AUSTRALIA & NEW ZEALAND
‘Green wave’: Businesses look to medicinal cannabis [Sydney Morning Herald]
With cannabis legalised in some parts of Australia for medicinal use, businesses are positioning themselves for what is tipped to be a ‘green wave’ of opportunity.
Last year, Victoria released Australia’s first-ever medicinal cannabis industry development plan, mapping out a framework for government support of the fast-growing industry. The strategy aims to have the state supply half of Australia’s pot by 2028, along with the creation of 500 local jobs.
An Invercargill toddler with a condition likely to cut her life short at the age of 4 is finding some comfort thanks to medicinal cannabis.
Like the opportunist panners who rushed to gold-rich regions decades before, cannabis pioneers are also looking to strike it lucky.
Oregon’s regulated cannabis industry is so overstocked with product that it could meet consumer demand for the next six and a half years, according to the state’s analysis of the market.
World Health Organization recommends rescheduling cannabis, provides clarity on CBD [Marijuana Business Daily]
BUSINESS & POLICY
A US$255 million deal to convert sugar into cannabis-chemicals is opening the door to an era of pot without plants.
Federal Agencies Can Fire Employees for Accidentally Using Marijuana, Federal Court Rules [Government Executive]
American federal agencies can fire employees for failing a drug test, a federal court said in a recent precedent-setting ruling, even if the employees ingested the illicit drug by accident.
HEALTH & SCIENCE
Researchers have long known that VOCs emitted by plants can contribute to smog. VOCs can mix with nitrogen oxides—produced by cars and industrial sources—in sunlight-driven reactions that produce ground-level ozone, a pollutant. Vizuete’s study confirmed that pot plants are a rich source of potent VOCs called terpenes, which give cannabis its dank smell. And it suggested the tens of thousands of plants in Denver’s indoor farms—which are mostly found along two busy highways—could, under a worst case scenario, double the city’s volume of smog-forming VOCs.
Researchers investigating the effect of cannabis smoking on men’s testicular function have made the unexpected discovery that it is linked to higher sperm counts and higher testosterone levels among moderate users compared to men who never smoked it. The study is published in Human Reproduction, one of the world’s leading reproductive medicine journals.
Cannabinoid compounds may inhibit growth of colon cancer cells [MedicalXpress]
The researchers tested the effects of synthetic cannabinoid compounds on colon cancer cells in an experiment in test tubes. While the compounds most commonly associated with cannabis—THC and CBD—showed little to no effect, 10 other compounds were effective at inhibiting cancer cell growth.
Cannabis may help relieve Autism symptoms, Israeli study shows [The Times of Israel]
Researchers record sharp improvement in measures such as quality of life, ability to dress and shower independently after 6 months of cannabis oil treatment.
Study shows 45% of patients end benzodiazepine use with cannabis [Digital Journal]
On Thursday, Canadian cannabis company, Aleafia Health Inc. released what it believes is the first study reporting reduced benzodiazepine use among patients initiated and monitored on medical cannabis.
Are Cannabinoids the Future of Dermatology? [The Dermatologist]
An increasing number of studies are addressing gaps in the understanding and use of these biologic agents. Although their efficacy in specific dermatologic applications requires further research, dermatologists are well positioned to be pioneers in using cannabinoids to understand and treat inflammatory and autoimmune conditions.
New study explores why women use marijuana during pregnancy [MedicalXpress]
The study, published this month in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence, found that pregnant marijuana users considered their habit to be relatively harmless, but they did have some reservations about potential effects on the developing fetus. Fear of legal action kept them from discussing these concerns with their health care providers.
Women and Baby Boomers Increasingly Turning to Cannabis, Market Report Shows [Medical Marijuana Inc]
The report also reveals that CBD was “the breakout star of the year” as more turn to cannabis as a wellness tool.
CULTURE & SOCIETY
The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) poison control center operates a 24-hour hotline. Operators normally get calls about dogs that have eaten chocolate, or cats that have chewed at a potted plant. But they are increasingly dealing with stoned pets. In 2008, they received 208 calls about pets consuming marijuana. In 2018, they received more than 1,800.
‘It paralyses everything’: PM’s kava plan flies in the face of elders’ concerns and police evidence [ABC]
Mr Morrison announced his plan to ease the restrictions on kava imports during his recent trip to Vanuatu and other Pacific nations.
Gateway to Good Health [Weed Billboards]
The war on drugs and in particular cannabis is well past its use by date in Australia and in an effort to keep the issue on the agenda we have started a weed billboards campaign. Excited that our first billboard is up just north of Grafton in NSW.
It costs $5K for a year, and we’d like to grow weed billboards all around the country. We’d love your help to spread the weed, so there is a gofundme site where you can donate.
Please send in billboard suggestions! We’d like this campaign to support messages from various cannabis and drug law reform groups around Australia, so it would be great to pool resources to create more and more new billboards. We are open to all creative ideas, and any size donations.
We just want an end to being criminals for using one of nature’s absolute gifts.
E-Petition: Legalise cannabis for recreational use [Parliament of Victoria]
Petition: For a Referendum on Recreational Cannabis Use during 2019 NSW Election [Liberal Democrats]
Cannabis as Medicine Survey: 2018 [The University of Sydney]
Support Tony Bower’s Legal Fees [gofundme]
Just Reform It! Let’s Get Real about Drugs [The Greens]
Survey: What’s the link between cannabis use and psychotic experiences? [The University of Queensland]
Mind Medicine Australia [Prism News]
13 February 2019, Melbourne, VIC
Medicinal Cannabis Symposium [United in Compassion]
22-24 March 2019, Tweed Heads NSW
Harvest Festival & Cannabis Cup [New Zealand]
20-21 April 2019, Dunedin NZ
27th Nimbin MardiGrass [Hemp Embassy]
3-5 May 2019, Nimbin NSW
Garden States – A forum for cultivating ethnobotanical plants & knowledge [Entheogenesis Australis]
12 May 2019, Melbourne VIC
18-19 May 2019, Rosehill Racecourse, Rosehill, Sydney NSW
Nimbin Medican Workshops on YouTube [Hemp Embassy]
MardiGrass Hemposium 2018 Talks now Available on YouTube [Hemp Embassy]
DRUG WAR OVER! [Radio Documentary]
View five new EGA video presentations on ethnobotanical plants and psychedelics [Entheogenesis Australis]
To mark the anniversary of our special gathering and end the year on a high note, we’ve released five new videos of talks from the Psychedelic Symposium that are now available to watch online and can also be found below in this email.