Canada will legalize pot, after arresting a bunch of people for pot offences first: Neil Macdonald By: Neil Macdonald - CBC NEWS OPINION - April ...
Ottawa's plans for cannabis legalization may be slowed by provinces By: Mike Hager - March 27, 2017 - Globe and Mail Ottawa’s plan to legalize ...
BY: World Cannabis - March 9, 2017 Marc and Jodie Emery were arrested last night in at the Toronto Pearson Airport on their way to ...
Edmonton woman starts Canada's first cannabis staffing agency By: Gordon Kent - Edmonton Sun - May 24, 2017 Alison McMahon should be able to find ...
By David Bell, CBC News - May 05, 2017 But U of C prof says we don’t know enough about effects on young brains, calls for ...
Despite special regulations, entrepreneurs hope to take bite of Canada's marijuana edibles market Mom and pop edible makers 'deserve a piece of legalization,' says organizer ...

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Police raid alleged illegal Cambridge marijuana dispensary

Police raid alleged illegal Cambridge marijuana dispensary

By: CTV Kitchener – May 26, 2017

Two people are facing charges following a raid at what police call an illegal marijuana dispensary.

Police say officers executed a search warrant Thursday afternoon at a business property on Samuelson Street in Cambridge.

They say “a large amount” of marijuana and related products was seized from the business, as well prescription pills and “a small amount” of cocaine.

A 29-year-old Cambridge man and a 21-year-old Cambridge woman were arrested in connection with the raid. They face various drug-related charges.

Several dispensary businesses in Waterloo Region have been shut down by police in recent months. Buying or selling marijuana without a licence to do so from Health Canada is currently illegal in Canada.

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A powerful drug derived from marijuana is on the cusp of federal approval

A powerful drug derived from marijuana is on the cusp of federal approval

By: Erin Brodwin – Business Insider – May 25, 2017

An experimental drug derived from cannabis to treat epilepsy is on the brink of becoming the first of its kind to win US government approval.

The drug’s active ingredient is cannabidiol, the compound in marijuana thought to be responsible for many of its therapeutic effects. Cannabidioldoesn’t contain THC, marijuana’s main psychoactive ingredient, so it doesn’t get users high.

According to results from two large clinical trials released over the past two months, however, cannabidiol does appear to help reduce seizures in two of the hardest-to-treat forms of epilepsy, Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome and Dravet Syndrome.

If approved, the new drug would be sold under the name Epidiolex as a syrup.

Because drugmaker GW Pharma was able to show that the product addresses a critical need, it was able to apply for a designation that could speed up the approval process. The company still faces some hurdles, though — the FDA has not yet approved any applications to sell marijuana for a health condition, and hasn’t given the green light to any drugs containing cannabidiol.

The first cannabidiol trial looked at the effects of the drug by studying 225 young people with Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome. The subjects were split into groups and given either a higher or lower dose of the drug or a placebo for 14 weeks. The results, presented at the American Academy of Neurology’s yearly meeting in Boston, showed that participants in the higher-dose group saw their seizure occurrence drop by about 42%. Those given the lower dose saw a decrease of roughly 37%, and those given the placebo only saw a 17% reduction.

The second trial, the results of which were published this week in the New England Journal of Medicine, looked at 120 children with Dravet syndrome. Half were given the drug and half received a placebo. Forty-three percent of participants given the drug saw their seizures reduced by half, and 5% stopped having seizures entirely. By comparison, the seizure rate in the group given a placebo barely budged.

Those promising findings build on previous research conducted last year by GW Pharma.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, epilepsy affects more than 4.3 million Americans. Among these millions, however, various types and forms of the condition exist — and everyone reacts to treatments differently.

GW Pharma aims to submit its new drug application to the FDA by the middle of the year,  and is exploring treatments for various forms of epilepsy, though Epidiolex would treat only two specific types of the condition.

While Epidiolex could be the first cannabidiol-based drug to get FDA approval, the agency has already given the green light to two other drugs that contain components of cannabis: Marinol and Syndros are designed to treat anorexia using dronabinol, a synthetic form of THC.

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DEA chief: ‘Marijuana is not medicine’

DEA chief: ‘Marijuana is not medicine’

By: Kimberly Leonard – Washington Examiner – May 25, 2017

Drug Enforcement Administration acting Chief Chuck Rosenberg reiterated an Obama-era stance Thursday that “marijuana is not medicine.””If it turns out that there is something in smoked marijuana that helps people, that’s awesome,” he said, speaking at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio. “I will be the last person to stand in the way of that. … But let’s run it through the Food and Drug Administration process, and let’s stick to the science on it.”

Marijuana is classified as a Schedule I drug under the Controlled Substances Act, alongside drugs like heroin and LSD, while other substances like oxycodone and methamphetamine are classified as Schedule II drugs, which are regulated differently. Despite repeated attempts by advocates requesting that marijuana be moved to Schedule II, the DEA has pointed to the FDA’s guidance that says it does not have medical value.

Rosenberg noted that the DEA takes recommendations about how to classify the drug from the FDA. He pointed out that marijuana studies have been ongoing and acknowledged some studies show it may have medical benefits for children with epilepsy.

Former Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, who was speaking alongside Rosenberg at the event, said that the country should be researching medical marijuana.

“Should we be reducing the administrative and other barriers to researching that in the government? 100 percent,” he said. “But what we should not do is make policies based on guesswork. When we do that, what we do is put people at risk.”

He also appeared to show some concern around state laws regarding recreational marijuana, saying that it is addictive, which can be harmful to a developing brain that is vulnerable to developing substance abuse and addiction.

State legislators, he said, have gotten “caught up in momentum” and passed policies on recreational marijuana that aren’t always supported by science.

“When you develop a substance use disorder at a young age, it actually increases the likelihood of you developing an addiction to other substances,” he said. “So in that sense addiction to marijuana or any substance, including nicotine, during adolescence and young adulthood when the brain is developing is very concerning.”

“I worry that we have gotten away from allowing science to drive our policy when it comes to marijuana,” he added.



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Company receives license for cannabis

Company receives license for cannabis

By: Carli Berry – Salmon Arm Observer – May 25, 2017

One company in Winfield is open for business in the cannabis industry.

Valens Argitech Ltd. (a subsidiary of Valens GroWorks Corp.) received a license from Health Canada last week, enabling it to grow, distribute and conduct research with marijuana.

The license allows the company to produce cannabis for research purposes and acts like a pharmacy, said CEO Tyler Robson. The company is able to grow and sell plants but also conducts research, aids in clinical trials, tests soil treatment and more.

“We’re doing a whole spectrum of things rather than just for profit,” he said. “We want to bring credibility to the industry.”

Robson would like to see cannabis legalized.

“I’m a huge advocate for the cannabis industry and legalization, I believe there’s a lot of benefits out there. If teenagers and adults want to use cannabis recreationally, I think there’s a lot worse things you can do than smoke marijuana,” he said.

The company started preparing for the license in September, 2013 which included multiple steps from Health Canada.

“But again there’s no guarantee (you’ll get the license) at the end of the day,” said Robson, who was nervous about waiting for the license.

President and chief science officer Rob O’Brien said the company is first going to focus on growing techniques to optimize the production of the plant.

The facility cost $5 million to build, with a special vault being $800,000 alone. The vault is full of sensors and cameras, reinforced steel doors and concrete walls. Key cards are big factor for workers, with multiple doors requiring security codes and key entries.

The 17,000-square-foot facility sits on two acres of land, which is guarded by barb-wire/razor-wire fencing and 105 cameras.

It houses five growing rooms, a main extract room, labs and office space and uses around 800 amps of electricity at any given time, said Robson. A regular house may use 40 amps, he said.

The company will have 50 plants within the next week and can house a total of 4,823 plants.

The plants will be grown in one of many growing rooms, which mimic sunlight with bright light bulbs.

After the female strain of plants bud, like when an apple grows on the tree, the buds will be harvested, said Robson. The facility has a drying room, and an extraction room where Valens uses Carbon Dioxide to create oil.

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Marijuana extract can help kids with epilepsy, study says

 Marilynn Marchione – Sun – May 25, 2017 

A medicine made from marijuana, without the stuff that gives a high, cut seizures in kids with a severe form of epilepsy in a study that strengthens the case for more research into pot’s possible health benefits.“This is the first solid, rigorously obtained scientific data” that a marijuana compound is safe and effective for this problem, said one study leader, Dr. Orrin Devinsky of NYU Langone Medical Center.

He said research into promising medical uses has been hampered by requiring scientists to get special licenses, plus legal constraints and false notions of how risky marijuana is.

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No jail for mum bullied into growing and dealing cannabis


By Neil Shaw – May 25, 2017

A heroin user who was bullied into dealing and growing cannabis has been spared an immediate jail sentence.

Kim McMahon was ordered to receive drug rehabilitation under a suspended sentence after a Judge at Exeter Crown Court as told she had been intimidated and pressurised by larger scale dealers.

The 37-year-old mother will now undergo a rehab course to move her from dependence on smoking heroin to using the prescribed substitute drug subutex.

McMahon, of Castle Lane, Torquay, admitted possession of heroin with intent to supply, production of cannabis, and personal possession of three Valium tablets.

She was jailed for two years, suspended for two years, and ordered to undergo drug rehabilitation by Judge Phillip Wassall at Exeter Crown Court.

He told her:”I can see how this occurred. It fits in with your record and how you present. Your basis of plea reflects accurately the position on the ground. You played a lesser role.

“You became involved in heroin and cannabis as a result of pressure which stopped short of duress. I am giving you an opportunity to work with probation who will help you withdraw from the use of drugs.

“It will also give you the opportunity to move away from the personal friendships which led to these offences. Anyone who wants to use you in this way cannot be regarded as a friend.”

Mr Joss Ticehurst, prosecuting, said police raided McMahon’s home in December last year and noticed a strong smell of cannabis. The found bags of herbal matter and a growing system in the loft with 14 plants.

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Decriminalize pot ahead of legalizing it, Jagmeet Singh urges PM Trudeau


By Laura Payton –  CTV May 20, 2017 

OTTAWA — The latest entrant to the federal NDP leadership race says it’s “offensive” the government is allowing people to be charged with marijuana possession while there’s a bill before Parliament to legalize it.

Jagmeet Singh, who currently sits in the Ontario legislature, said Canada absolutely needs “to immediately decriminalize” marijuana, a position the federal NDP has held for years. The party promised in the 2015 election to decriminalize it right away if it formed government.

“Right now under [Prime Minister] Justin Trudeau… we have people who are still being charged and are being incarcerated, for an offence that in the short term will eventually become completely legal,” Singh, a former defence lawyer, said in an interview with Evan Solomon, host of CTV’s Question Period.

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Edmonton woman starts Canada’s first cannabis staffing agency

Edmonton woman starts Canada’s first cannabis staffing agency

By: Gordon Kent – Edmonton Sun – May 24, 2017

Alison McMahon should be able to find some really dope jobs after opening what she says is the first staffing agency working exclusively with Canada’s budding marijuana industry.

The Edmonton human resources specialist, who started Cannabis at Work in 2015 to advise companies on issues linked to the use of the drug for medical reasons, recently branched out to help firms find employees as the country moves toward legalizing recreational consumption in July 2018.

“They’re ramping up because they will be heading into recreational (sales) in the future,” she said Wednesday.

“We really saw an opportunity. We’re on a tipping point in the industry. We’re going to need staff … The cannabis industry is quite literally growing in front of our eyes. I liken it to the (1990s) dot-com boom.”

A study last fall by consultant Deloitte concluded Canada’s recreational pot market could be worth as much as $22.6 billion a year.

McMahon estimates the cannabis industry could create 50,000 jobs in Canada after two years of legalization, based on California’s experience.

Potential positions include master growers, accounting, medical sales, answering phones in a call centre and serving customers as a “budtender.”

“About half the jobs today have some transferrable skills, but there’s still some education and experience that would make you an ideal candidate for the job,” said McMahon, who has three workers in Edmonton and Victoria handling this area and hopes to expand into Toronto and Vancouver.

“Understanding how inventory is going to depreciate (due to moisture loss) in the context of talking about cannabis is going to be something a regular accountant probably hasn’t done.”

She estimated 40 per cent of the work in Canada’s existing medical marijuana network is in Ontario, where most of the 44 licensed producers are located.

Alberta has two operations, Acreage Pharms 180 kilometres west of Edmonton and Aurora Cannabis Enterprises north of Calgary, but Aurora is building what it calls the world’s largest legal production facility beside the Edmonton International Airport.

The Aurora Sky plant is expected to employ 200 people at full function after opening this fall.

McMahon, who charges companies a fee when she fills an opening, expects to deal with hundreds of job vacancies over the next year.

She’s formally launching her service in Toronto this week as one of more than 150 participants at the Lift Cannabis Expo, the industry’s largest Canadian trade show.

McMahon is the past president of the local chapter of Canexions, an international group aimed at boosting female involvement in the cannabis business, and thinks they’ll be a big part of its growth.

“When other substances came out of prohibition, like alcohol, women weren’t participating in the workplace (like) they are now,” she said.

“To get involved in this sector in the context of it being an emerging market … women are better positioned than ever.”

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Time to say ‘I told you so’: cannabis can treat seizures

Time to say ‘I told you so’: cannabis can treat seizures

By: Angela Chen – The Verge – May 24, 2017

 

Ancient Chinese and Persian medical texts — and modern anecdotes — suggest that cannabis is useful for treating seizures. Research has been scant, but a new study of cannabidiol, a molecule in cannabis, has given some credence to these claims. Kids with a severe form of epilepsy had 39 percent fewer seizures per month after taking the substance, also called CBD. Three people stopped having seizures altogether.

In a study published today in the New England Journal of Medicine, researchers gave children a liquid form of CBD called Epidiolex. Epidiolex, manufactured by GW Pharmaceuticals, is taken orally but has not yet been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration. (It’s important to note that the study was funded by GW Pharmaceuticals.)

CBD, like the more well-known tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), is a molecule that’s very abundant in cannabis. Both CBD and THC come from the same plant, but CBD comes from a strain called hemp. Unlike THC, CBD doesn’t contain psychoactive properties that make the user high. This makes it very attractive as a potential drug, especially given the boom of cannabis research, including a recent study looking at the effect on THC on learning and memory.

The 120 participants in today’s study, aged two to 18, all have a serious form of epilepsy called Dravet syndrome, which starts during childhood and usually can’t be treated, says study co-author Daniel Friedman, a professor of neurology at the NYU Langone Medical Center. They were randomized into two groups: one group took 20 mg/kg of CBD per day for 14 weeks and one took a placebo. (This type of randomized controlled trial is considered the gold standard for a clinical study. When you randomly assign people, you make sure that whatever is being tested actually causes the results, and that the outcome isn’t just because the two groups are different to begin with.)

The researchers found that the group that took CBD had about six seizures a month instead of 12. In the placebo group, they had about 14 seizures a month, instead of 15. And three people taking CBD stopped having seizures altogether.

There is one big downside though: about 93 percent of people taking CBD had side effects — mostly nausea, diarrhea, but also sleepiness and liver abnormality. And eight people in the CBD group dropped out because of the side effects. (In comparison, only 74 percent in the placebo group had side effects and one withdrew.) These problems may be due to the CBD interacting with other medications the patient was already taking, Friedman says. “It’s hard to tell what are the specific side effects if somebody were to get CBD without anything else,” he says.

Today’s study also lasted only 14 weeks, so we don’t know how long the benefits last, or whether there are any long-term effects. Participants also all took the same dosage, so we don’t know whether a higher dose would be more effective or, on the other hand, whether a lower dose would be equally effective but cause fewer side effects.

All these questions will be addressed in future studies, Friedman says. Future research will also be needed to confirm these results, as well as determine whether CBD can have similar effects in other forms of epilepsy. In the meantime, congratulations to everyone who can say “I told you so.”

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B.C. Supreme Court judge rules that smell of marijuana does not justify 24-hour driving ban


By Charlie Smith – May 20th, 2017 

A Vancouver motorist has successfully challenged a driving prohibition that came after a cop smelled cannabis on him and observed that he had glassy, red eyes.

Const. Kayla Chow imposed a 24-hour ban on Jasdeep Singh Shergill on September 30, 2016. It came after he was pulled over while driving slowly in the 9000 block of Shaughnessy Street.

According to the May 18 ruling by Justice Nigel Kent, officers on the scene “could immediately smell an odour of fresh marihuana and observed marihuana grinders in plain view in the middle console”

Shergill and two passengers were ordered out of the vehicle and arrested.

The police occurrence report stated that “Shergill had glassy red eyes and a strong odour of marihuana coming from his body.”

In searching the vehicle, officers found a bottle of Visine, as well as a 12-pack of beer in the trunk, with only nine of them unopened.

 

Read the entire article here 



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