Nov 182014

420RADIO News for 2014-11-18 (Tuesday)

The League of Oregon Cities says it will ask legislators to amend the marijuana legalization measure passed by voters two weeks ago to explicitly allow local taxes being sought by at least 70 cities, including Portland and several of its suburban neighbors.  In addition to the fight over local taxation, legislators may also be asked to decide: How localities can opt out of allowing retail sales at all. Measure 91 allows a community to ban sales only through a vote of the people at a general election. The League of Oregon Cities would like to allow city councils and county commissions to make that decision.  Anthony Johnson, the chief sponsor of Measure 91, said that, if anything, the Legislature needs to make it crystal clear that the taxes approved by so many Oregon cities shouldn’t be allowed to stand.  “By discouraging retail sales” with high taxes, “you’re then encouraging black-market sales,” said Johnson.

Bob Marley, the late reggae superstar whose name is virtually synonymous with pot, will soon have his own marijuana label.  Marley’s family has joined with Privateer Holdings, a private equity firm focused on marijuana products, to develop Marley Natural brand weed. Marley Natural will offer “heirloom Jamaican cannabis strains,” the very same pot Marley himself is said to have enjoyed. The company will also sell creams, lotions, and Marley-branded accessories.  Brendan Kennedy, CEO of Privateer Holdings, believes the Marley Brand has the potential to the be the Starbucks of weed and reel in a sizable percentage of what is now a $1.53 billion domestic market for legal pot. AdWeek speculates that if legalization trends continue, that market could grow to $10.2 billion by 2019, and Greenwave Advisors, a marijuana-focused analysis firm, estimates lecit American marijuana sales could total as much as $35 billion by 2020.

Starting early next year, tourists with a medical marijuana card from their home state can buy pot while visiting Las Vegas and other Nevada cities.  A handful of other states offer similar reciprocity, including Rhode Island and Maine, but Nevada is the first major tourist-destination state to honor other states’ systems, industry experts say. The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority estimates that nearly 40 million people visit Sin City annually.  The decision by state lawmakers to let tourists buy pot legally while visiting Nevada further opens the doors to marijuana tourism across the country. Colorado and Washington state already allow anyone to buy small amounts of pot, and at least one study has shown tourism interest in Colorado has skyrocketed since recreational sales began Jan. 1. Alaska and Oregon in the fall election legalized recreational marijuana sales and use, and Washington, D.C., legalized possession.

The active molecules in cannabis kill brain cancer — another study has revealed.  Scientists using an extract of whole-plant marijuana rich in pot’s main psychoactive ingredient THC as well as cannabidiol (CBD) showed “dramatic reductions in tumor volumes” of a type of brain cancer.  Writing in Molecular Cancer Therapeutics this month, the team recounts how they decided to build on existing research that shows “cannabinoids have been shown to specifically inhibit glioma growth as well as neutralize oncogenic processes such as angiogenesis.”  The researchers wanted to boost the success of cannabinoids, so they investigated using THC and CBD both alone and in combination with radiation in a number of glioma cell lines.  Marijuana kills cancer cells in proportion to its dose and duration of treatment, researchers found, and whole plant cannabis rich in THC was more efficacious than pure, lab-grade THC alone.  Moreover, pre-treating cells with THC and CBD for four hours prior to irradiation increased the cancer-killing effects of radiation.

An Iowa Board of Pharmacy committee listened to debate Monday over reclassifying marijuana.  Reclassifying marijuana from Schedule 1, highly-abused drugs with no medical use, to Schedule 2, drugs that have medical use, could be a step toward legalizing medicinal marijuana production and distribution in the state. This is the next step proponents said must be taken to allow them to utilize a new state law that currently they cannot.  Last year, the Iowa legislature approved a limited law allowing possession of cannabis oil for people with severe epilepsy, but when medical marijuana cards are handed out early next year, the cards will not provide protection from prosecution in other states or on a federal level for trying to transport or mail the cannabis oil.  Proponents will be lobbying legislators to take the next step to allow production and distribution of medical marijuana in Iowa. A special marijuana review committee heard comments Monday before deciding if they will recommend reclassifying marijuana to the Iowa Board of Pharmacy later this week.