Biopharmaceutical Research Company Will Be Among First in the Nation to Receive a License for Federal Cannabis Production 

CALIFORNIA: Biopharmaceutical Research Company (BRC), a specialty pharmaceutical manufacturing and analytical company focused on plant-based therapeutics, will soon be awarded one of the first federal production licenses from the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to produce clean, consistent and compliant cannabis for federally approved researchers across the United States.

BRC will be among a select few organizations to receive such a license after the DEA amended regulations within the Controlled Substances Act to begin allowing the cultivation of cannabis for research purposes. Prior to today’s decision by the DEA, only one facility in the United States was federally authorized to cultivate cannabis for research purposes.

“Once finalized, this federal license will forever change the trajectory of our business and the medicinal cannabis industry. The DEA’s leadership will set off a nationwide wave of innovative cannabis-derived treatments, unlock valuable intellectual property and create high quality American jobs,” said BRC CEO George Hodgin, a former US Navy SEAL.

“The BRC team is already familiar with DEA compliance procedures based on our extensive history of controlled substances activity, and our world class staff is ready to hit the ground running on this new business arm that the DEA has authorized. Cultivation and compliance are our bread and butter, and now that we are in a position to receive this license, our best work yet can begin to take shape.”

BRC is already certified by the DEA and United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to analyze and test controlled substances, including cannabis and hemp.

“We have invested a great deal of money and waited a very long time for this over the last four years, and this is the validation and the holy grail we’ve been waiting for,” added Hodgin. “With this license, BRC can legally produce quality cannabis and cannabis-derived products that can be used to identify new treatments that can help veterans and all patients struggling with chronic pain, cancer, and countless other illnesses. Equally important, we will also gain valuable insights into the potential dangers and misuse associated with cannabis that will help keep all Americans safe and healthy. We are proud and honored to be one of the first federally legal cannabis companies in the United States.”

Tilray Announces Support For Study Examining Effects Of Driving Under The Influence Of Cannabis

CANADA: Tilray, a global leader in cannabis research and production, announced that it has partnered with researchers at the Lambert Initiative for Cannabinoid Therapeutics at the University of Sydney to complete a study examining the effects of cannabis on driving and cognitive function.

Agreement represents major milestone recognizing medical cannabis as a conventional medicine for patients in need

“The Effects of Medicinal Cannabinoids on Driving” study was a double blind, placebo-controlled study that compared the effects of two varieties of cannabis – a variety containing high levels of THC and a variety containing a 1:1 balanced ratio of THC:CBD – to a placebo, which contained neither THC nor CBD. Tilray supplied the cannabis varieties for the study from its Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) certified facility in Nanaimo, British Columbia.

“We studied the extent to which cannabis affects driving and specifically, whether CBD moderates the effects of THC,” says Thomas Arkell, a Lambert Initiative researcher, who oversaw the trial. “The two main objectives of the six-month study were to characterize and understand how vaporized cannabis effects people’s driving and to establish whether there are differences in the effects of cannabis containing either high THC and very little CBD or a 1:1 balanced ratio of THC and CBD”.

The trial phase of this study was completed in 2018 and the published results are expected in 2019.

“We’re proud to support this important research,” says Dr. Catherine Jacobson, Vice President of Regulatory and Medical Affairs for Tilray. “Patient safety is a top priority at Tilray. The research conducted at the University of Sydney will provide solid scientific data on the implications for driving after consuming cannabis that will be an asset for the entire industry.”

Colorado Seeks Federal Permission For State Colleges To Grow Marijuana

COLORADO:  Colorado has made an unusual plea to federal authorities: Let our colleges grow pot.

In a letter sent last month, the state attorney general’s office asks federal health and education officials for permission for Colorado’s colleges and universities to “obtain marijuana from non-federal government sources” for research purposes.

The letter isn’t more specific on how the state’s higher-education institutions might score weed. But it was sent pursuant to  a lawpassed in 2014 requiring state officials to ask that Colorado colleges and universities be allowed “to cultivate marijuana and its component parts.”

“Current research is riddled with bias or insufficiencies and often conflict with one another,” reads the letter, written by deputy attorney general David Blake. “It is critical that we be allowed to fill the void of scientific research, and this may only be done with your assistance and cooperation.”

 

Legalizing medical marijuana doesn’t increase use among adolescents, study says

Parents and physicians concerned about an increase in adolescents’ marijuana use following the legalization of medical marijuana can breathe a sigh of relief. According to a new study at Rhode Island Hospital which compared 20 years worth of data from states with and without medical marijuana laws, legalizing the drug did not lead to increased use among adolescents. The study is published online in advance of print in theJournal of Adolescent Health.

“Any time a state considers legalizing medical marijuana, there are concerns from the public about an increase in drug use among teens,” said principal investigator Esther Choo, M.D., an attending physician in the department of emergency medicine at Rhode Island Hospital. “In this study, we examined 20 years worth of data, comparing trends in self-reported adolescent marijuana use between states with medical marijuana laws and neighboring states without the laws, and found no increase in marijuana use that could be attributed to the law.”

Choo continued, “This adds to a growing body of literature published over the past three years that is remarkably consistent in demonstrating that state medical marijuana policies do not have a downstream effect on adolescent drug use, as we feared they might.”

Currently, medical marijuana is legal in 21 states and the District of Columbia.

Study of Pot Smokers’ Brains Shows That MRIs Cause Bad Science Reporting

This week a study of cannabis consumers published by The Journal of Neuroscience provided powerful evidence that MRI scans cause shoddy science reporting. Researchers at Northwestern University and Massachusetts General Hospital used MRIs to compare the brains of 20 young adults who reported smoking pot at least once a week and 20 controls who had used marijuana no more than five times in their lives and had not consumed it at all in the previous year. The pot smokers had higher gray-matter densities in the left nucleus accumbens, and there were “significant shape differences” between subjects and controls in that area and in the right amygdala. The differences were more pronounced in subjects who reported smoking marijuana more frequently. “Because this is a cross-sectional study,” the authors noted, “causation cannot be determined.” In other words, it is not clear whether the brain differences were caused by marijuana. It also is not clear how long the differences last or whether they have any functional significance.

Those nuances generally were lost in press coverage of the study, which presented the MRI scans as evidence that smoking pot causes brain damage. News outlets claimed the study found that “marijuana re-shapes brains of users” (NBC News), that “even casually smoking marijuana can change your brain” (The Washington Post), that “casual pot use impacts brains of young adults” (The Oregonian), that “recreational pot use” is “harmful to young people’s brains” (Time), that “casual marijuana use” is “bad for young adults” (The Times of India), and that “even ‘casual’ marijuana use can knacker bits of your brain” (Gizmodo UK). Medical News Today headline quoted the researchers as saying “casual marijuana use changes the brain,” although that statement does not appear in the article under the headline, in the study itself, or in press releases about the study issued byNorthwestern UniversityMassachusetts General, and the Society for Neuroscience, which publishes The Journal of Neuroscience. Similarly, an MSN NZ headline had the study claiming that “cannabis use ‘alters brain regions,'” another phrase that is absent from the study and the press releases.

Cannabis Biotech In Talks With Research Chemist to Explore Transmucosal Delivery

FLORIDA: Puget Technologies announced its subsidiary, Cannabis Biotech, is in talks with a research chemist to explore the development of an exclusive cannabis-based metered-dose transmucosal delivery platform. The transmucosal system is an effective means to introduce treatments across the mucous membrane and is a well-established and accepted system of administration. Cannabis Biotech sought out this eminently qualified professional in the beginning stages as it enters the multi-billion dollar medical marijuana industry with a commitment to maintaining strict protocols and quality standards. [Read more…]