Welcome back to another Cannabis News and Research blog post. In case you missed last week’s, you can read it here. We have also added a new article on our Cannabis Education page about How to Talk to Your Doctor About Cannabis. Make sure to check it out if you still haven’t set up an appointment with a cannabis specialist for a medical marijuana card.


THC-free Cannabis

A company named Bazelet Oglesby has developed and patented a strain of cannabis that has 0.00% THC. The strain has been named Panakeia and also contains no CBD. It is a perfect candidate for industrial hemp and has been approved by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS). This is the first time a strain with absolutely no THC has been developed. It will lower risk for hemp farmers, which have to destroy crops that test positive for more than 0.3% THC, as is required by federal law. Seeds will be available for hemp farmers beginning in the 2021 planting season.

If you see this strain at your local dispensary it’s probably best to shy away…


No Increase in Dog Cannabis Overdoses in Canada

Fluffy is going to be just fine, according to a recent study by Dr. Daniel Joffe in the Canadian Veterinary Journal. Concerns that dogs will be at risk of eating and using their owners’ stash following adult cannabis legalization in Canada lead researchers to study the subject and it turns out that there was no increase in dog poisonings from cannabis since it was legalized there in 2018.

Dogs are unlikely to be harmed from eating raw flower because it contains physiologically inactive THCA instead of the active THC that is created when flower is smoked or vaporized. However, edible products with cooked cannabis do contain THC and should not be given to animals because it could lead to an overdose. Treating pets with cannabis hasn’t been researched enough anyway but will be a fascinating avenue in the future for veterinary medicine. For now, cats have catnip to get high from and dogs can wait.


International News

United Nations (UN) Removes Cannabis from Narcotics List

Cannabis has been reclassified by the Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND), the organization that sets drug policies for the United Nations. For 59 years, cannabis has been on a list of narcotics that were considered highly addictive and dangerous without any therapeutic use. This is similar to the United States’ Controlled Substances Act (CSA) that schedules cannabis as a Schedule 1 drug. Hopefully, the US will follow suit and deschedule cannabis soon. Chuck Schumer, who is now Senate Majority leader, has said that he will push such a bill in the future.

With these changes, the United Nations has paved the way to use cannabis for medical and research purposes. This is a big step for the future of cannabis because it will allow scientists to determine the ways in which THC is beneficial to the body and this will make it easier for politicians to legalize it and remove restrictions for its use.

Interestingly, the US was one of the countries that voted to remove cannabis from the UN’s list of harmful narcotics. It’s time they do so with their own scheduling system!


Federal News

Biden’s Secretary of Commerce wants Marijuana Sold in Government Stores

With a new president there come new cabinet members and one of those members is Joe Biden’s pick for Secretary of Commerce, Gina Raimondo. She would like cannabis legalized and sold in government-run stores. In her position, she will be in charge of promoting economic growth and legalizing marijuana would be one way to do it.

For cannabis consumers, it would mean higher taxes on cannabis sales. Hopefully, the government will pass a bill that allows marijuana users to grow their own cannabis so they don’t have to purchase from government stores where the cannabis will be taxed.


Rachel Levine Chosen for Assistant Secretary of HHS

Pennsylvania’s health secretary Rachel Levine has been picked by Joe Biden to a role in the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as assistant secretary. She has been pivotal in Pennsylvania’s medical marijuana program and will likely serve as a strong advisor to the president regarding his term’s marijuana law changes.


State News

Virginia Governor Unveils Bill to Legalize Marijuana

Governor Ralph Northam has unveiled a marijuana legalization bill that looks very appealing. It allows adult use for those over the age of 21 and for possession of up to an ounce of cannabis. The cherry on top is that adults will be allowed to cultivate up to four plants for personal use. This will allow patients to grow cannabis instead of spending tons of money in dispensaries that inflate prices and pay high taxes on cannabis sales.

One concern about this bill is that some plants produce over an ounce of marijuana flower so harvesting will require more than one trip to the house… What happens if someone harvests four ounces of cannabis from their plants? Will they be prosecuted for breaking the one-ounce possession limit? These questions will need clarification.

The taxes that the state will receive from cannabis sales in dispensaries will go to pre-kindergarten education, among other things. The state cannabis tax will be 21% in addition to a 3% local tax and existing state sales taxes. This will add up to about 30% in taxes so it’s a good thing people will be allowed to grow their own cannabis.


Check back and please share

Check back next week for more news and research about cannabis. We want to keep our readers as up-to-date as possible. Also, if you could please share our blog on social media sites, we would greatly appreciate it. We would like to increase our traffic here over the next year and build a substantial audience. Any help makes a difference.

See you next week!