Hashish Information 01/29/2021
Welcome back to another blog post that keeps you updated on all of the marijuana news and research for the week. Keep checking back to keep up-to-date with changing cannabis laws and our understanding of this wonderful plant.
The Trump administration has set some rules and guidelines regarding hemp and CBD that are currently in effect. The guidelines were presented to the White House by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and provide CBD and hemp companies with guidance on their products and their legality. One of the problems with CBD is that companies claim it can help with almost all conditions, including curing cancer and curing coronaviruses. This is all wrong, of course, as the scientific data does not show such effects from CBD. It appears that the CBD industry is running like a 19th century snake oil industry, making unproven claims for their over-the-counter “medicinal” product.
Since taking office, Biden’s administration has sent a government-wide memo calling for these pending rules, which the Trump administration has called for, to be withdrawn. Now, hemp and CBD companies have no regulations on what they can and can’t do about advertising and marketing. Hopefully the Biden government will legalize cannabis altogether and curb false advertising for CBD and hemp products.
Governor Phil Murphy is struggling to reach an agreement on legalizing recreational marijuana. He wants the latest recreational marijuana law to change before February 8th or he will veto it. The problem arises because the law (when combined with a decriminalization law) allows residents under the age of 21 to be free from prosecution or fines for possession of small amounts of cannabis. According to the governor, this essentially allows recreational marijuana for children, which he refuses.
Democratic senators in New Jersey are pushing back, claiming that young minorities are too often charged with low cost of ownership and that it will not help the community or their future. We’ll see how this plays out, but for now there appears to be a stalemate and the legalization and decriminalization bills are likely to be rejected by the governor.
Medical marijuana is legal in Florida, but cannabis patients with a marijuana card can still be discharged if they test positive for THC. Senator Tina Polsky has tabled a bill to change that. As part of their new bill, employees can show their employers their marijuana card and save their jobs.
This brings up something important that many states do not include in their laws. What if someone has an expired marijuana card but still tests positive? In theory, THC can stay in the system for up to six weeks after stopping cannabis. Employers should consider this before firing someone with an expired card. Laws should stipulate that patients who had a card six weeks before their drug test would continue to be protected. Unfortunately, this is not part of state law, and patients who test positive after stopping use are considered to be illegally used and discharged.
A recent bill filed in Missouri allows Airbnbs, hotels and other accommodations to apply for a license that allows their guests to use cannabis. This is a double-edged sword because it also allows the state to penalize facilities totaling thousands of dollars for using cannabis on their premises without such a license. The good news is that Missouri is allowing non-state residents to prove that they have a medical marijuana card in their home state and that those visitors can use cannabis at the facility. This means Missouri can have cannabis resorts promoting marijuana use for their guests. These can go to local pharmacies with their non-state marijuana cards and bring products back to the hotel for free use in a comfortable setting. This should increase tourism and bring additional income to the state.
In a survey of medical marijuana patients in Michigan, only 18% of respondents felt that their general practitioners (PCP) had a very good or excellent understanding of cannabis. Only 21% were very or completely confident that their PCP could incorporate medicinal cannabis into treatment. This is a sign of how poorly doctors know about medical marijuana. Doctors don’t learn about it in residency or medical school and have no idea how to incorporate it into their patients’ care.
One way for doctors to better understand cannabis is to read the Doctors’ Guide to Medical Cannabis, a book written for doctors by a doctor who is also a medical marijuana patient. The guide bridges the gap between doctors and marijuana users and can keep them updated on everything from flowers to concentrates to the use of cannabis to treat their patients’ various conditions.
Another finding in the study showed that 86% of the surveyed patients replaced drugs with cannabis. This can be a wonderful thing when the medications are pain relievers or anxiety drugs like addictive benzodiazepines (Valium, Ativan, etc.). However, it is important to let your primary care provider know if treatment for any chronic condition changes such as high blood pressure (high blood pressure) or diabetes or other diseases that need to be kept in check and closely monitored by a PCP.
This week we added two additional articles to our cannabis education page: