cyclist Floyd Landis are among the athletes who submitted the letter through Athletes for CARE, a nonprofit organization that advocates for marijuana research to treat a variety of ailments.

“Athletes for CARE is proud to have such a strong network of respected athletes campaigning for the removal of cannabis from the World Anti-Doping Agency’s prohibited substance list,” Anna Symonds, a rugby player and Athletes for CARE representative, said in a statement. “We’re also calling on fans to show their support online via our petition.”

Read moreOver 150 Athletes Sign Letter to World Anti-Doping Agency Asking for Removal of Marijuana from Prohibited List

California is Moving Forward With a Plan to Establish Marijuana Banks

The Associated Press is reporting that California is quickly moving forward with a plan to establish a system of banks to work with the marijuana industry which is legal under state law, but illegal under federal law.

Given that legal marijuana businesses are shut out of the traditional banking system by federal laws, proponents of the new push argue that they would benefit if the state approves a measure creating a special class of banks to handle pot money.

The state Senate voted 35 to 1 on Tuesday to pass a bill that would allow people to start banks and credit unions that could accept cash deposits from marijuana retailers.

Vermont and New Hampshire May Delay Votes on Marijuana Proposals

Marijuana legalization measures in both Vermont and New Hampshire have hit a roadblock, reports the Associated Press.

In Vermont, marijuana has been legal since July 1, 2018, when a lawmaker-approved measure took effect. However, the law established no legal means of actually purchasing marijuana (they are the only state to legalize marijuana without allowing marijuana retail outlets).

The Vermont Senate passed a tax and regulate proposal earlier this session, as noted by the AP, but it won’t be acted upon in the House before January. Meanwhile, a legalization bill in New Hampshire could end up similarly delayed.

Arkansas First Ever Medical Marijuana Dispensary Now Open

The first legal medical marijuana dispensary in state history is now open in Arkansas.

It took 2.5 years after voters legalized the medicine, but Arkansas’ first medical marijuana dispensary opened its doors on Saturday, reports the Associated Press.

Doctor’s Orders RX in Hot Springs was the first dispensary to be officially licensed by the state, and it is currently the only one operating. It sold marijuana to a patient Friday to test its software and officially opened Saturday.

Read moreArkansas First Ever Medical Marijuana Dispensary Now Open

Florida Legislature Approves Bill to Establish Agricultural Hemp Program

Florida’s full legislature has passed a bill to establish a program for hemp as an agricultural commodity.

The Senate unanimously passed the bill, which has already passed the full House of Representatives. It now goes to the desk of Governor Ron DeSantis, who is expected to sign it into law – he also has the option of allowing it to become law without his signature, or vetoing it (though there’s enough support to override a veto).

“Today is an exciting, historic and bipartisan day for our agriculture community,” said Senator Rob Bradley (R). “There has been a lot of struggles in our agriculture community over the last several years, from citrus greening to the hurricanes, and they’ve had a devastating effect on many of our farmers. This is a lifeline. This is an emerging agricultural crop that can make all the difference.”

Read moreFlorida Legislature Approves Bill to Establish Agricultural Hemp Program

Study: Most Health Professionals (Doctors, Pharmacists and Nurses) Support Medical Marijuana

According to a new study published in the journal PLoS One, the majority of health professionals, which includes pharmacists, nurses and doctors, support the use of medical cannabis in clinical practice.

For the study researchers at Queensland University of Technology in Australia and the University of Auckland in New Zeland reviewed over 100 studies assessing health professionals’ opinions with regard to medical cannabis.

Reseacrehrs found that in the most recent studies support for medical marijuana has grown substantially among health professionals. The study states that “health professionals [are] relatively supportive of the use of medicinal cannabis in clinical practice.” it continues; “This notion was consistent across the three predominant professional populations of medicine, pharmacy, and nursing.”

Read moreStudy: Most Health Professionals (Doctors, Pharmacists and Nurses) Support Medical Marijuana

Canada: Marijuana Body Gives Recommendations to Boost Industry

According to Reuters, the Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC) on Thursday made several recommendations that address issues affecting the Canadian province’s booming marijuana industry, including having a common excise stamp to help cannabis makers ship their products smoothly.

The industry body also recommended bolstering Health Canada, the country’s health regulator, so that it can issue licenses to facilities at an “accelerated rate” without compromising the inspection process.

Ontario is home to more than half the licensed producers of recreational cannabis in Canada and a majority of employment, said Michelle Eaton, vice president of communications and government relations of the OCC.

Read moreCanada: Marijuana Body Gives Recommendations to Boost Industry

Illinois Bill Would Legalize Marijuana

Legislation that would make Illinois the 11th state to legalize marijuana has been officially introduced.

Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker and several state lawmakers have introduced a long-awaited bill that would legalize and regulate the use and sale of recreational marijuana in the state next year, reports the Associated Press.

Under the measure – which can be found by clicking here – was announced by Pritzker on Saturday and is expected to be introduced today. It would allow adults 21 and over tolegally purchase marijuana for recreational use from licensed retailers. Those 21+ would also be allowed to grow up to five plants for personal use, and would expunge the records of people with minor cannabis convictions and direct funding to communities most affected by the prohibition of the drug.

Read moreIllinois Bill Would Legalize Marijuana