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No Association of Cannabis with Reducing Opioid Epidemic, Study Suggests

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A study from 2014 suggested that states that allowed marijuana for medical purposes had a comparatively lower number of deaths resulting from opioid addiction. The recent evidence suggests otherwise. Scientists from Stanford say that they have found no association between cannabis accessibility and alleviation in opioid addiction. Scientists from Stanford University School of Medicine conducted the research.

The recent study is in contradiction with the study conducted in 2014. According to the latter, there was a decrease in the overdose of opioid in the regions who legalized marijuana for recreational purposes in comparison to the states who did not legalize it.

The new findings suggest the opposite

The scientists from Stanford reevaluated the study after the number of the states legalizing cannabis for medical purposes increased. They found no proof of any association of deaths resulting from opioid overdose and accessibility of cannabis for medical purposes.

The new study got published on June 10. It appears online in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
California became the first US state to have legalized cannabis in 1996. In 2013, 13 states joined the league. Now, 47 US states allow the use of medical marijuana.

Scientists employed the same method of study as the previous one

In the new research, scientists from Stanford employed the same method from the previous study to recognize the association of medical cannabis and deaths occurring due to opioid overdosage. The researchers reevaluated the statistics from the previous research. However, they found deviated results from the years following 2014 up to 2017. This deviation showed a fault in the previous hypothesis. On the contrary, they found that states with legal, medical cannabis showed higher death rates because of opioid abuse.

After the 2014 research got published, advocating parties for medical cannabis and some officials took the findings to convey the meaning that the access of legal cannabis will serve as replacement therapy for people addicted to opioids. The researchers at Stanford, however, did not find any association of this kind. The restriction levels did not intervene, as well.

There were several aspects to the findings from the previous study in 2014

The change in laws in various states did not guarantee any decline in opioid abuse whatsoever. In addition to that, only 2.5 percent of Americans use cannabis for medical purposes. This amount is logically enough to explain that the legalization was not sufficient to decline mortality rates due to opioid usage. There is a need to rightly evaluate the statistical ratio between the two to adequately study the relation.

Moreover, the political atmosphere concerning the issue was different in 2014 as compared to now, and it could significantly affect the restriction levels of cannabis. The states with legalized medical cannabis were financially more stable and had more liberal viewpoints on political grounds as compared to the states with no legalization. The US states legalizing cannabis earlier also punish lesser amount of people for using it. After their release, they might try to overdose on the drug.

There is a need to find its potential benefits and harms on a deeper level, without which its association with other drugs is not well possible enough to comprehend on a more profound level. There is a need to intricately evaluate the policies of states on the use of cannabis for medical purposes.

Scientists from the Network for Public Health Law and New York University supported the research. National Institutes of Health and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs financially aided the study. Stanford’s Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences was also involved in the research.

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Cannabis

Colorado’s sale of recreational cannabis has outpaced the sale of medical cannabis

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In Colorado, in 2018, the legal sale of recreational cannabis has outpaced the sale of medical cannabis. And this has become a new milestone for the state.

Recreational cannabis was sold twice higher than the medical market in 2018

Colorado’s Marijuana Enforcement Division (MED) has stated that the medical market has sold about 147,863 lbs. of buds last year. While the sale of recreational cannabis was about 288,292 lbs. of buds. That is twice the amount of medical cannabis.

For comparison, in 2017, the sale of recreational marijuana was 238,149 lbs. Whereas the users have bought only 172,994 lbs. of buds from the medical market.

It shows that Colorado’s sale of recreational cannabis has outpaced the sale of medical cannabis. And in one year, the gap in the sale of both markets has increased by 73%. In total, both markets have sold 446,155 lbs. of cannabis in 2018, and 411,143 lbs. in the year 2017.

In 2014, Colorado opened the first market for sailing recreational cannabis (adult-use market). Continuous expansion in this market can be a reason for an increase in the sale of recreational marijuana. In the first year, the sale of medical cannabis was higher than that of the adult-use market.

In 2015, the adult-use market sold about 38,660 lbs. While the sale of the medical market was 109,578 lbs. In 2016, sales from both markets got equal. But in 2017, the adult-use market has represented a 58% share in the sale of legal marijuana. That has increased up to 66% by last year.

Registration and renewal fee for the medical card has made medical cannabis costly and promoted the use of recreational cannabis

The MED has found a 3% increase in the licenses (47 licenses) of recreational cannabis facilities. In contrast, the licenses of the medical market have decreased by 8%.

The MED report has also shown that for the people buying edibles, the adult-use market is the primary target. 86% of the edibles come from this market. And during July – December 2018, this market has used 75% of the grown cannabis.

A study has found that many buyers at adult-use cannabis shops are using cannabis for the same reason as that of registered patients. These reasons may include reducing pain or sleep issues.

The number of medical patients has declined with the increase in the adult-use market. This change is common across the country. The people who used to ask for medical cannabis may not renew their registration after the opening of the recreational shops.

Also read- Colorado’s New Deal in Cannabis Market

The process of the medical card has also made medical cannabis costly. Many patients may leave the medical programs because they also have to pay registration or renewal fee for a medical card with the price for cannabis.

Another issue that may lead to this market shift is access to some specific products. Products with high THC content have more demand in the market. But these may not benefit the medical market.

The latest MED reports have also suggested that the buyers in both markets have more interest in concentrates. Such products carry a high price in the adult-use market.

All of the above data shows that Colorado’s sale of recreational cannabis has outpaced the sale of medical ones. And with an increase in the adult-use market, Colorado should also provide benefits to the patient to keep medical programs active.

 

 

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Dispensaries Funding in Missouri

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Dispensaries

Medical cannabis dispensaries had to pay $3.9 million fees to the concerning bodies of the state in Missouri. This has happened in the mid of June 2019.

Cannabis business applications are 543 in total. Moreover, St. Louis and Kansas City regions received 180 applications in total for opening cannabis dispensaries.

Moreover, Missouri will start accepting these applications from August 3. However, it has permitted groups to give associated fees of ten thousand dollars for cultivation. It has also allowed a fee of six thousand dollars to sell it. The same fees apply for cannabis derivative items.

Furthermore, the data of the applicants will be confidential according to the decision of the state. A judge last week granted a motion for the enforcement to force Missouri to release those records. However, it postponed the tentative date for the judgment summary to give time to the state for their final decision.

Missouri is the 33rd state to be legalizing cannabis for medical uses. The win constituted a percentage of 65 percent in total for Amendment 2. This led to people in business from the state to pour in huge amounts of money for the ever emerging industry.

Retailers looking forward for next year

Retailers will be introducing new lines of cannabis-infused products next year. Furthermore, the data predictions state this top up by hundred million dollars after six years.

Health care funds for incoming veterans will be requiring licensing fees and tax proceedings. Predictions suggest they will be generating around twenty million dollars annually.

People who wrote their applications have made long term planning regarding their businesses. Also, they are in anticipation of a competitive procedure for entering the legal industry.

Applications are available this summer

Application forms have been available since June 4. However, the dates for accepting business applications are from August 3 to August 17. Missouri will hopefully begin providing licenses to the businesses at the end of the year.

However, the overall proceeding will be too much costly and time taking for the applicants. It includes security and economic influence as well with the provision of business details. Sixty-nine applicants for the dispensary solely belonged to Jackson County.

The remaining applicants were twenty-one and fourteen for cannabis cultivation and infusion products, respectively.

Status of applicants in different regions of Missouri

St. Louis County had 51 people applying for dispensaries and 17 people for cultivation. The congress district in the US determines the number of dispensaries.

Missouri can approve more than 60 cultivators, 86 companies for cannabis-infused products, and 192 licenses.
Forty-eight dispensaries come this way in the St. Louis metropolitan region. Missouri counties will be getting some dispensaries for two congress districts that extend to Jefferson City.

What are some major concerns regarding cannabis business

Missouri will be licensing ten medical cannabis testing facilities. Female business owners are concerned about the state of the industry are more than half white males. It points towards unsettled discrimination in the nation.

Applicants relating to business are concerned about the insiders belonging to other states. They would be cutting the locals out from a big share of the industry.

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Cannabigerol and Other Cannabis Compounds

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There is a very little knowledge about newly found cannabis compounds that include cannabigerol (CBG) or cannabichromene (CBC).

It becomes difficult to comprehend their benefits due to lack of enough insight on the subjects. It is not surprising that they can potentially benefit as efficient pharmaceutical active compounds. Current standing of the market in understanding the role of other active ingredients is also negligible.

According to experts, the current market is not in favor of advocating any compounds of cannabis other than THC and CBD. However, there is ample room for funding for research once the US government legalizes it on a federal scale.

Pharmaceutical companies are more likely to invest their dollars on finding the benefits of the active compounds. This is a good opportunity for them to make good profits.

However, few production units and extracting brands and units like MediPharm Labs and Valens GroWorks are doing the job. They are incorporating the active ingredients of cannabis into making different products. These include edibles, concentrates, serums, lotions, and ingestibles at the end of the year.

Role of production units in synthesizing products

Production units relating to cannabis are of a different opinion. They think that cannabis manufacture in lab premises can be a slur for the whole culture of consumers. However, some experts predict that it will not be a loss for the market.

This is because of the reason that the demand for the emerging industry is ever growing and is not settling down anytime soon.

The trend is picking up speed and is boosting up among the consumers. Especially there is a lot of potential for synthetic active ingredients of cannabis in the Canadian market than any other market.

Scientists and medical practitioners highly agree to the fact that the application of cannabinoids in pharmaceutical products will influence many aspects. These include other active ingredients which are yet to be studied in detail.

Some people are not in favor of using the substance after cultivating it merely for big pharmaceutical companies. The debate, however, will conclude on legalization at the federal level. Accessibility of cannabis products at domestic level is not that readily available. There is a need for more research on active ingredients.

Opinion of people

Many people want to consume cannabis just for recreational purposes. To add further, if the product becomes so readily available in every home in every room, chances are it is going to lose its essence just like any other generic painkiller did. The question still remains unanswered on the uncertainty of the level of usage of the product.

With the advancement of new extraction techniques, it is becoming more possible to identify new cannabis compounds in the cannabis. Moreover, the quest for looking out for ingredients in hemp seeds and crop is also getting more hype with each day.

However, if scientists are able to investigate thoroughly the uses of all important active ingredients of the substance, they will be better able to direct for the creation of precise products specifically designed to deal with certain problems.

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