Utah school districts install vape detectors following related illnesses

Utah is the latest state whose school districts are taking a zero tolerance stance on vaping at school.

Following a string vaping incidents, illnesses and even deaths in teens, vaping has been at the center of controversy for months, with many health organizations urging students to no longer use vaping products.

To enforce the ban, school districts have installed specialized detectors in school bathrooms. The detectors are able to sense cigarette smoke and vapor from vapes. They are reportedly able to detect excess noise that might indicate fighting or bullying. When detection is made, a notification is sent to school administrators who can step in immediately.


Canadians with simple cannabis possession convictions can now apply for a pardon

The Canadian federal government introduced Bill C93 earlier this week which allows Canadians with simple cannabis possession convictions to apply for expedited pardons at no cost.

Justice Minister and Attorney General David Lametti said while speaking in Montreal on Thursday that the measures of the bill will take effect immediately.

“Instead of waiting five years and paying a parole board $631, applicants will no longer have to wait a single minute and will not owe the parole board a single cent,” said Federal Justice Minister David Lametti.

“We know that this is particularly significant for many minority communities, including black and Indigenous Canadians who have been disproportionately affected by the enforcement of cannabis laws.”


New York decriminalizes low-level marijuana offences

Though New York residents will still have to wait for legal cannabis, the state made a big step forward this week by decriminalizing the plant.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed a bill on Monday that decriminalizes cannabis use and will expunge criminal record related to cannabis offenses for some people.

The bill, which had been approved by the state legislature earlier this year, will reduce cannabis possession to a misdemeanor subject to a fine and any possession under two ounces will not be punished. Governor Cuomo has previously mentioned how these low-level marijuana charges have unfairly targeted minority groups in the state.


Ohio lawmakers advance bill for CBD products and hemp cultivation

Ohio lawmakers advanced a bill earlier this week that would legalize CBD products and hemp production in the state. The bill will now head to Governor Mike DeWine and if he approved the measure it will immediately be made law.

“This is the best news that’s going to hit farm country this year,” said Rep. Bill Seitz from Green Township.

The bill was passed by the Senate in March and approved earlier this week in an 88-3 vote, showing the state’s growing approval for the cannabis industry within Ohio.

Larry Householder, House Speaker, told sources that since farmers in Ohio has such a rough year, this news is a promising  


More Canadians are flocking to the illicit cannabis market for lower prices

As legal cannabis continues to try to secure its footing in Canada, prices of illicit cannabis continue to drop while prices of legal cannabis continue to increase. Statistics Canada released a report earlier this week stating that, in some cases, legal cannabis costs 80 percent more than cannabis on the illicit market.

Statistics Canada said in their quarterly report that a gram of cannabis from the illegal market is on average $5.93 in the second quarter, fallen from $6.23 in the previous quarter. Legal cannabis has only become pricier, increasing to $10.65 from $10.21 in the previous quarter. This makes most legal cannabis in the country close to 80 percent more than cannabis on the illicit market.


Ontario plans to have 50 more cannabis stores this fall

Ontario residents can look forward to having 50 more cannabis retail storefronts this fall following the rollout of storefronts earlier in April.

The province announced on Wednesday that the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario will hold another lottery in August for applicants to obtain one of 42 licenses. Another eight will be distributed to various native reservations through a separate process.

The news comes even though there are still some of the first retail license holders who have not opened their stores yet. The applications process this time will be much more detailed to ensure that those who get a license are ready to open by October.  


More women are using cannabis to treat morning sickness

Cannabis is touted for its ability to reduce nausea and vomiting so it’s not so surprising that women in the early stages of pregnancy would feel inclined to turn to cannabis to ease their morning sickness symptoms. In fact, researchers have pointed out in a study published this week that cannabis use among pregnant women is at an all-time high.

The study, published in the medical journal JAMA, found that women are most likely to use cannabis during the first trimester of their pregnancy and that the percent of pregnant women using cannabis increased from 3.4% in 2002 to 7% in 2017.


How medical cannabis research indicates the growing need for plant-based research

The demand for cannabis is increasing exponentially but unfortunately the same cannot be said for the research to accompany that demand. As acceptance increases and more people turn to cannabis to treat a variety of medical symptoms, it seems there is more confusion than ever which is largely due to a lack of resources and government funding to provide quality research that provides information beyond mere anecdotal evidence.


2019 will not be the year that New York sees legal cannabis

A bill that would have legalized selling recreational cannabis in the state of New York has died after state lawmakers were unable to reach a consensus on parts of the bill.

Democratic Senator Liz Krueger who sponsored the bill made a statement on Wednesday that legislation will not pass in 2019.

“It is clear now that [the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act] is not going to pass this session,” said Krueger.

“This is not the end of the road, it is only a delay. Unfortunately, that delay means countless more New Yorkers will have their lived up-ended by unnecessary and racially disparate enforcement measures before we inevitably legalize.”


Cannabis edibles in Canada expected to be available mid-December

A statement from Health Canada last week states that a “limited selection” of new cannabis products including some edibles will be available no sooner than December.

The new laws based on the final regulatory framework will take effect on October 17 but federally licensed companies and businesses will need to give notice of 60 days to Health Canada if they plan to sell new products like edibles.

“As with any new regulatory framework, federally licensed processors will need time to become familiar with and prepare to comply with the new rules and to produce new products,” Health Canada said in a statement. “Provincially or territorially authorized distributors and retailed will also need time to purchase and obtain the new products and make them available for sale.”


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