420 with CNW – California Rakes in $300 Million in Cannabis Taxes in 2018

The statistics are out; California earned approximately $300 million in taxes during the first year of recreational cannabis sales in the state. This information was released by the Department of Tax and Fee Administration in California on February 19.

While the $300 million tax collection is high, it is way below what the state had initially anticipated to collect during the first year of commercial cannabis sales ($655 million). Two reasons may explain why the taxes collected were below the projected figure.

First, it is hard to predict with any degree of certainty what quantity of cannabis will be sold if the state doesn’t have any historical data to rely upon when making those projections. Any figure arrived at is therefore likely to be a “guesstimate” at best.

Secondly, most city and local authorities, up to 75 percent of them, banned any business activity related to cannabis within their jurisdictions. This meant that recreational cannabis could only be accessed in a few areas within the state.

This same scenario played out in all the states where recreational cannabis was legalized. However, those local authorities gradually came around and permitted cannabis businesses to open so that residents can get jobs and the local authorities can also collect taxes.

California also expects more local authorities to come on board and cannabis sales will soar once access is ramped up in more cities and municipalities.

Another important fact to note about the taxes collected by California in 2018 is that the other states that also ended prohibition in 2016 earned “peanuts” if their collections are compared to California’s.

For example, Nevada collected only $69.8 million while Massachusetts is likely to collect $60 million once it completes its first year of recreational sales.

The collections in those other states are understandable because none of them comes even close to the size of California’s economy.

California is justified to be optimistic about future tax revenues from recreational marijuana because an analysis of the 2018 taxes shows that there was a general upward trend from one quarter to the next. This clearly paints a bullish picture for the industry going forward.

More reason for optimism also comes from the fact that the earnings in just 2018 triple or more than triple the annual taxes that the state had ever collected from the sale of medical marijuana throughout the 23 years when medical cannabis was available in the state.

While California seems to be on course to collect $1 billion as tax revenue from recreational marijuana sales within three years, industry players are crying out for a reduction in the taxes levied. It remains to be seen whether their calls will be heeded by the lawmakers since any change requires a supermajority before Proposition 64 can be amended.

Marijuana Company of America, Inc. (OTCQB: MCOA) and Medical Cannabis Payment Solutions (OTC: REFG) congratulate California for setting a record of taxes earned from recreational cannabis sales.

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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 – Study Says Dabbing is the Most Efficient Way to Consume Cannabis

Have you ever wondered which delivery method offers the best results when you are consuming cannabis? A recent study has concluded that “dabbing” is superior to the other common ways of getting cannabis into your bloodstream.

Forensic Science International conducted the study whose findings showed that “dabbing” delivered at least 75 percent of the THC in cannabis to your lungs. This is in contrast to smoking which destroys the same percentage (75 percent) of THC before it can reach your lungs.

Dabbing refers to inhaling the vapor from a heated extract of cannabis. The extract is heated to boiling point on a ceramic, titanium or quartz surface.

The experiment involved the use of a machine that was built by Forensic Science International specifically for this research. This machine was able to replicate smoking and dabbing. The researchers collected the smoke which would have made its way into someone’s lungs and they analyzed those samples to know how much CBD and THC they contained. This proportion formed what they called the “recovery rate” of those delivery methods.

The recovery rates stated above (75 percent for dabbing and 25 percent for smoking) were established after analyzing the collected samples.

Previous studies had put the recovery rate for smoking at 27.5-46.3 percent, which is still a far cry from the 75 percent registered for dabbing. Other research also gave vaping a higher recovery rate (51.4-82.7 percent) when compared to smoking. The recovery rates for vaping varied based on the specific vaporizer that one was using.

However, these studies on the recovery rates of the different cannabis delivery methods should be regarded with some caution because the results were clearly dependent on the temperature used during dabbing. Lower temperatures tended to give higher recovery rates, partly because a smaller proportion of the ingredients in cannabis was destroyed by the heat while higher temperatures reduced the recovery rates of dabbing to just over 50 percent.

Another factor that may contribute to the results obtained is the composition of the extracts used during dabbing. For example, heating the “acid form” of THC, called THCA, resulted in higher recovery rates because when that THCA was heated, it produced THC. Conversely, heating THC reduced the recovery rate because once you heat THC, some of it becomes something else, thereby reducing the quantity of THC reaching the lungs.

Similarly, smoking cannabis shouldn’t be dismissed as a wasteful way to consume cannabis. After all, consumers agree they get a range of physiological effects when they smoke. This may be due to some of the new compounds created once THC is heated. Thus, cannabis smokers may derive special experiences that aren’t available to those who use other delivery methods.

The bottom line? Whatever method you use to consume your cannabis will deliver the benefits expected by the industry players, such as Marijuana Company of America Inc. (OTCQB: MCOA) and Medical Cannabis Payment Solutions (OTC: REFG). Only the degree of those effects will vary.

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420 with CNW – What is CBD, and what is its Relationship with THC?

People who have heard about CBD-infused drinks, cosmetics and pet food may be wondering why that cannabis extract isn’t attracting as much polarized attention as THC. Read on and learn everything that you need to know about CBD and THC, and why CBD is gaining in popularity in nearly every industry.

A Brief Primer on Cannabinoids…

The cannabis plant has more than 100 different compounds within it. These are called cannabinoids and terpenes, so you should therefore not imagine that the cannabis plant has only two compounds. However, two of the most abundant cannabinoids in the cannabis plant are CBD (cannabidiol) and THC (tetrahydrocannabinol).

THC is the psychoactive cannabinoid that makes cannabis consumers “high” while CBD isn’t psychoactive.

Marijuana vs. Hemp?

Cannabis is a general term used to refer to a family of plants that have similar compounds (cannabinoids). Marijuana and hemp are therefore members of the same family.

However, hemp has a very small amount of THC in it. The U.S. federal government describes a given plant in the cannabis family as hemp if that plant has less than 0.3 percent concentration of THC. By the same token, marijuana is the other member of the cannabis family that has THC levels that are higher than the threshold for the hemp plant.

Remember, “hemp” and “marijuana” are arbitrary terms given to the same plant only that the level of THC determines which of those two words you will use to refer to the plant you are looking at.

Why is CBD Readily Available Yet Marijuana is Illegal?

As already mentioned, CBD is one of the non-psychoactive compounds found in the cannabis plant. This cannabinoid has several medicinal properties, such as anxiety, pain and insomnia relief.

Recently, President Trump signed into law the Farm Bill of 2018 and this law changed the legal status of hemp to an agricultural product (just like soy, corn or any other plant). Consequently, extracting CBD oil from hemp doesn’t break any U.S. law.

In contrast, marijuana is a Schedule 1 controlled substance that is illegal at the federal level. However, dozens of states have legalized medical marijuana and nearly a dozen have legalized adult-use marijuana.

The laws and attitudes surrounding marijuana haven’t affected the reputation of CBD and that is why it is widely available.

Do Consumers of CBD Face Any Safety Risks?

Interestingly, nearly all the literature available on CBD says that it is safe for consumption. However, little is known about how this compound may interact with other substances, such as conventional medications, in the body.

Additionally, CBD extracts haven’t been used for a long enough time to assess their effects on pregnant women and their unborn babies. Caution is therefore recommended for people in high-risk categories (expectant mothers and babies, for example).

As you can see, CBD seems set to continue on its forward march now that hemp is an agricultural product that can be widely cultivated for various purposes. Cannabis industry players like Marijuana Company of America, Inc. (OTCQB: MCOA) and Lexaria Bioscience Corp. (CSE: LXX) (OTCQX: LXRP) would like to see a time when marijuana is accepted the way hemp is now accepted.

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420 with CNW – South Carolina Legislators Introduce Bill to Legalize Medical Marijuana

It seems South Carolina is next in line to act upon the growing popularity of marijuana across the U.S. Two legislators have tabled a bill that, if passed, would allow patients to start using medical marijuana.

The Compassionate Care Act is sponsored by Rep. Peter McCoy and Sen. Tom Davis. When unveiling the bill, Sen. Davis said that their interest in introducing that bill was to make it possible for patients and their doctors to decide whether medical marijuana can be helpful in promoting the health of the patient. Such a decision should not be left to politicians or law enforcement agencies, he added.

True to the conservative nature of South Carolina, the proposed bill comes with numerous restrictions to prevent the program from being abused by those who wish to consume recreational marijuana.

For example, physicians will constantly monitor how the patients they recommended are using medical marijuana.

The bill also limits the qualifying conditions for which one can obtain a medical cannabis card. Only patients with chronic conditions will be eligible to get medical marijuana cards if the bill is passed in its current form. This is unlike some other states where nearly everyone can apply and receive a medical marijuana license since the qualifying conditions are loosely defined.

Currently, about 72 percent of people in South Carolina support the legalization of medical cannabis. The sponsors of this bill are counting on that popular support to see the bill through the legislature.

However, it will not be smooth sailing for the proposed law. There is opposition from different sections of the community, such as law enforcement and some members of the medical profession.

The Chairman of South Carolina’s Medical Association, Dr. John Ropp, is one of those who are vehemently opposed to the legalization of medical marijuana. He says that cannabis has been prohibited for approximately 50 years and it remains a Schedule 1 substance. This means that there is insufficient scientific data regarding its efficacy as a medicine. He adds that cannabis can only be used as a medicine once peer-reviewed studies show that it has medicinal value.

That is the same argument that the FDA, DEA and other federal agencies have been pushing, and yet the current federal legal regime continues to make it hard for researchers to study the plant and obtain the needed scientific backing for its use as a medicine.

All the same, Sen. Davis and Rep. McCoy are pressing ahead with the bill, and if it doesn’t succeed then a ballot measure may be on the cards. The cannabis industry, including Medical Cannabis Payment Solutions (OTC: REFG) and Marijuana Company of America, Inc. (OTCQB: MCOA) hopes that consensus is quickly built so that the patients who badly need medical cannabis can access it legally within the state.

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 – CARERS Act Seeks to Reform Federal Marijuana Law

Congressman Steve Cohen (D-TN) together with other cosponsors have introduced a bill in Congress seeking to protect states that legalize medical marijuana from federal prosecution while making their own laws to regulate the medical marijuana industry.

The bipartisan bill will formalize the respect of the rights of states to pass laws and implement their own medical marijuana programs. Currently, only a Department of Justice spending rider passed by Congress prevents federal prosecutors from using taxpayer money to prosecute individuals who use cannabis for medical or recreational purposes in states where it is legal. That rider, at least hypothetically, doesn’t bar federal prosecutors from using resources from anywhere else to go after cannabis consumers.

The CARERS (Compassionate Access, Research Expansion and Respect States) Act wants to remove any doubt that doctors, patients and caregivers risk federal prosecution for doing what is legal in their states.

The bill should not be mistaken to be a clever way of legalizing medical marijuana across the country. Rather, it just clarifies that the states that legalize medical marijuana will not be exposing their residents to the possibility of prosecution by the feds on charges related to possessing or consuming a federally illegal substance.

That threat of prosecution is so real that some states have introduced bills seeking to protect medical cannabis patients’ records from access by federal authorities. Missouri is an example of such states where bills are being considered in this regard.

Furthermore, the CARERS Act will allow doctors treating veterans to prescribe medical cannabis for the conditions which can be eased or treated by the use of medical cannabis. The bill seeks to insulate the doctors and their patients from any legal issues arising from the use of medical cannabis.

The Act will also grant greater access to scientists who would like to conduct investigations into the uses of marijuana. Currently, it is very hard to obtain approval for research, let alone access to high-quality cannabis for such studies.

Congressman Cohen said in a statement he issued that there is bipartisan support for cannabis reform across the country, but the federal laws aren’t in tandem with the wishes of the people because the laws continue to regard people who prescribe or use cannabis as criminals. His bill will try to bridge the gap between what the people want and what the broken laws currently state.

Marijuana advocates have a lot of hope in the current Congress that has just started business. Their hope hinges on the fact that the House is dominated by Democrats who have a track record of being progressive on matters of marijuana law reform. Industry players like Medical Cannabis Payment Solutions (OTC: REFG) and Marijuana Company of America Inc. (OTCQB: MCOA) hope that this bill will succeed in the House and the Senate, and that many others will follow.

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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 – New Zealanders to Vote on Cannabis Legalization in 2020

New Zealand is likely to be the first Asia-Pacific country to legalize recreational cannabis if the expected vote in 2020 goes in favor of legalization. Such a development will make New Zealand the third country in the world to legalize recreational marijuana.

The next general elections in 2020 will have a binding referendum spelling out how exactly the industry will be regulated and managed in case voters approve legalization.

The government announced this approach in order to avoid a situation in which voters approve legalization, and then different parties disagree on how to implement the decision of the voters. A clear example of such a situation is the Brexit issue over which Britons are divided regarding what exactly they approved when they voted to leave the EU.

The decision to include a binding referendum in the next polls was made after the government and the Green Party agreed to work together to take the matter to voters.

The Green Party was particularly vocal in the campaign to legalize recreational cannabis. They argue that it is hypocritical for members of parliament to sit quietly while a law that criminalized marijuana was in force and yet many of them confessed that they had consumed cannabis in the past.

A recent poll conducted by the New Zealand Drug Foundation found that one in three New Zealanders supports the legalization of cannabis.

However, cannabis law reform advocates are unhappy that the government hasn’t revealed what exact question will be put to voters when that binding referendum is held. The Cannabis Reform Coalition suggests that the referendum question should have two parts.

According to them, the first part of the question should be designed to ask voters whether they want adults to grow and possess cannabis for personal consumption. The second part of the question can then ask the voters to state whether they are in favor of letting adults buy cannabis from authorized/licensed premises.

Such a two-part question can help voters indicate which specific form they would like cannabis legalization to take.

It is interesting to note that cannabis may not be the only subject upon which a binding referendum will be conducted come 2020. The New Zealand government is still mulling over the possibility of including a referendum on euthanasia and another on reforming the electoral laws.

Marijuana advocates are hoping that the outcome of the binding referendum is a favorable one, since the country has a history of having voted against changing the flag of the country two years ago (2016). That particular referendum cost the country upwards of $17 million.

Lexaria Bioscience Corp. (CSE: LXX) (OTCQX: LXRP) and other industry players like Marijuana Company of America Inc. (OTCQB: MCOA) can only hope that the voters in New Zealand will be given accurate and detailed information upon which to base which way they vote come 2020.

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420 with CNW – Study Shows Your Working Memory May Improve After Smoking Cannabis

One of the stereotypes that surround marijuana consumers is that they become forgetful when high on cannabis. However, a new study at the University of Florida has established that such a stereotype is just a myth.

The researchers designed the study in a unique way that involved exposing rats to cannabis smoke so that they inhale it. The rats were first taught to perform a number of delayed response tasks, such as poking the nose into a feeding trough a defined number of times before getting a reward of food pellets.

Alternatively, the rats in the study were required to look for, and press a lever several times before getting their reward.

The rats were divided into two groups based on their gender. In total, 32 rats took part in this study. Females tended to have lower working memory scores when compared to the scores of the males before cannabis smoke was introduced.

The researchers compared the working memory scores of the two groups when the rats were sober and how they performed after being exposed to cannabis smoke. The results showed that there appeared to be no difference in the scores obtained by the male rats when sober and after inhaling cannabis smoke.

However, there was a marked improvement in the working memory of the female rats when they performed the delayed response tasks after being exposed to the marijuana smoke. Remember, the female rats had lower scores in the working memory tasks performed prior to the introduction of cannabis smoke.

The placebo smoke used as a control in the study didn’t trigger any changes in the cognitive performance of either the male or female rats. This leaves the only logical conclusion for the better working memory as attributable to the cannabis smoke to which the rats were exposed.

The researchers also experimented with the dosage, the timing and the route of cannabis administration. Each of these variables triggered a difference in the working memory of the rats in the study.

Consequently, the researchers concluded that the cognitive outcomes observed will vary based on the specific route, dosage and duration of cannabis administration. They called for additional research to be done on this subject so that a better understanding of the effects of cannabis on cognitive function can be attained.

Stakeholders in the cannabis sector, such as Lexaria Bioscience Corp. (CSE: LXX) (OTCQX: LXRP) and Marijuana Company of America Inc. (OTCQB: MCOA) welcome all scientific studies that help to separate fact from myth on the subject of marijuana.

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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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Political Breakthrough Heralds the End of the Prohibition on Hemp

CannabisNewsWire Editorial Coverage: With federal legalization of hemp expected in the United States by Christmas, the farming and cannabidiol product industries are anticipating great changes in their future.

  • Hemp farming, which has been illegal in the United States since 1970, is about to be made legal under the newest Farm Bill legislation.
  • Pilot projects and work in Canada have allowed companies to prepare for U.S. hemp farming by developing their techniques, science and crop strains.
  • With legalization promising great growth, companies are seeking paths to investment opportunities.

Marijuana Company of America, Inc. (OTC: MCOA) (MCOA Profile) is among the innovating companies carrying out cultivation, research and development projects on sites in the United States and Canada. Canopy Growth Corp. (NYSE: CGC) (TSX: WEED) has been expanding its operations through partnerships with other companies, covering investment, supply and research. Cronos Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: CRON) (TSX: CRON) has expanded its cultivation and markets while negotiating for fresh investment. Aphria, Inc. (NYSE: APHA) (TSX: APHA) has partnered with a company specializing in branding to develop new consumer-driven brands and products for the cannabis market. Aurora Cannabis, Inc. (NYSE: ACB) (TSX: ACB) is putting out new products in the United States and looking to export those products…

Read More >>

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420 with CNW – Consuming Legal Marijuana in Massachusetts Could Still Get You Fired

In one of the ironies surrounding recreational marijuana, anyone who tests positive for the substance can legally be fired even if state law permits the consumption of cannabis by adults. Several employers polled in Massachusetts admitted that they would continue random drugs tests. They cite a number of reasons for this.

First, many employers revealed that testing employees and firing those who test positive for the metabolites of THC helps those employers to pay lower insurance premiums. This is especially true for companies that involve the use of heavy machinery. Lower premiums mean more savings for company owners.

Secondly, employers are concerned about the safety of their customers. For example, would you be comfortable allowing someone who is under the influence of cannabis to service your pool at home?

Another reason given by employers who insist that they will continue testing their employees for drugs (and making hiring decisions based on the test results) is that those employers have a duty to ensure that their employees are safe at the workplace. Maintaining a drug-free work environment is one of the ways to protect employees from many avoidable hazards.

However, recruiters say those who conduct pre-employment drug testing are increasingly becoming the minority among employers in the state. This is because such a procedure tends to eliminate a significant fraction of job applicants because marijuana is widely consumed ever since it became legal.

Mayo Clinic reveals that anyone who consumes marijuana just once can have the metabolites of the substance in their urine for up to three days. The duration within which these metabolites can be detected increases based on how often one consumes cannabis. For instance, daily users peak at more than 30 days within which cannabis can be detected after the last time they consumed the substance.

The law legalizing marijuana in Massachusetts calls on employers to implement reasonable protections for employees who have a medical marijuana card issued by the state. Those are the only employees who may escape punitive action if they tested positive for THC metabolites during pre-employment screening or random testing once they are on the job.

But, why is there such a contradiction in the law? Federal law takes precedence over state law on many employment issues, such as the laws regarding an employer’s liability for the welfare of his or her employees. Consequently, state law permits people to consume recreational marijuana but leaves the door open for employers to take action against workers who test positive and create risks for the company.

These contradictions will only end once the federal government finally decides to legalize marijuana. How far off will that be? Lexaria Bioscience Corp. (CSE: LXX) (OTCQX: LXRP), Marijuana Company of America Inc. (OTC: MCOA) and other industry players can’t wait to see the end of prohibition at the federal level.

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Departure of US AG and Democratic House Control Improve Prospects for Hemp Industry

CannabisNewsWire Editorial Coverage: Recent changes in Washington, D.C., are good news for the U.S. hemp industry.

  • The recent departure of Jeff Sessions from the Attorney General’s Office may make it easier for states to enforce their own laws in relation to cannabis and hemp legalization.
  • The Democratic majority in the House may ease the passage of the delayed Farm Bill.
  • These changes could improve the prospects for hemp and cannabis producers.

Marijuana Company of America Inc. (OTC: MCOA) (MCOA Profile) is a pioneer in the hemp industry, with trial cultivation operations under way in Washington and a range of hemp-derived products on the market. Charlotte’s Web Holdings, Inc. (OTCQX: CWBHF) (CSE: CWEB) is also focused on hemp-derived cannabidiol (CBD) products and recently raised its profile through TV coverage. Even before the prospect of reform, CV Sciences, Inc. (OTCQB: CVSI) was seeing record profits this year and increased its profile by becoming a sponsor for the Hemp Industry Association’s 25th anniversary conference. Isodiol International, Inc. (CSE: ISOL) (OTCQB: ISOLF) is benefiting from changes not just in the United States but in Mexico, where new regulations will support its sale of diverse CBD products. The first publicly traded U.S. cannabis company, Medical Marijuana, Inc. (OTC: MJNA) is also seeing…

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About CannabisNewsWire

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