Quebec will soon have highest legal age for cannabis consumption in Canada

Young adults in Quebec who have become accustomed to visiting the province’s legal retail stores for their cannabis will soon no longer be allowed to do so.

Until now, the legal age to purchase marijuana in Quebec was 18 but as of January 1, 2020, Quebecers will have to wait until they turn 21. The new law makes Quebec the province with the highest legal age for cannabis consumption. The legal age for consumption across most of Canada is 19 with the exception of Alberta which has a legal age of 18.  


Ontario moves to ban advertisements for vaping products in convenience stores

In an attempt to deter youth from vaping following growing health concerns, the Ontario government has decided to enforce a ban on the promotion of vapor products in convenience stores and gas stations.

The announcement was made Friday that the ban will officially take effect on January 1, 2020 and that ads for vape products will only be allowed in specialty shops where patrons must be at least 19 to enter.

“Restricting the promotion of vapour products will help prevent youth from being exposed and influenced by promotion in retail settings,” Health Minister Christine Elliott said in a news release.

The announcement comes after multiple consultations following research that states an increasing number of youth are using vape products.


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.


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