420 with CNW – Canadian Army Veterans Switch to Cannabis Instead of Opioids

Veterans Affairs Canada has revealed that marijuana use among veterans in the country has skyrocketed so much that $65 million was spent on weed for veterans last year. This rise in medical cannabis use not surprisingly coincides with a decline in the use of prescription opioids by the veterans.

Previously, injured veterans had to take a cocktail of medications for the different conditions they were suffering from. Major Mark Campbell (Rtd) is one such former soldier who lost both legs during a tour to Afghanistan.

The retired major calls cannabis “magic” because it was the only remedy that could give him some relief from the chronic pain he felt since his final tour of duty. He reveals that he has reduced the prescription opioids that he takes by half from the time that his doctor recommended that he tries medical marijuana.

He added that the fact that so many veterans are turning to medical cannabis shows that it works for them. They aren’t taking it just to be high 24/7, Major Campbell joked.

The statistics of cannabis use among Canadian veterans are staggering. For example, 10,000 veterans used medical marijuana in 2018 alone. This is much higher than the 1,700 who used weed in 2015.

That surge in number explains why the department of Veteran Affairs forked out $65 million last year to reimburse medical cannabis dispensaries that dispensed marijuana to vets. That expenditure on cannabis comes as the reimbursements for prescription painkillers are dropping.

For instance, reimbursements for the prescription opioid fentanyl have reduced by 85 percent in just five years while the reimbursements for oxycodone have registered a 75 percent reduction in the same five-year duration.

Veteran affairs experts say that they have witnessed firsthand the switch by veterans from prescription opioids to marijuana without the accompanying depression and other symptoms of withdrawal from the addictive opioids.

The experts, such as Zachary Walsh (a University of British Columbia psychology professor), say that cannabis also holds massive promise because of its ability to combat different health challenges simultaneously. For instance, the veterans who use cannabis say it helps them fight pain, anxiety and sleep disorders.

While the department of Veteran Affairs in Canada has been spending record-breaking amounts of money on medical marijuana for veterans, advocates say a lot still needs to be done. The advocates say the department has a huge backlog of disability benefits to process and they are woefully understaffed.

Addressing those concerns would go a long way in assuring the former members of the armed forces that their contribution to the nation is valued. Earth Science Tech Inc. (OTCQB: ETST) and FinCanna Capital Corp. (CSE: CALI) (OTCQB: FNNZF) call on the federal government in Canada to fix the kinks in the Veterans Affairs department so that the injured former soldiers can access medical cannabis without any needless hassles.

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CNW420 spotlights the latest developments in the rapidly evolving cannabis industry through the release of two informative articles each business day. Our concise, informative content serves as a gateway for investors interested in the legalized cannabis sector and provides updates on how regulatory developments may impact financial markets. Articles are released each business day at 4:20 a.m. and 4:20 p.m. Eastern – our tribute to the time synonymous with cannabis culture. If marijuana and the burgeoning industry surrounding it are on your radar, CNW420 is for you! Check back daily to stay up-to-date on the latest milestones in the fast -changing world of cannabis.

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420 with CNW – Ireland Finally Selects a Medical Marijuana Supplier

The Irish government has revealed that it has finally identified and issued an import license to a Danish medical cannabis firm. The license was reportedly issued back in January.

Slightly more than two years ago, Simon Harris, the Irish Health Minister, announced that Ireland would create a medical cannabis program for its patients who couldn’t be helped by the existing conventional treatments for their health conditions.

However, little seemed to happen from the time that announcement was made. The revelation that a medical marijuana supplier had been found and licensed is therefore welcome news to the medical cannabis advocates in the country.

The government explained that it delayed to secure a supplier because it wanted to be convinced about the ability of that selected firm to deliver medical cannabis of verifiable quality, but many firms wouldn’t be able to export medical cannabis to Ireland.

The Ministry of Health has also confirmed that its staff is working tirelessly to finalize drafting the enabling legislation that will operationalize the medical cannabis program. The draft law may be ready by mid-April.

The medical cannabis that will be imported is intended to treat patients with nausea and vomiting due to chemotherapy, patients suffering from multiple sclerosis as well as patients suffering from severe epilepsy.

These qualifying conditions are part of the recommendations that were made by HPRA (Health Products Regulatory Authority) when it looked into the viability of medical cannabis and wrote a report in favor of setting up the medical cannabis program.

As the country waits for the operationalization of the medical cannabis program, doctors are allowed to prescribe medical marijuana to the patients that they are convinced can benefit from these products.

These patients are then required to apply to the Minister of Health for a license that can allow them to travel abroad to buy medical cannabis and bring it into Ireland.

As you may imagine, this process is a tedious and expensive one. It is therefore no surprise that in more than a year, the ministry has only granted licenses to just a dozen people. Most of these individuals obtained their medical cannabis from medical cannabis pharmacies in the Netherlands.

The enactment of the Cannabis for Medicinal Use Regulation bill will bring a sigh of relief to the patients who desperately need medical cannabis but cannot afford to travel abroad frequently in order to obtain it. Earth Science Tech, Inc. (OTCQB: ETST) and FinCanna Capital Corp. (CSE: CALI) (OTCQB: FNNZF) hope that the authorities in Ireland speed up all the necessary processes so that patients can access medical cannabis locally.

About CNW420

CNW420 spotlights the latest developments in the rapidly evolving cannabis industry through the release of two informative articles each business day. Our concise, informative content serves as a gateway for investors interested in the legalized cannabis sector and provides updates on how regulatory developments may impact financial markets. Articles are released each business day at 4:20 a.m. and 4:20 p.m. Eastern – our tribute to the time synonymous with cannabis culture. If marijuana and the burgeoning industry surrounding it are on your radar, CNW420 is for you! Check back daily to stay up-to-date on the latest milestones in the fast -changing world of cannabis.

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420 with CNW – Lawmakers in Connecticut Unveil Marijuana Legalization Plan

At the end of last week (March 14), lawmakers in Connecticut’s Assembly held a press conference at which they outlined a plan to legalize recreational marijuana in the state.

Rep. Michael D’Agostino, the chair of the General Law Committee, led the proceedings by giving a brief outline of the legalization plan.

He revealed that three major areas would be looked at when pushing the legalization plan forward. These are regulation, monetization and decriminalization. These three areas would be handled by different committees that are mandated to legislate in those areas.

D’Agostino added that the different committees would formulate various bills covering the cannabis legalization areas within their mandate before all those different bills are merged into one comprehensive bill. This will be after the committee bills are modified and agreed upon by all or most of the committee members.

The chair of the House Judiciary Committee (Rep. Steve Stafstrom) was next on the microphone and he talked about the three bills in his committee. One was focused on legalizing cannabis possession by adults 21 or older while also laying out how marijuana misdemeanor crimes would be expunged from the criminal records of residents.

A second bill in this committee looks at issues of impaired driving. One notable provision of this bill would see resources ring-fenced for training law enforcement to be experts at recognizing and screening drivers who may be under the influence.

The third bill for this committee will absolve employers from making any exceptions for employees who use weed. This means that if the bill becomes law, an employer may refuse to hire anyone who tests positive for marijuana, or fire an employee who is under the influence at work.

Rep. Jason Rojas, who sits on the Finance, Revenue and Bonding Committee spoke about the tax structure that Connecticut may adopt once recreational marijuana is permitted. He revealed that they were cautious and would propose a 20 percent tax so that Connecticut’s weed doesn’t cost more than what is available in Massachusetts where adult-use cannabis retails sales are already a reality.

Otherwise, people may buy recreational cannabis out-of-state instead of spending their money on Connecticut’s supply. The details of the tax structure would be made clearer in due course, Rojas added.

What came out strongly during the press briefing was that it is still early days to start talking timelines to the availability of recreational cannabis. A lot of work needs to be done to get the law in place, and this fact is brought home by the memory of what happened last year when legalization by legislative means failed after a bill that had been passed by a slim majority in the Appropriations Committee was stalled by the House Speaker until the end of the legislative session.

Hope is high this time round since Democrats control both chambers. Choom Holdings Inc. (CSE: CHOO) (OTCQB: CHOOF) and Earth Science Tech, Inc. (OTCQB: ETST) wish the cannabis advocates good luck as they try to get the people of Connecticut to enjoy what the residents of 10 other U.S. states are already enjoying.

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420 with CNW – The UN Announces Yet Another Delay of its Cannabis Reclassification Vote

First, the World Health Organization (“WHO”) delayed and postponed the release of its recommendations after an expert committee studied proposals for the reclassification of cannabis in international treaties. Now, yet another delay has hit that activity and the UN has announced that the March sitting of the UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs, and the one in December this year, will not have marijuana reclassification on its agenda.

The recommendations of WHO had initially been scheduled to be voted on in December last year, but this was inexplicably postponed.

Some of the 53 members of the Narcotic Drugs Commission reportedly claimed that they needed additional time to study the recommendations made by the World Health Organization before they can decide how to vote when a vote is called.

Other members, such as Uruguay and Norway, were disappointed that no timeline was set for when the recommendations will be considered and voted upon. There are fears that the matter may be put on the backburner for an indefinite amount of time, for political reasons.

The recommendations were widely seen as a way for many countries to be free to embark on medical cannabis research and legalization, with others taking it a step further and decriminalizing adult-use marijuana.

The WHO had recommended that whole-plant marijuana and its resin should be removed from the strictest category (Category 4) of the 1961 International Drug Convention and placed in a less restrictive category.

To put this into perspective, the U.S. system of categorizing controlled substances is different from that of the UN. For example, in the U.S., Schedule 1 is reserved for the substances that deserve the strictest controls and the restrictions reduce as the schedule number gets bigger. This is unlike the UN where the smaller numbers have fewer restrictions while the bigger numbers, such as Category 4, have more stringent restrictions.

Meanwhile, as the UN is still playing hide and seek regarding its position on the calls for marijuana rescheduling, Europe is taking a different path. The EU Parliament approved a resolution calling on member states to avail support and funding for medical cannabis research. While the decision isn’t binding, it could pave the way for widespread research and legal reforms in EU member countries. This will leave the U.S. further behind in the rapidly evolving cannabis industry.

Choom Holdings Inc. (CSE: CHOO) (OTCQB: CHOOF) and Earth Science Tech, Inc. (OTCQB: ETST) call on the UN to stop dragging its feet and make the decision for which the world has been waiting.

About CannabisNewsWire

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420 with CNW – South Carolina Medical Cannabis Bill Stalls Until Concerns are Addressed

The members of the subcommittee on Medical Affairs in the South Carolina Senate have decided to stall moving a medical cannabis bill forward to the full committee until all the concerns of the different stakeholders have been taken into account. This decision was made on Wednesday (February 27).

One of the proposed changes that may be made to the bill is to include language that makes it clear that smoking medical marijuana will be outlawed. Those interested in this wording say that nothing that may create an impression that marijuana is being legalized for anything other than medical use should be permitted in the bill.

Another issue that needs further consideration is the matter of the qualifying conditions which will be listed in the bill. The legislators want more time to be taken to study the different conditions which can be alleviated by the use of cannabis. Under the current bill, terminal or debilitating conditions, such as chronic diseases and cancer are currently listed as qualifying conditions. Could other deserving conditions have been left out? The legislators want to hear from stakeholders on this before moving forward.

The members of the subcommittee also want to hear more about the fiscal implications of the proposed six percent sales tax that will be imposed on the medical cannabis sold. Will that tax make medical cannabis too expensive for some patients to afford? Are there other ways to collect revenue from the industry without imposing a sales tax? Stakeholders need to inform the members on all these financial implications before the bill is sent to the whole committee.

In its present form, the bill will allow patients enrolled on the medical cannabis program to buy up to two ounces of cannabis (or its equivalent) once a fortnight as long as a doctor has prescribed it.

Representatives of the law enforcement agencies in the state, such as the Association of South Caroline Sheriffs, have said that they would like to review the bill in order to understand the details it contains and the implications of those details. The devil is always in the details, they say.

Such sentiments give further credence to the decision of the subcommittee to wait and hash out all the concerns of the stakeholders so that the bill forwarded to the whole committee reflects the input collected from everyone concerned.

This proactive way of drafting a legalization bill is good for the cannabis industry, including Choom Holdings Inc. (CSE: CHOO) (OTCQB: CHOOF) and Earth Science Tech, Inc. (OTCQB: ETST).

About CannabisNewsWire

CannabisNewsWire (CNW) is an information service that provides (1) access to our news aggregation and syndication servers, (2) CannabisNewsBreaks that summarize corporate news and information, (3) enhanced press release services, (4) social media distribution and optimization services, and (5) a full array of corporate communication solutions. As a multifaceted financial news and content distribution company with an extensive team of contributing journalists and writers, CNW is uniquely positioned to best serve private and public companies that desire to reach a wide audience of investors, consumers, journalists and the general public. CNW has an ever-growing distribution network of more than 5,000 key syndication outlets across the country. By cutting through the overload of information in today’s market, CNW brings its clients unparalleled visibility, recognition and brand awareness. CNW is where news, content and information converge.

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420 with CNW – Fewer Teens Used Pot after Medical Marijuana Legalization, Study Finds

It was always feared that teen pot use would go through the roof as more states legalized marijuana either for medical or recreational use. However, a recent study has found that the contrary is happening as fewer teens reported using marijuana in the states where medical cannabis is legal.

The researchers found that the states where medical cannabis is legal had 1.1 percent fewer teens taking pot when compared to the states where no medical cannabis laws exist.

While that overall statistic looks small, the figures take on greater importance when one examines the data for various groups of teens. For example, there was a 2.7 percent reduction among high school males while pot use decreased by 3.9 percent among African-American students. Similarly, there was a drop of 2.7 percent observed among Hispanic students.

The researchers who came up with these findings are based at the Lynch School of Education and Human Development at Boston College. The team was led by Rebekah Levine Coley.

The researchers used data collected by the U.S. CDC during the Youth Risk Behavior Survey conducted every other year.

Coley’s team focused on the data collected between 1999 and 2015. This data involved about 860,000 students in 45 states.

The researchers tracked how teen pot use had been changing during that 16-year timeframe. Results for states that enacted medical marijuana laws were compared to those of states where medical cannabis remained illegal.

Interestingly, the researchers found that the drop in teen pot use increased the longer a state had medical cannabis laws on its books. For example, teens were nine percent less likely to use marijuana if a state had medical marijuana laws that were less than five years old while the odds of a teen using marijuana reduced by 32 percent for states that legalized medical marijuana ten years ago.

Coley explains that some theories could account for this reduction of teen pot use in states where medical marijuana has been legalized.

First, the drop may be because the adolescents start viewing marijuana as something used as a medicine, so they no longer have the urge to use it recreationally.

Secondly, the change in marijuana laws may have prompted parents to start talking to their kids about marijuana use, as well as supervising them to ensure that they aren’t using drugs.

However, some people have criticized the conclusions of this research saying that the researchers didn’t consider the states where recreational marijuana is legal. Coley and her team responded that they were now turning their attention to studying the data from states where adult-use marijuana laws are in place.

Be that as it may, the cannabis industry, especially Earth Science Tech Inc. (OTCQB: ETST) and FinCanna Capital Corp. (CSE: CALI) (OTCQB: FNNZF) welcomes this study because it helps to dispel some of the false information circulated about marijuana.

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420 with CNW – Canadian Marijuana Producer Uses Fish in a Unique Way

As the cannabis industry matures, a number of innovations have been introduced in order to optimize marijuana grow operations. A Canadian producer is using fish to reduce how much water the marijuana grow uses while getting a better yield compared to conventional growing methods.

Green Relief Inc., based in Ontario, is using underground aquaponics to grow cannabis and raise freshwater fish as well. This one-of-a-kind method has enabled the cannabis producer to reduce their water consumption by up to 90 percent while increasing marijuana harvests by 20 percent.

In this cutting-edge system, the cannabis plants clean the water in which the fish live and grow while the fish provide wastes that are filtered to provide fertilizers for the cannabis plants. Consequently, the grow operation doesn’t use any artificial fertilizers or pesticides to produce cannabis for the market.

The company revealed that it opted for this sustainable way of growing cannabis and raising fish because any business that isn’t eco-friendly will soon be pushed out of the market since it will be regarded as a dinosaur. The only sign that one can see of this Ontario grow facility is its ventilation equipment sticking out of the hillside. Everything else is underground.

The closed-loop system used by Green Relief raises 6,000 fish (tilapia) and grows 4,500 marijuana plants. Every month or so, the company harvests the fish in one of its 16 fish tanks. 300 fully-grown tilapia from each harvest is donated to a charity that runs a soup kitchen for the homeless.

Green Relief is currently constructing other grow facilities in Hamilton, Halifax and Thunder Bay. The company plans to list on the Canadian Securities Exchange (CSE) in order to raise funds to take their production to higher levels. Green Relief also wants to list on Nasdaq soon. The Green Relief IPO in Canada will take place within a few months.

While the company is looking to strengthen its position locally, it is also taking steps to nurture an international presence to take advantage of the position of Canada as a global leader in the cannabis industry.

Warren Bravo, the company’s director of business development, is finalizing arrangements to acquire properties in Australia and Italy. He is also hammering out joint venture deals with two major laboratories in Switzerland.

Earth Science Tech, Inc. (OTCQB: ETST), FinCanna Capital Corp. (CSE: CALI) (OTCQB: FNNZF) and the entire cannabis industry take their hats off to Green Relief for championing sustainable cannabis cultivation, as well as giving back to the community.

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420 with CNW – New Tax Plan Injects Life into New Jersey Marijuana Legalization Debate

A stalemate had developed between the Senate President and the Governor of New Jersey regarding how the marijuana industry will be taxed once an appropriate law is passed. However, a new plan has reignited the legalization debate and a compromise may be reached to move forward on this long-awaited matter.

Previously, Stephen Sweeney (the Senate President) had dug his heels in that he would not go along with any marijuana legalization law that set the tax rate at more than 12 percent. Meanwhile, the Governor (Phil Murphy) was adamant that the tax rate should be in the region of 25 percent.

The disagreement between these two influential leaders had driven the legalization debate to a standstill and there seemed to be no hope for a way out of that stalemate.

Now a new proposal to tax marijuana products by weight rather than by each item sold appears to be providing the much needed compromise between the two parties. While there are disagreements on various issues, the different opinions on tax matters were the biggest bone of contention between the lawmakers and the Governor.

Proponents of the new tax proposal see that plan as beneficial in two major ways. The first, as already mentioned, is to build consensus between the two sides on the tax rate.

Secondly, taxing marijuana by weight has the added long-term benefit of protecting the state’s tax revenue from the effects of marijuana price fluctuations.

You see, in states where marijuana taxes are based on the sales made (excise tax), falling marijuana prices have caused tax revenues to take a hit.

For example, Colorado reported in 2018 that marijuana prices had fallen by approximately 70 percent from what they were in 2014 when recreational cannabis was legalized.

Such a huge drop in prices can cause serious funding shortfalls for states where an excise duty is imposed on all marijuana products sold.

The plan to tax cannabis by weight shields the state from such tax income drops since the taxes collected will stay the same regardless of which trend marijuana prices take. As historical data shows, prices inevitably go down as more players enter the industry and new production methods cut costs for cultivators.

Taxing marijuana by weight may therefore be a masterstroke that gets legalization back on track while also ensuring that the state will have a sustainable source of revenue. Such win-win solutions are what everyone in the industry, including Earth Science Tech, Inc. (OTCQB: ETST) and Choom Holdings Inc. (CSE: CHOO) (OTCQB: CHOOF), wants for all jurisdictions where marijuana is legalized.

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420 with CNW – Missouri Plans to Host Medical Marijuana Trade Show in March

Voters in Missouri voted to legalize medical marijuana during the midterms last year and now the state is planning to have a medical marijuana business conference and expo in March this year.

The trade show has been dubbed MoCannBizCon+Expo and it is slated to take place on March 11-12 in St. Louis at the Union Station.

The trade show is being organized by the Medical Cannabis Trade Association. Between 1,000 and 1,500 people are expected to attend this first of a kind event in the state.

The organizers plan to use this event as a platform to educate people about how they can take part in this industry that has just been legalized.

According to the information available, the keynote speaker during the trade show will be Lyndall Fraker, the newly appointed director responsible for medical marijuana in the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services.

The Department of Health and Senior Services is mandated to oversee the implementation of the medical marijuana program in the state.

Meanwhile, the new legislative session in Missouri is slated to commence tomorrow (Wednesday), but 10 bills connected to marijuana have already been filed.

Under the law that voters overwhelmingly supported, Missouri residents can get prescriptions for medical marijuana from their physicians if those residents suffer from one of the qualifying conditions listed, such as cancer, PTSD, chronic pain and other debilitating conditions.

At the moment, patients aren’t able to apply for medical marijuana cards, but this should happen latest early summer (by June 4). DHSS (Department of Health and Senior Services) is mandated to screen the applications and issue the cards.

In the meantime, patients can talk to their doctors about medical marijuana and whether it can be a useful addition to their treatment plans.

The law gives legal protections to patients and their doctors from any prosecution or sanction of any kind arising from their association (prescription or use) with medical marijuana.

Those protections are just one of the things that trade show attendees will be educated about. Leaflets and other educational resources will be handed out during the trade show so that residents get adequate information about how they can benefit from this industry.

The trajectory taken by Missouri to implement its medical cannabis program is more surefooted and fast when compared to the approach other states, such as New York, took to get their programs on the ground. New York took about a year and a half to start availing medical cannabis to patients.

FinCanna Capital Corp. (CSE: CALI) (OTCQB: FNNZF), Earth Science Tech, Inc. (OTCQB: ETST) and the entire cannabis industry are pleased that Missouri is exhibiting such steadfastness in getting the program started.

About CannabisNewsWire

CannabisNewsWire (CNW) is an information service that provides (1) access to our news aggregation and syndication servers, (2) CannabisNewsBreaks that summarize corporate news and information, (3) enhanced press release services, (4) social media distribution and optimization services, and (5) a full array of corporate communication solutions. As a multifaceted financial news and content distribution company with an extensive team of contributing journalists and writers, CNW is uniquely positioned to best serve private and public companies that desire to reach a wide audience of investors, consumers, journalists and the general public. CNW has an ever-growing distribution network of more than 5,000 key syndication outlets across the country. By cutting through the overload of information in today’s market, CNW brings its clients unparalleled visibility, recognition and brand awareness. CNW is where news, content and information converge.

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420 with CNW – The Shameful Cannabis Irony: Everyone, Except Scientists, Can Easily Access Marijuana

The difference between U.S. federal marijuana laws and the legal framework in many states around the country has created an ironical situation in which everyone can easily access marijuana in state-legal and states where cannabis is still illegal, but scientists who desperately need high-quality cannabis for research purposes cannot get it.

This situation is very frustrating for the scientists because they know that the private sector in states where cannabis is legal has made available cannabis of very high quality, but scientists can’t lay a finger on it due to federal restrictions.

Instead, the scientists are made to jump through endless hoops in order to get an often inadequate supply of cannabis from the Mississippi University facility authorized to grow cannabis for research purposes.

That cannabis is so inferior in quality that it would never get a buyer if it was put on the open market and buyers compared it to what is available for medical or recreational use in jurisdictions where cannabis is legal.

It is also disturbing that the federal authorities claim that there isn’t sufficient research to back the claims that cannabis is medicinal, and yet the very authorities have made it hard for cannabis research to be conducted. In essence, a catch-22 situation has developed.

These legal roadblocks aren’t likely to end soon, given that the two houses (Congress and the Senate) are unlikely to agree on anything related to marijuana since one is largely Democrat while the other is controlled by Republicans who are renowned for their opposition to any reforms aimed at relaxing cannabis laws.

However, not all is lost. The federal government recently invited qualified entities to apply and grow cannabis for the different research programs that will be approved in 2019. This may break the monopoly held by Mississippi University, but it may not be time to celebrate just yet because issues of quality may still arise in case the selected firms don’t come with the mindset that what they produce must be at par with what the commercial entities are providing to the public.

The other factor that brings hope is the passing of the 2018 Farm Bill. With hemp now legal, it is likely to get easier to study cannabinoids since hemp also contains some limited amounts of THC. The feds may therefore be compelled to ease restrictions since the people studying CBD will also be interested in looking at THC and other cannabinoids.

The entire cannabis industry, including FinCanna Capital Corp. (CSE: CALI) (OTCQB: FNNZF) and Earth Science Tech, Inc. (OTCQB: ETST) long for the time when the scientific community in the U.S. will find it as easy to get cannabis for research reasons as ordinary people get the product for medical or recreational use.

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