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.”


Ohio medical board postpones approval for autism as qualifying condition for medical cannabis

A proposal to add depression, opioid addiction and insomnia to the list of qualifying conditions for medical cannabis was rejected on Wednesday by the Ohio State Medical Board. They also decided that a vote to include autism and anxiety as qualifying conditions will be postponed.  

 An advisory committee met last month to consider whether the five conditions should be added to the state’s medical marijuana program. Medical experts were asked to convince the committee to include autism and anxiety by presenting evidence.

The physicians panel was not able to come to a unanimous decision on depression, opioid addiction and insomnia and did not recommend any of the conditions after hearing from the experts.


Nevada prohibits discrimination against job applicants who use cannabis

A new Nevada law prohibits employers from discriminating against potential employees who consume cannabis.

Assembly Bill 132, signed into law by Democratic Governor Steve Sisolak states it is “unlawful for any employer in [Nevada] to fail or refuse to hire a prospective employee submitted to a screening test and the results of the screening test indicate the presence of marijuana.”

The law will take effect beginning January 1, 2020.

The bill still allows for employers to administer drug tests if they choose but they are prohibited from not hiring someone based on the results of the test. Once the law takes effect in January, people will be able to take the issue to court if they feel they were discriminated against based on positive drug test results.


Toronto officials using concrete blocks to close illegal cannabis storefronts

In a desperate effort to stop illegal cannabis storefronts from operating in the city, Toronto officials have resorted to placing massive concrete blocks in front of the entrances to black market cannabis shops.

Law enforcement have had difficulty closing many of the illicit shops since cannabis was legalized in Canada last October, and after many failed warnings and raids, officials decided more extreme measures need to be taken.

“This has proven to be a bit more of a substantial tactic,” said Mark Sraga, Toronto’s director of investigation services for municipal licensing and standards.

The first illegal dispensary this method was used on was a dispensary near Yonge and Bloor streets a few weeks ago in May.


Arizona Supreme Court decides cannabis extracts are legal

The Arizona Supreme Court decided unanimously on Tuesday that cannabis extracts including concentrates, vape cartridges as well as infused beverages and food, are now legal and can be sold in dispensaries.

“We hold that [the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act’s] definition of marijuana includes both its dried-leaf/flower form and extracted resin, including hashish,” the court wrote in its decision.


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