Jun 032014

The Russ Belville Show #405 – New York + GW Pharma = Box Canyon

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has signed an agreement with British corporation GW Pharmaceuticals to provide its patented CBD-only medication for clinical trials.  The drug, Epidiolex, is the pharmaceutical version of the high-CBD oil used to treat childhood epilepsy that was popularized in the Dr. Sanjay Gupta documentaries “Weed” and “Weed II”.  The New York Health Department will now complete its development of the clinical trial that will need approval from the Food & Drug Administration to proceed.  An anonymous state source confided that they expect FDA approval rather quickly.  The New York Legislature is currently considering two medical marijuana bills, one that would allow sufferers of certain conditions to use whole plant marijuana and another which is a “Minnesota-style” medical marijuana proposal that would allow no access to smoked plant marijuana, just vaporizers, oil, pills, and edibles.

In another study designed to find something terrible about marijuana use, University of Pennsylvania researchers have found a correlation between early marijuana use and sleep difficulties.  Jilesh Chheda is the lead author of the research that will be presented at the 28th annual meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies, LLC.  Chheda said, “There was a strong relationship with age of first use, no matter how often people were currently using marijuana. People who started using early were more likely to have sleep problems as an adult.”  Chheda’s team analyzed data collected from the 2007-2008 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey and determined that the results from 1,811 adults they surveyed showed both current and former marijuana users are more likely to experience sleep difficulties.  The survey does not show causation and it is possible people begin or continue their marijuana use to treat insomnia, for example.

As Washington State prepares to roll out retail marijuana stores in July, some border towns are deciding whether or not to allow the pot shops.  Liberty Lake, which borders Idaho, has passed a six-month moratorium on retail marijuana shops and may decide this summer to ban shops and processors altogether.  “Personally, I don’t want Liberty Lake to be known as the tourist destination to buy your marijuana,” said Cris Kaminskas, a city councilwoman and the mayor pro tem, “That’s just not what our city is about.”  But Alison Holcomb, the ACLU attorney who wrote I-502, believes such bans are illegal, despite the opinion of state Attorney General Bob Ferguson that cities may ban pot shops.  “Obviously,” says Holcomb, “allowing counties to ban licensed marijuana businesses altogether would make it impossible to provide adequate legal sources to undercut the black market.”  Meanwhile, the city of North Bonneville, bordering Oregon, may go into the pot business itself.  Mayor Don Stevens says that a city-run pot shop would put the council in control and explains, “We’ve got streets that need to be paved. We’ve got stuff that every small community needs to pay for and less and less money to do those things.”

The Rhode Island Senate Judiciary Committee will be hearing debate on the Marijuana Regulation, Control, and Taxation Act today.  The act, SB 2379, would allow adults 21 and older to possess one ounce of marijuana and grow one plant at home in an enclosed, locked space.  The act would also create a regulated system of marijuana producers and retailers, and tax the marijuana at the wholesale and retail levels, providing an estimated twenty to eighty million dollars in tax revenue annually.  According to recent polls, fifty-three percent of Rhode Islanders support regulating marijuana similarly to alcohol.

Your money smelling like marijuana is reason enough for the federal government to take it from you.  The DEA received a tip that a man would be flying out of the Minneapolis Airport with a large quantity of “drug money”.  The feds stopped him and ran a drug-sniffing dog over his bags.  The dog alerted on two of the bags which the man told the feds contained the cash proceeds of his bingo business.  There were no drugs in the bags but the cash did smell of marijuana.  Last week, a US District Judge entered a default judgment in favor of the federal government’s right to keep this man’s smelly money that totaled over one-hundred and thirty-eight thousand dollars.  No criminal charges were ever filed against the man.

There’s a new kind of coffee brewing in the Pacific Northwest and it’s cannabis infused.  Mirth Provisions is the company behind the new cold-brew coffee called “Legal”, which contains about 20 milligrams of THC per bottle.  Regulators in Colorado who have been grappling with the unintended consequences of uneducated consumers overdosing on cannabis-infused edibles have set their state’s serving limit at 10 milligrams of THC.  Washington has no such regulations and Mirth expects to also manufacture cannabis-infused fruit-flavored sodas.  A bottle will likely sell for nine to eleven dollars.