InMed Pharmaceuticals Inc. on Tuesday announced it has formed an exclusive strategic collaboration with the University of Debrecen, Hungary, to develop novel phytocannabinoid-based therapies (plant-based cannabinoids) to treat ocular allergic symptoms.
The collaboration will leverage InMed's proprietary Intelligent Cannabinoid Drug Design Platform (IDP) and will be led by one of the world's leading cannabinoid researchers, Dr. Tamas Biro, MD, PhD, DSc. Dr. Biro has extensive research experience in studying the endocannabinoid system (ECS) and the closely related transient receptor potential (TRP) channels in various human diseases.
Under the discovery and development collaboration InMed's IDP Platform will be used to identify cannabinoid- and non-cannabinoid-based phytochemicals for ocular therapies focused on reducing various pro-inflammatory cytokines in in vitro and in vivo models.
"We have accumulated significant experience and expertise in developing cannabinoids to treat ocular disease, which forms the basis of this strategic collaboration," said Dr. Sazzad Hossain, chief scientific officer of InMed. "As we prepare to initiate Phase 1 clinical trials of our lead phytocannabinoid-based drug candidate CTI-085 for glaucoma, we look forward to expanding our ophthalmic therapy pipeline by developing ocular anti-allergic drugs, where we expect Dr. Biro's 18 years of experience in this specialty field to be invaluable."
Rev. Dr. Frederick Haynes, Senior Pastor of the 12,000-member congregation, Friendship-West Baptist Church in Dallas, TX and Drug Policy Alliance’s asha bandele To Hold Telephone Town Hall
Special RSVP-Only Telephone Town Hall Will Allow Press and Public to Pose Their Own Questions
On Thursday, March 12, from 1:00 – 2:00 pm, EST, Rev. Dr. Frederick D. Haynes, III, Senior Pastor of Dallas’ Friendship-West Baptist Church and co-founder and leader of the Samuel DeWitt Proctor Conference, will join the Drug Policy Alliance’s asha bandele for a discussion about the role faith communities have to play in ending the Drug War. bandele is expected to discuss marijuana legalization with Rev. Haynes, stigma and how faith communities plan to help re-acclimate tens of thousands of people who are being decarcerated annually.
The quarterly town hall-style calls are designed to ensure that the nation’s leading organization working to end the war on drugs, is bringing before the widest audiences the most influential members in our nation and allowing for an open discussion with those who are on the ground and reforming drug war policies. In short, the calls are meant to host the discussions that the global community is having, and that policymakers in the US need to be having.
By Steve Elliott
When Mayor Bill de Blasio took office in New York City, one of his leading initiatives was responding to possession of small amounts of marijuana with summonses rather than arrests. At the news conference announcing the change -- which affected possession cases involving up to 25 grams of weed -- NYPD Commissioner William J. Bratton stood beside the mayor, holding up a bag of oregano measuring 25 grams, as an educational prop for how much pot is allowable.
Last week, this time without the mayor, Commissioner Bratton turned his attention once again to marijuana, report J. David Goodman and Matt Flegenheimer at the New York Times. Bratton announced homicides were up to 54 through March 1, compared with 45 over the same period last year, as were shootings -- and he claimed marijuana was a factor in the violence.
"The seemingly innocent drug that's being legalized around the country -- in this city, people are killing each other over marijuana," Bratton dramatically announced.
But does the commissioner's sharp turn towards reefer madness territory indicate a schism in the de Blasio administration's approach to cannabis? The mayor said he supports the new policy regarding low-level marijuana possession, voicing concerns that arrests for small amounts of pot disproportionately affect the black and Hispanic communities.
By Steve Elliott
One Oregon County is considering excluding marijuana from farm zones, leading to questions about how cannabis will be regulated under legalization and the state's land use system.
Since voters approved legalization under Measure 91 last November, Linn County officials have been bombarded with questions about where citizens can grow it, according to County Commissioner Roger Nyquist, reports Mateusz Perkowski at the Capital Press.
"We're even seeing real estate ads advertising properties as turnkey ready for marijuana production," Nyquist said.
County commissioners are considering limiting commercial marijuana production to light industrial and commercial zones, according to Nyquist, who said the commissioners were "concerned" about "problems resulting from growing marijuana outdoors near homes."
"There are security issues if you have millions of dollars worth of crop sitting next to families," he said.
But marijuana proponents see the proposal as a try to circumvent Measure 91. Using zoning rules to create a "functional ban" on marijuana dispensaries would be preempted by legalization, according to attorney Leland Berger, who advises cannabis businesses.
"I am starting to see municipalities who are bigoted against cannabis utilize land use and zoning laws to avoid state preemption," Berger said.
By Steve Elliott
Both advocates and critics expect a medical marijuana bill to reach Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf's desk this year.
The first hearing on medical legalization was held in February in Harrisburg, and the next one is scheduled for March 24 in Philadelphia, reports Kris B. Mamula at the Pittsburgh Business Times.
Dr. Bruce MacLeod said he was booed for the first time in his career at last month's hearing after he advocated a cautious approach to medical marijuana. "We don't know the long-term effects of these medications and we're not sure of the dose," said MacLeod, who really should inform himself about cannabis before speaking publicly on the subject again.
"We're sympathetic to the patient suffering, but hold on," said MacLeod, medical director of emergency medicine at West Penn Hospital and past president of the Pennsylvania Medical Society. "Let's study this."
MacLeod's wait-and-see approach was dismissed by Patrick Nightingale, executive director of the Pittsburgh chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (Pittsburgh NORML). Nightingale said numerous studies have already shown marijuana's effectiveness and safety.
"What in the hell does the Pennsylvania Medical Society need to wait for?" Nightingale asked. "It has already been used and abused for decades. It's a treatment alternative."
Registration is now live for the 2nd Annual Cannabis World Congress & Business Exposition (CWCBExpo) taking place June 17-19 at the Javits Convention Center in New York, NY.
CWCBExpo is sponsored by the International Cannabis Association (ICA) and is billing itself as "the only event on the East Coast that will provide the latest information, resources and tools for aspiring cannabis entrepreneurs, healthcare professionals, investors, equity partners, service providers as well as those already in the business."
Led by industry experts in the medical, legal, financial and product development fields, the CWCBExpo’s conference program in New York will cover important topics and business objectives that are needed to succeed in this rapidly changing and growing industry, according to organizers.
The 40 conference sessions include:
• How to Obtain a State License to Sell, Grow or Produce Medical or Recreational Marijuana
• The Top 10 Things It Takes to Make a Successful MMJ Operator
• Attracting Wall Street to Your Cannabis Business
• How to Maximize the Valuation of Your Cannabis Business to Achieve the Highest Possible Investment and Sale Multiples
• How to Work with Unions for Your NYS Medical Marijuana Business
• What Physicians Need to Know to Prescribe Medical Marijuana to Their Patients
Taking place under one roof in New York City, the media and financial capitol of the world, CWCBExpo is an event at which to learn what it takes to succeed and remain competitive in this fast-growing and dynamic market.
Hundreds of patient advocates will gather in Washington, DC on March 31 to lobby for passage of Senate bill
By Steve Elliott
Comprehensive medical marijuana legislation was introduced Tuesday in the U.S. Senate for the first time in the nation's history.
Senators Rand Paul (R-KY), Cory Booker (D-NJ), and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) introduced the Compassionate Access, Research Expansion, and Respect States (CARERS) Act to end the federal prohibition on medical marijuana and allow states to set their own policies. The CARERS Act is endorsed by several advocacy groups including Americans for Safe Access (ASA), which helped Senate authors develop the legislation.
The CARERS Act will reclassify marijuana for medical use, overhaul the banking laws so as not to punish licensed businesses, allow veterans to have access to medical marijuana, and eliminate current barriers to research.
Currently, 23 states and the District of Columbia have adopted medical marijuana laws, and another twelve states have adopted laws allowing for the consumption of a specific form of cannabis known as cannabidiol or CBD commonly used to treat seizure disorders.
Congressman Earl Blumenauer of Oregon, one of the staunchest supporters of cannabis law reform in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday praised the historic medical marijuana bill introduced in the Senate.
“Senators Paul, Booker, and Gillibrand took an historic step today by introducing a medical marijuana bill in the United States Senate – the Compassionate Access, Research Expansion and Respect States Act," Rep. Blumenauer said. "This bill would bring much needed relief to the patients, businesses, and physicians who participate in legal state medical marijuana systems that exist in a confusing patchwork of state and federal laws.
"Last Congress, the House voted six times in favor of reforming our outdated marijuana and hemp laws," Rep. Blumenauer said. "Over a dozen bills have been introduced, many with bipartisan support. The Senate bill builds on this momentum and incorporates many of the provisions that gained significant traction in the House.
"I am happy to see the inclusion of language similar to our bill, HR 667: The Veterans Equal Access Act, which will ensure that our veterans can access medical marijuana in states where it is legal," Rep. Blumenauer said. " I am also excited to see language to reduce barriers to medical marijuana research, which is an issue I will continue to champion. The bill will also offer much needed certainty for banks that provide financial services to marijuana businesses, which often must operate as unsafe cash only enterprises.
By Steve Elliott
The historic medical marijuana bill being introduced in the United States Senate on Tuesday -- the first ever such bill ever introduced in the Senate -- would end the federal prohibition on medical marijuana. Beyond that, however, it would also implement a number of critical reforms that advocates have been seeking for years, according to those familiar with the legislation.
The Compassionate Access, Research Expansion, and Respect States (CARERS) act grew from an amendment proposed last year by Senators Cory Booker (D-N.J.) and Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and is now being introduced by those two Senators along with Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), reports Niraj Chokshi at The Washington Post. It would reclassify cannabis, allow for limited interstate transport of it, expand access for research, make it easier for doctors to authorize veterans to use it, and make it easier for banks to provide services to the marijuana industry.
"it's the most comprehensive medical marijuana bill in Congress," said Bill Piper, director of national affairs for the Drug Policy Alliance (DPA). The DPA and other activist organizations, including the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP) and Americans for Safe Access (ASA) were consulted in drafting the bill. Advocates say they are mostly pleased with what they've seen and heard.
Measure sponsored by Sens. Rand Paul, Corey Booker, and Kirsten Gillibrand marks the first time in history that the Senate will consider a proposal to make medical marijuana legal under federal law
A bill will be introduced on Tuesday in the United States Senate which would end the federal government's prohibition on medical marijuana.
U.S. Senators Rand Paul (R-KY), Corey Booker (D-NJ), and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) on Tuesday will introduce the bill.
It will be the first time in history that the Senate considers a proposal to make medical marijuana legal under federal law.
“This is a significant step forward when it comes to reforming marijuana laws at the federal level," said Dan Riffle, director of federal policies for the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP). "The vast majority of Americans support laws that allow seriously ill people to access medical marijuana.
"Several marijuana policy reform bills have been introduced in the House of Representatives," Riffle said. "The introduction of this legislation in the Senate demonstrates just how seriously this issue is being taken on Capitol Hill.
“The bipartisan nature of this proposal reflects the broad public support for resolving the tension between state and federal marijuana laws," Riffle said. "This is a proposal that Republicans and Democrats should both be able to get behind.
Coalition ratifies declaration this past week in Prague, urging the UN to reclassify cannabis plant for medical use
Medical cannabis patients from 13 countries, including those represented by U.S. advocacy group Americans for Safe Access (ASA), established the International Medical Cannabis Patients Coalition (IMCPC) this past week while at the "Medical Cannabis and Cannabinoids: Policy, Research and Medical Practice" conference in Prague from March 4-7. IMCPC member countries include Bulgaria, Canada, Czech Republic, Estonia, France, Israel, Italy, Latvia, Poland, Slovenia, Spain, United Kingdom, and United States.
The first action of the IMCPC was to ratify a declaration urging the 2016 UN General Assembly Special Session on Drugs to either reclassify cannabis for medical use, convene a UN Special Convention on Cannabis, or simply exclude cannabis from the UN Single Convention on Narcotics. The IMCPC declaration will be delivered to the UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs in Vienna this week by Pavel Bem, the Czech representative for the Global Commission on Drug Policy.
420careers.com, which describes itself as "the world's largest marijuana industry job board website," on Friday announced that the marijuana industry is expanding so rapidly it is creating an unprecedented demand for marijuana-related jobs throughout the country, making it easier than ever to find a job in the marijuana industry.
Nearly half of the states in the U.S. have medical marijuana laws implemented or pending, according to the site. And soon five states will allow for recreational marijuana use for adults. It is presumed that five more states will have laws legalizing marijuana for adult recreational use by 2016.
“The rapid growth of the U.S. marijuana industry is generating nearly 1,000 new jobs per month. It is estimated that there are around 10,000 marijuana-related jobs in Colorado alone,” said Dan Kingston, spokesperson for 420careers.com.
Reports predict that 14 states will likely legalize marijuana for adult recreational use by 2018; potentially creating upwards of a $10 billion marijuana industry in the United States.
420careers.com provides a free place where job-seekers can browse and directly apply for marijuana industry jobs, as well as post their resumes for employers to view. Businesses can post available marijuana industry jobs and browse job-seekers’ resumes. Businesses can upgrade their job listing(s) with a Featured Job listing that is displayed and highlighted on 420careers.com’s homepage for only $25.
Louisiana: Rally In New Orleans To Call For Clemency For Man Serving 13 Years For Marijuana PossessionSubmitted by steveelliott on Fri, 03/06/2015 - 18:22
Criminal justice stakeholders, New Orleans city Council members, sentencing reform advocates, community activists, concerned citizens, friends and family will gather on Saturday, March 7, to rally support for clemency for Bernard Noble, currently serving 13.3 years for 2.8 grams for marijuana.
Noble, a 48-year old father of seven, was arrested while riding his bike when officers discovered 2.8 grams of marijuana, the equivalent of two to three marijuana cigarettes. Characterizing Noble as “exceptional,” two Orleans Parish Criminal District Court judges departed from the mandatory minimal sentence stating “Mr. Noble’s inevitable incarceration will be a greater punishment for his children than for himself,” and Noble’s “particular circumstance is the rare exceptional situation and does not represent the type of individual contemplated by the legislature when assigning sentences.”
Using simple possession convictions from 1991 and 2003, the Orleans Parish District Attorney’s Office charged Noble under the habitual offender law and sought the mandatory minimum sentence despite the trail judges’ disapproval and disagreement with the length of punishment. Trial judges twice departed from sentencing Noble to the state requested mandatory minimum of 13 years and four months and sentenced him to 5 years.
State Sen. Joshua Miller (D-Cranston) and State Rep. Scott Slater (D-Providence) on Thursday introduced legislation that would end marijuana prohibition in Rhode Island and replace it with a system in which marijuana is regulated and taxed similarly to alcohol.
They discussed the proposal at a news conference in the House Lounge of the State House, where they were joined by Dr. Daniel Harrop, M.D., vice chairman of the Rhode Island Center for Freedom and Prosperity, and Regulate Rhode Island Director Jared Moffat.
“It’s time to regulate and tax marijuana in Rhode Island and treat it similarly to how we treat alcohol,” said Sen. Miller, who is chairman of the Senate Committee on Health & Human Services. “Marijuana prohibition is an ineffective and wasteful policy, and we cannot afford to ignore it any longer. The Legislature is perfectly capable of creating a system that will work for Rhode Island.”
The Marijuana Regulation, Control, and Taxation Act would allow adults 21 and older to possess up to one ounce of marijuana and grow one mature marijuana plant in an enclosed, locked space. It would create a tightly regulated system of licensed marijuana retail stores, cultivation facilities, and testing facilities and direct the Department of Business Regulation to create rules regulating security, labeling, and health and safety requirements. It would also establish wholesale excise taxes at the point of transfer from the cultivation facility to a retail store, as well as a special sales tax on retail sales to consumers.
The General Social Survey — ‘widely regarded as the single best source of data on societal trends’ — finds 52% think marijuana should be made legal; only 42% think it should remain illegal
For the first time, the General Social Survey has reportedly found that a majority of Americans support making marijuana legal, reports the Washington Post
The survey, which is “widely regarded as the single best source of data on societal trends,” according to its website, found 52 percent think marijuana should be made legal and only 42 percent think it should remain illegal.
National polls released last fall by Gallup and the Pew Research Center found similar results.
“Americans are tired of laws that punish adults for using a substance that is undeniably safer than alcohol," said Morgan Fox, communications manager for the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP). "Hopefully their elected officials are paying attention and preparing for the inevitable. The failures of marijuana prohibition are too obvious to ignore forever, which is evidenced by the growing support for ending it.
“Marijuana has been a relatively prominent part of American culture for decades, and that’s never going to change," Fox said. "Either we continue to force it into the underground market or we start regulating it and treating it like other products that are legal for adults. Federal and state officials who are clinging to marijuana prohibition need to get over it and allow society to move forward.”