420 with CNW – Canadian Startup Makes Headway in Developing Marijuana Breathalyzer for US Police

Y-Combinator, a startup accelerator based in California, has picked interest in an Ontario-based startup which is developing a breathalyzer that can detect both alcohol and marijuana on the breath of drivers. Y-Combinator is known for having worked with Airbnb, Dropbox and Reddit, so the Canadian startup should be given ample attention if it has caught the eye of this startup accelerator.

SannTek Labs Inc. is the company behind the breathalyzer. This company was founded by two engineering graduate students at the University of Waterloo. The duo plan to develop a testing device which is more robust, more accurate and less invasive than what is currently available on the market. The current THC testing equipment on the market requires a saliva or blood sample.

According to survey data released by Statistics Canada, the Canadian federal government agency responsible for collecting data, approximately 1.4 million Canadian residents in 2018 reported that they had ever travelled in a car driven by someone who had used cannabis within the previous two hours. Such statistics underscore how important roadside marijuana testing equipment is, and the nanotechnology-driven SannTek 315 breathalyzer is an answer to that need.

However, the authorities have to contend with the reality that while it is easy to detect alcohol, marijuana presents numerous challenges since it is fat-soluble. The THC in marijuana may remain in someone’s muscle tissues without that individual showing any sign that they are intoxicated by the drug.

Consequently, it is harder to prove cannabis intoxication when compared to proving that someone is intoxicated/impaired by alcohol.

This is where the SannTek 315 device comes in. The makers of this device claim that their invention has the capability of making an accurate determination of how much THC a person consumed within the past 3-4 hours. Based on these findings, the police can decide whether the person can be prosecuted or not.

This claim may be questionable, given that the scientific community is yet to agree on how much THC can impair a person. To compound matters further, tolerance levels vary, so what can impair one person may not have any effect on another person who uses marijuana more regularly or heavily.

Nevertheless, the innovators at SannTek Labs Inc. hope that their device will attract the attention (and money) of police departments in the U.S. For that to happen, the U.S. NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) has to first test and approve the products for use. Each device is estimated to cost between $800 and $1,000 although the products aren’t on sale as yet.

Industry watchers are of the view that the cannabis industry, including actors like MustGrow Biologics Corp. (CSE: MGRO) and Nabis Holdings (CSE: NAB) (OTC: NABIF) (FRA: 71P), may be looking to innovators like the ones at SannTek Labs Inc. for solutions to some of the nagging questions about cannabis use by drivers.

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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 – Former FDA Boss Says Federal Marijuana Decriminalization Should Be Considered

Dr. Scott Gottlieb, the former director of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), has revealed that he believes that there are valid reasons why the U.S. federal government should consider decriminalizing marijuana at a national level. Gottlieb was speaking on Wednesday during an interview with C-SPAN’s Washington Journal.

Responding to a caller from Washington State who revealed that the legalization of recreational marijuana was showing good results in the state, Gottlieb remarked that it was important to draw a distinction between decriminalization and legalization.

The former director revealed that in his opinion, it wasn’t right from a public policy perspective to keep incarcerating people for low-level marijuana possession and those people suffer because of the resultant criminal records and yet other people who commit more serious offenses don’t suffer as much.

As a follow up question to this response, the show host asked Scott Gottlieb whether he ever made similar statements to the White House while he was still the FDA head. He responded that he had not, and added that his work at the FDA was focused on public health issues and delving into decriminalization would have been beyond his mandate.

Gottlieb explained that he is personally opposed to the legalization of marijuana, especially adult-use marijuana, because it raises public health concerns regarding how the developing brains of minors will be affected in the long-term due to the use of marijuana.

It should be remembered that recent research has shown that the rates of teen cannabis use reduce once states legalize recreational cannabis, contradicting the view held by the former FDA chief.

Dr. Scott Gottlieb also stated that there is need for the federal government to come up with a system which standardizes the marijuana laws in the states which have enacted laws to end cannabis prohibition. In his view, some states are “too permissive” while others have adequate protections in place, such as on matters of access by minors. Federal action would raise the bar and ensure that the states which legalize marijuana do so in a way that meets the minimum standards established by the federal government.

However, Gottlieb admitted that this is unlikely to happen any time soon since the federal government still has a lot of catching up to do on matters of marijuana. Analysts think industry players like Nabis Holdings Inc. (CSE: NAB) (OTC: NABIF) (FRA: 71P) and Organigram Holdings Inc. (TSX.V: OGI) (NASDAQ: OGI) can only wait until voters put their elected leaders under immense pressure so that they implement marijuana law reforms.

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 – Michigan Names 19 Communities to Benefit from Marijuana Social Equity Program

Michigan has unveiled the details of the communities that will benefit from the marijuana Social Equity Program of the state. The MRA (Marijuana Regulatory Authority) made this announcement while releasing the list of 19 communities and the different ways in which applicants from those communities will benefit.

The 19 disadvantaged communities are Detroit, Benton Harbor, East Lansing, Albion, Flint, Ecorse, Hamtramck, Highland Park, Inkster, Kalamazoo, Mt. Pleasant, Mt. Morris, Muskegon Heights, Muskegon, Niles, Pontiac, Saginaw, River Rouge and Ypsilanti.

During an exercise that lasted several months, the Marijuana Regulatory Authority put 150 stakeholders in workgroups and solicited input from them on how to select the disadvantaged communities that will benefit from the Social Equity Program, how qualifying individuals from those selected communities will be identified and what services or support should be provided to those selected individuals in the disproportionately affected communities identified. An online survey was also conducted seeking input on those same matters and 688 people responded to the survey.

From the results received, the MRA decided that disadvantaged communities would be selected based the number of marijuana-related convictions and the rate of poverty in those communities.

Taking the state’s marijuana conviction rate as a benchmark, counties that exceeded that state-level rate were identified for inclusion in the Social Equity Program.

From that group of counties, specific communities in which at least 30 percent of the population lived below the poverty level as defined by the federal government were selected.

MRA plans to start receiving applications from those intending to start marijuana businesses on Nov. 1 this year. Before that date, the authority will visit the 19 selected communities several times to educate the targeted population about the application and licensing process in relation to the Social Equity Program.

The representatives of MRA’s Social Equity Program will also help people from those communities to fill applications for participation in the Social Equity Program. These applications will then be scrutinized to confirm that those individuals qualify to benefit from the program.

The people who qualify stand to enjoy up to 60 percent reductions on the applicable fees for a marijuana business license.

For example, being a resident of one of the 19 listed communities for at least five years will earn the qualifying applicant a 25 percent waiver on the payable fees.

An additional 25 percent waiver will also be given to those who are the majority shareholders in the planned marijuana business which will be located within the disadvantaged community. The individual holding the majority ownership stake must also have a cannabis-related conviction in order to qualify for this additional 25 percent fee waiver.

A further 10 percent waiver will also be given to the Social Equity Program applicants who have also served as registered caregivers for at least two years in the period 2008-2017.

The members of the 19 communities will also get help in addressing all the issues related to running a marijuana business in the state. These include tax matters, employment law, workplace safety and health, environmental issues among others. Applicants will also be linked to other state departments and agencies whose services are pertinent to the marijuana industry.

The Social Equity Program appears to be a well thought-out plan that analysts believe will please cannabis industry players like Nabis Holdings Inc. (CSE: NAB) (OTC: NABIF) (FRA: 71P) and MustGrow Biologics Corp. (CSE: MGRO) that insist action must be taken to correct the wrongs committed during the war on drugs.

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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 – Teen Marijuana Use Reduces When Recreational Use Laws Are Passed, Study Finds

A newly published research paper is suggesting that while the overall number of young people who use marijuana has increased over the years, there appears to be a reduction in teen marijuana use in states where recreational cannabis has been legalized.

The legalization of recreational cannabis has been linked to an 8 percent drop in the number of high school teens who confessed that they had used marijuana in the past 30 days. There was also a 9 percent drop in high schoolers who reported that they had used cannabis a minimum of 10 times in the past 30 days.

Mark Anderson, the lead author of the study which was published on Monday this week, said that it was important for people reading the research findings to note that the researchers didn’t find any link between the prevalence of teen marijuana use and the passing of medical cannabis laws in different states.

The researchers also stressed that the study doesn’t suggest that when recreational marijuana laws are passed, then teen cannabis use drops. The study only points to an association, not causation.

The findings of the study were arrived at after analyzing the annual Youth Risk Behavior Surveys done by the U.S. CDC. The researchers specifically looked at the data collected between 1993 and 2017. This data included information on 1.4 million high schoolers.

The researchers zeroed in on the responses about marijuana use before recreational cannabis laws were passed and after legalization. The same was done for areas where medical marijuana laws were enacted.

The researchers believe that their findings are the most reliable on the matter, but they also added that many states didn’t have recent self-reported data on teen marijuana use since legalization laws had only started being implemented recently. They therefore vowed to update their statistics after a few more years to reflect the data sets on the states where recreational marijuana has recently been legalized.

However, this study seems to contradict what other studies have found. For example, the Criminal Justice Department in Colorado found that there was no change in teen marijuana use from the time recreational marijuana was legalized five years ago.

Commenting on this recent study, scientists have wondered why that drop in high schoolers using marijuana has been observed. Some suggested that when adult-use marijuana is legalized, it becomes harder to get cannabis off the streets, and this could limit teen access to the substance. It would be interesting to hear what marijuana companies like Net Element Inc. (NASDAQ: NETE) and Nabis Holdings (CSE: NAB) (OTC: NABIF) (FRA: 71P) have to say about this potential explanation for the drop in teen marijuana use.

More research needs to be done to establish what exactly is causing the drop in teen marijuana use in places where recreational marijuana is legal.

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 – Idaho Medical Cannabis Ballot Initiative Clears First Hurdle

According to a press release issued by the Idaho Cannabis Coalition on Tuesday (June 25), the group has submitted the required list of voters supporting their petition to see medical marijuana included on the state ballot in 2020.

The group was told that they needed to collect a minimum of 55,057 signatures from Idaho voters if they were to be given the go-ahead to put together a ballot measure that would be voted on during the upcoming elections in 2020.

The coalition duly collected the signatures and submitted them to the Secretary of State for verification before the next step of the process can begin.

The chief petitioner of the Idaho Cannabis Coalition is 77-year old John Belville. Speaking at the press conference at the steps of the state Capitol, Belville revealed that he has been taking prescription opiates for his neuropathic pain and those opiates have caused his organs to start failing.

Belville’s son, Russ, was also at the press conference and stated that his father visited him in Oregon and tried medical cannabis while there. It helped him a great deal, and that was why they were campaigning to have this form of treatment legalized in Idaho.

The different speakers at the press briefing affirmed that there were several scientific studies showing the effectiveness of marijuana in treating various conditions. 33 states have acknowledged this and legalized medical marijuana, and there is no reason why Idaho should continue to lag behind, the speakers concluded.

The advocates want to give Idahoans a chance to legally access whole-plant marijuana and other marijuana products from dispensaries which are regulated by the state. The initiative also wants patients with demonstrated financial or physical hardships to be allowed to grow a few plants for their own use instead of having to buy finished medical marijuana products that may be too expensive for them.

The coalition now awaits feedback from the state regarding the status of the signatures submitted after which a program for campaigns on the matter will be drawn.

In 1996, California made history by being the first U.S. state to legalize medical marijuana. Since then, a total of 33 states, as well as the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands have legalized medical cannabis. Many more states are in the process of getting medical marijuana legalized either legislatively or through voter initiatives.

Marijuana industry analysts believe that the entire industry, including players like Nabis Holdings Inc. (CSE: NAB) (OTC: NABIF) (FRA: 71P) and MustGrow Biologics Corp., will be watching the developments in Idaho closely to see how they pan out.

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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