Study: Long-Term Cannabis Use Not Associated With Changes In Brain Morphology

AUSTRALIA: The use of cannabis, even long-term, is not associated with changes in the cortical surface of the brain, according to data published in the journal European Neuropsychopharmacology.

A team of investigators from Australia and the Netherlands assessed the relationship between cannabis use and brain morphology in a cohort of 261 subjects (141 cannabis users and 120 controls). Researchers reported “no significant effects on cortical surface morphology” that could be attributable to subjects’ cannabis use, dependence, or age of initiation.

Authors concluded, “Our lack of finding in a well-powered study suggests that cortical surface morphology may be less associated with cannabis use than previously assumed.”

The findings are consistent with other recent brain imaging studies – such as those herehere, and here – and are largely inconsistent with those of a well-publicized 2014 study purporting that even causal cannabis exposure was linked to changes in the brain in young people.


For more information, contact Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director, at: paul@norml.org. Full text of the study, “Cortical surface morphology in long-term cannabis users: A multi-site MRI study,” appears in European Neuropsychopharmacology. Further information is available from the NORML fact-sheet, “Marijuana Exposure and Cognitive Performance.”

Ohio Board Of Pharmacy Announces Third Week Statistics For MMJ Patient & Caregiver Registry

Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program

OHIO: After accepting patient registrations for three weeks, the Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program has 4,440 recommendations in the Patient and Caregiver Registry. Of those with a recommendation, 3,036 have activated their Registry Card.

The State of Ohio Board of Pharmacy will continue to provide weekly updates through December after which a monthly report will be available.

Cresco Labs Wins Second License In Pennsylvania For Three Additional Dispensaries

ILLINOIS: Cresco Labs, one of the largest vertically integrated multi-state cannabis operators in the United States, today announced that it has been awarded a second merit-based license for dispensary operations in Pennsylvania. The permit allows Cresco Labs six months in which to become operational before it can begin dispensing medical marijuana. The Company is licensed for three dispensaries under its second license.

Screenshot 2018-12-19 06.18.13“Our marquee platform in Pennsylvania showcases our success as the first cultivator to bring branded products to market, the first dispensary approved to open, and the first sale of product to a customer in that state’s program,” said Charles Bachtell, CEO of Cresco Labs. “We are extremely proud of our accomplishments in Pennsylvania and look forward to continuing to provide relief to patients as we open three new dispensaries. After New Kensington, we plan to open our fourth Pennsylvania dispensary in Reading and then expand into the southeast region of the state.”

The Pennsylvania medical marijuana program was signed into law in early 2016 and provides access to state residents with one of 17 qualifying conditions, including epilepsy, chronic pain, and PTSD. Following Cresco Labs’ successful win in the state’s first highly competitive application process, the Company first entered the Pennsylvania market in February 2018 with the opening of its Butler retail dispensary, making the first ever legal sale of cannabis under Pennsylvania’s medical marijuana program. Cresco’s flagship location in Pennsylvania, which opened in June 2018, is located in the historic Strip District of the city of Pittsburgh. The Company expects to open its third Pennsylvania dispensary in New Kensington during the first quarter of 2019. Under terms of its first license, Cresco Labs also operates a cultivation facility in Brookville, PA and the products manufactured there are on the shelves of every dispensary in the state.

“Winning merit-based state application processes is the first part of our two-pronged growth strategy, complementing our focus on strategic acquisitions of assets in established regulated markets with high growth potential and barriers to entry,” Bachtell added. “This second license win in Pennsylvania allows us to continue to build our market leadership in one of the most attractive and highly coveted markets in the country and to expand the relief we provide to patients in that state.”

Pennsylvania operates as a high-barrier market with very limited market participation. Retail sales opened in February 2018 to a limited number of retail locations across the state. Pennsylvania’s medical marijuana market is expected to become one of the biggest markets in the U.S.1 and due to the rapid acceleration of cannabis demand in Pennsylvania, Cresco Labs is currently implementing a 70,000 square foot expansion that will provide an additional 45,000 square feet of cultivation space at their Brookville facility.

In the state of Pennsylvania, Cresco Labs does business as Cresco Yeltrah.

 

Ohio Board Of Pharmacy Announces Second Week Statistics For Patient Caregiver Registry

Update from the Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program

Update from the Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program

OHIO: After accepting patient registrations for two weeks, the Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program has 3,460 recommendations in the Patient and Caregiver Registry. Of those with a recommendation, 2,170 have activated their Registry Card.

The State of Ohio Board of Pharmacy will continue to provide weekly updates through December after which a monthly report will be available.

Missouri: Voter Initiated Medical Cannabis Law Takes Effect

MISSOURI: Amendment 2, the state’s voter-initiated medical cannabis access law, took effect on Thursday, December 6th. Sixty-six percent of voters approved the measure in November, while rejecting a pair of competing initiatives.

State regulators have 180 days from the law’s enactment date to make available application forms to patients seeking to register to grow and/or possess medical cannabis.

Under the program, physicians may recommend cannabis therapy at his/her discretion. Qualified patients may obtain cannabis from licensed dispensaries or grow their own. Retail cannabis sales will be taxed at four percent. Tax revenues are earmarked to fund programs to assist state veterans.


For more information, contact Justin Strekal, NORML Political Director, at (202) 483-5500 or visit Missouri NORML.

 

National Nursing Standards Legitimize Cannabis Nursing

Cannabis Nurses Network Steps in as Essential Resource for Medical Marijuana Education

CALIFORNIA: When the National Council of State Boards of Nursing released guidelines for cannabis patient care, it simultaneously validated the legitimacy of cannabis nursing, and underscored the immediate necessity for medical professionals to gain practical medical marijuana patient care education.

Cannabis Nurses Network, a professional education and development network, is producing the only conference where licensed medical professionals can get the education recommended in the NCSBN Guidelines; essential cannabis knowledge, clinical recommendations, administration and ethical considerations are integral to the programming. Cannabis Nurses Network Conference (CNNC) comes to San Diego, California February 28th-March 2nd, 2019.

February 28 – March 2, 2019 | San Diego, California

February 28 – March 2, 2019 | San Diego, California

“Cannabis Nurses are revolutionizing the future of plant-based healthcare. In response to a national shift that is currently occurring in healthcare, and specifically within the nursing profession, it has become imperative to provide nurses with access to high-level education involving the science, research, and implementation required for sustaining evidence-based practice regarding cannabis patients. CNN is heeding the call to deliver this important education during CNNC,” says the Founder of CNN and longtime advocate Heather Manus, RN.

National nursing guidelines and recommendations regarding cannabis related issues have recently been published highlighting required areas for nurses to seek continued education.

People are using legal cannabis products in nearly every state in our nation, with or without medical advice. Nurses are the patients’ lifeline, the heartbeat of healthcare, the ones who must learn and understand the importance of the human endocannabinoid system.


Nurses Network is stepping in as an international resource for cannabis patient care with the conference, and an online fundamentals curriculum addressing medical marijuana education, scheduled for release in early 2019. The Cannabis Nurses Network Conference offers accredited continuing education, while bringing together thought leaders, educators and authors in medical cannabis education to advance the quality of cannabis patient care around the globe.

420MEDIA has been named an official media partner for the Cannabis Nurses Network Conference.

Ohio Board of Pharmacy Activates MMJ Patient & Caregiver Registry

MJLegalOHIO: The State of Ohio Board of Pharmacy today activated the Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program Patient & Caregiver Registry. The Registry is the online portal where physicians with a certificate to recommend medical marijuana will register patients and caregivers, and also issue recommendations. Patients and caregivers will also complete their registrations, and update their registration details, using the Registry.

Click here to review guidance materials on the activation of the Patient & Caregiver Registry.

Registrants who previously visited with a certified physician are encouraged to confirm with their physician that they have been added to the Registry before contacting the MMCP. For Registry questions, please contact the program’s Toll-Free Helpline at 1-833-464-6627, or by email at MMCPRegistry@pharmacy.ohio.gov.

Cura Partners Expands Operations To Arizona

Cura supports Arizona’s medical marijuana market and gears up for additional domestic and international expansion

ARIZONA: Cura Partners, one of the largest marijuana companies in the world, known for its best-selling brands Select Oil and Select CBD, recently opened its Arizona headquarters in Phoenix, Arizona. This move signifies the company’s commitment to bringing the safest and cleanest medical marijuana products to legal U.S. and international markets. The company began offering its Select Elite and Weekender vape pens to dispensaries and Select CBD (hemp-derived cannabidiol) products to dispensaries and a few retail outlets in the state in October.

The Arizona office currently has 30 active team members, with an expected growth to 75 employees by mid-2019. In addition to Arizona, Select now operates in four U.S. states including Oregon, California and Nevada, with additional U.S. and international expansion on the horizon. “Our recent expansion to Arizona supports our mission to be the leader in this space,” said Cura President and Chief Executive Officer Cameron Forni.“We are thrilled to be providing Select products to the Arizona community and look forward to hiring local residents and bringing more superstars into our Cura family.”

The company has seen unprecedented growth, and was recently listed by Portland Business Journal as the fastest-growing private company in the state’s history. Cura also ranked no. 45 on the Inc. 5000 list of America’s fastest-growing companies, and was the first company of its kind to ever rank this high on the list. Everything the team does at Cura is built upon six core values, which are embodied by every employee: customer welfare, candor, driving results, thriving on rapid change, striving to be a superstar, and hiring and mentoring superstars.

“We look forward to working with the Arizona medical marijuana community,” said Adam Pressler, General Manager, Cura Arizona. “While we are just kicking off our production in Arizona, we have already found it to be a positive experience for our team and our colleagues. This is an emerging industry that is growing rapidly, we are thrilled to help pave the way for everyone in Arizona’s medical marijuana community.

As Cura Partners, Inc. expands to new markets, its number one priority remains providing only top-tier pesticide-free products to retailers and consumers. All Select brand products are run through a full-extended pesticide analysis as well as full-potency and microbial analysis, making Select the only marijuana company in Arizona currently utilizing these stringent testing practices. The brand has established itself as a market leader in every state it expands to by testing to its extremely strict testing regulations even when the state does not require the same level of pre-market testing.

Consumers looking for the cleanest, safest and most potent products can now find Select products in over 40 Arizona stores statewide including Harvest, The Mint, Metro Meds Dispensary, Curaleaf, Desert Rose, Sky Dispensaries and Nature’s Medicines. Select offers a wide array of products with THC levels ranging from zero percent THC in its CBD products, to more than 90 percent in its Select Elite vape pen line.

Study: Patients With Tourette Syndrome Report Benefits From Cannabis

ISRAEL: Patients suffering from Tourette syndrome (TS) report symptomatic benefits following the use of medical cannabis, according to data published in the journal Parkinsonism and Related Disorders.

Israeli researchers surveyed 42 patients with TS who had approval from the Health Ministry to use medical marijuana. Subjects typically reported reduced tic severity, better sleep, and improved mood following cannabis administration. About 75 percent of total participants elected to continue using cannabis long-term. Those who ceased their use did so because of a lack of perceived efficacy or due to side-effects.

Authors concluded: “MC (medical cannabis) seems to hold promise in the treatment of GTS (Gilles de la Tourette syndrome) as it demonstrated high subjective satisfaction by most patients.”

Prior studies have consistently demonstrated that the administration of either whole-plant cannabis or oral THC is associated with reduced tic severity in TS patients.


For more information, contact Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director, at: paul@norml.org. Full text of the study, “Single center experience with medical cannabis in Gilles de la Tourette syndrome,” appears in Parkinsonism and Related Disorders. NORML’s literature review on cannabis and Tourette Syndrome is online.

 

Empower Clinics To Launch Telemedicine Platform For Medical Cannabis, Wellness Treatment

WASHINGTON: Empower Clinics, a leading owner and operator of medical cannabis and wellness clinics in the US,  announced that it is nearing completion of a telemedicine platform that will enable interested patients worldwide to connect with its specialized medical doctors.

Expected to launch in December via Empower’s Website, the telemedicine offering will make it easy for patients worldwide to speak directly with medical doctors about anything related to cannabis-based treatments as well as overall wellness. Patients will be able to select a doctor on-demand or can set a schedule for consultations engineered to take place via private video conference. Over time, the consultations will also involve online chat and other features to facilitate direct patient-doctor communication. Empower also plans to include veterinary options in the coming months, for those interested in discussing cannabis and wellness treatments for pets.

“Telemedicine leverages two of Empower’s greatest assets, in bringing together technology with Empower’s highly specialized medical doctors to provide patients with the expertise they need where and when they want it,” said Craig Snyder, Empower CEO. “This will provide an additional revenue stream for Empower while complementing our expanding physical footprint here in the US.”

In addition, Empower has completed its non-brokered private placement it announced publicly on October 19.