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 – National Sheriffs’ Association Wants Marijuana Rescheduled

The National Sheriffs’ Association (NSA) has passed a resolution calling on the federal government to reschedule marijuana. The same resolution also reiterates the group’s opposition to the legalization of recreational marijuana.

In the resolution, the NSA states that they regard the legalization of cannabis as a threat to public safety and health, but they also have empathy for people who are suffering as a result of debilitating conditions which prompt them to seek medical cannabis.

The sheriffs reaffirmed that they remain opposed to not just state-level legalization but decriminalization as well since these policies haven’t done much to eradicate illicit cannabis sales in the states with decriminalization or legalization policies.

However, the group urged the federal government to move marijuana from Schedule I to Schedule II of the Controlled Substances Act in order to make it possible for research to be done into the potential therapeutic applications of marijuana.

The resolution goes on to state that because of statutory and regulatory barriers imposed by the federal government, it hasn’t been possible to obtain any definitive scientific data regarding the therapeutic claims attributed to marijuana. The same barriers have also made it hard to perform research to quantify the cannabis levels which result in impairment.

The sheriffs consequently resolved that marijuana be reclassified to Schedule II so that all the impediments to research are removed.

While the resolution shows that the sheriffs are still opposed to marijuana legalization, their position shows that the organization has undergone a transformation from the last time they voiced their opinion on marijuana in 2015.

Their resolution at that time contained a flat rejection of any form of marijuana legalization, be it medical or recreational. In fact, they urged Congress to do everything possible for the federal government to enforce the Controlled Substances Act.

The recent resolution therefore indicates that the association recognizes, however grudgingly, that marijuana could have some medicinal benefits and they want research to be done to confirm those benefits. This explains why their resolution makes reference to the scheduling of marijuana and yet their 2015 resolution was silent in this regard.

The resolution of the NSA comes at a time when numerous groups and associations, such as attorneys general, banking associations, state governors, and city and local authorities have all passed resolutions or written to Congress urging the federal government to implement marijuana law reforms. Analysts are wondering how industry players like Organigram Holdings Inc. (TSX.V: OGI) (NASDAQ: OGI) and Net Element Inc. (NASDAQ: NETE) will react to the resolution of the NSA.

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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 – Congress to Consider Several Cannabis Amendments this Week

The House Rules Committee of Congress is set to hear almost a dozen amendments related to marijuana this week. This crucial committee will decide which of those amendments are cleared for a vote by the whole House. The amendments are being considered this week because those that pass will form part of the appropriations bill for funding sections of the federal government in the next fiscal year.

Rep. Tom McClintock (R-CA) and Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) have reintroduced an amendment intended to prevent the Department of Justice from using its budget to get in the way of states which have enacted their own marijuana laws. An existing spending rider only covers medical marijuana, but the proposed amendment takes this further and seeks to protect state-level recreational marijuana as well. This new amendment is similar to another which failed by just nine votes in 2015.

Another amendment before the committee was introduced by Rep. Stacy Plaskett (D-VI). This measure is intended to correct the inadvertent omission of the U.S. Virgin Islands from the list of states and territories whose medical marijuana programs are protected from Justice Department interference by a spending rider.

Rep. Blumenauer didn’t stop at the amendment he co-authored with McClintock. He also brought several other amendments on his own. One amendment seeks to bar the Department of Justice from interfering in the tribal medical marijuana programs even if the states in which those tribal communities are found haven’t enacted medical cannabis laws. Three other amendments filed by the legislator also protect tribal marijuana programs in various ways.

Two other amendments by Blumenauer touch on the Department of Veteran Affairs. One protects VA workers from being penalized for filing paperwork in compliance with state laws regarding medical marijuana. Another aims at protecting VA doctors from being penalized for any marijuana-related work they do in states where medical marijuana is legal.

The Rules Committee will also consider a measure tabled by Rep. Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) seeking to divert $30 million from the funding allocated to the DEA. This money should go towards the Comprehensive Opioid Abuse Program. In this way, the DEA will fall in line with the current thinking that drug addiction is a public health concern rather than a crime.

Rep. Jerry McNerney (D-CA) has also tabled an amendment containing a spending proposal for the FDA to undertake a process through which CBD (cannabidiol) will become legal as an additive in food supplements and conventional foods.

It is interesting to note that many of the amendments seem to be geared at introducing marijuana policy reforms using the appropriations process. The success of the spending rider placed on the DOJ years ago appears to have provided an example that advocates want to use to initiate incremental changes to the existing marijuana policies.

Analysts wonder what major cannabis industry entities like Net Element Inc. (NASDAQ: NETE) and Nabis Holdings (CSE: NAB) (OTC: INNPF) (FRA: 71P) think about this change in strategy.

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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 – Rhode Island Invites Blockchain Tech to Help Track Medical Marijuana

According to a notice published on Monday (June 3), Rhode Island hopes that blockchain technology can be harnessed to help the state to track medical marijuana and identify illegal actors.

The state has called on blockchain technology developers to submit concepts from which the state will select a provider to develop a system that is customized for the medical marijuana program in Rhode Island.

In a press release, the department of Business Regulation revealed that the call for concepts is a challenge to the blockchain companies to showcase their value to government institutions by testing blockchain technology applications within government entities.

The notice published was categorical in stating that Rhode Island was seeking technology which would increase the visibility of the medical marijuana industry from seed to sale so that opportunities for fraud and abuse could be reduced.

Additionally, blockchain technology could also assist different government agencies in designing an authoritative record of the chain-of-custody during the gathering of evidence while criminal investigations are conducted. This is particularly needed for the enforcement of marijuana laws.

Rhode Island looks at this as the first step towards understanding how blockchain technology can facilitate the improvement of government processes now and in the future.

Bijay Kumar, Rhode Island’s CIO added that he was “excited to see the possibilities regarding the ways in which this technology is helping public and private entities become more innovative in security, business and other areas.”

Developing new technologies to track cannabis sales has taken on an increasing level of urgency given that financial institutions are reluctant to work with marijuana businesses for fear that the federal government will take enforcement action against them. A reliable tracking system can provide assurance that only state-legal marijuana is passing through the system, and this can provide a basis for banks and other institutions to defend themselves.

Jared Moffat, Marijuana Policy Project’s political director in Rhode Island, welcomed the move by the state government to explore new ways to make the medical cannabis program more efficient.

While the notice doesn’t make any reference to medical marijuana banking, Rhode Island seems interested in using the encryption of the blockchain technology system to track the transactions which take place within the industry. This will provide a trail for regulators to confirm that the companies are paying the requisite taxes and no marijuana from licensed growers is leaking out to the black market.

Organigram Holdings Inc. (TSX.V: OGI) (NASDAQ: OGI) and Net Element Inc. (NASDAQ: NETE) commend Rhode Island for being forward-looking and seeking to deploy blockchain technology in the nascent medical marijuana industry.

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 – California Senate Passes Bill to Create Cannabis Banks

The senate in California passed a bill on Tuesday (April 21) paving the way for the creation of state-chartered banks for the cannabis industry. These banks will help the cannabis industry to get around the banking restrictions resulting from the federal status of marijuana.

Under the bill, credit unions and private banks can apply to the state for a limited purpose charter to provide depository services to legitimate marijuana businesses within the state. This bill was passed with a 35-1 vote and now awaits approval by the Assembly and Gov. Gavin Newsom.

Currently, all marijuana businesses, such as cultivators and retailers, are forced to accept only cash because federally-chartered banks are afraid to accept them as clients. California will therefore exert pressure on the federal government to consider easing its marijuana banking regulations since California is the most populous state in the nation.

Robert Hertzberg, California’s Senate Majority Leader, remarked when introducing the bill last month that while the proposed law wasn’t an ideal remedy to the dilemma facing cannabis banking, it was a good step to take along the journey of treating cannabis businesses as legitimate businesses like all others. The bill would allow money from the cannabis industry to be taken from the streets to bank accounts.

The financial institutions which get the special-purpose charters would print special checks that marijuana businesses can use to pay rent, local and state taxes as well as any other fees. The financial institutions created to work with cannabis businesses will not offer any loans to their clients, so marijuana businesses will still have to get funding using other methods.

The lack of banking services has made it very difficult for regulators and law enforcement to stamp out illegal marijuana businesses since both legitimate and black market activity is cash-based.

It isn’t clear whether financial institutions will warm up to cannabis businesses once this bill becomes law. Banking institutions are wary of working with cannabis businesses because they are exposed to enforcement action by the federal government, so it is not yet clear whether this proposed law will allay their fears.

Currently, more than 30 states have legalized medical marijuana while 10 states, plus the District of Columbia, have legalized recreational cannabis. More are considering bills or petitions to pass their own marijuana laws. The step taken by California will therefore be watched closely since other jurisdictions may follow its lead if the measure produces tangible results.

Organigram Holdings Inc. (TSX.V: OGI) (OTCQX: OGRMF) and Net Element Inc. (NASDAQ: NETE) look forward to the enactment of SB 51 so that cannabis businesses in California can access the limited banking services envisaged in that draft law.

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 – Health Canada Changes Tactics in a Bid to End Cannabis Shortages

Tired of the endless cannabis shortages which have threatened to hand the legal cannabis industry back to the black market, Health Canada has come up with a new way to increase how soon a newly licensed cultivator can start growing cannabis.

The solution that Health Canada wants to start implementing entails giving production licenses to entities which already have a cultivation facility ready.

This means that companies which want to grow cannabis will have to first construct the greenhouses they intend to use so that the facilities can be ready for inspection by Health Canada. Facilities which pass the inspection can then be licensed to start operation immediately.

This new approach is likely to favor the bigger players at the expense of smaller entities which want to enter the cannabis cultivation space.

For example, Aphria has been waiting for its new Ontario-based cultivation site to be approved by Health Canada for more than a year. If this new rule had been in place from the very start, Aphria would have started cultivation long ago, thereby getting a head-start in the market while other entities without ready grow facilities play catch up.

The key question is, will this change in the regulatory approval process bring the cannabis shortage to an end?

The realistic answer is that the move will have a very small difference in fixing the problems causing marijuana shortages in Canada. For example, one of the reasons for the persistent shortages is that it has been difficult for harvested marijuana to be processed and packaged due to a shortage of packaging materials which meet the strict requirements set by Health Canada.

Many cultivators have cannabis which cannot be released onto the market because it hasn’t been packaged in a way that complies with the Cannabis Act. Speeding up how soon a licensed firm starts growing cannabis will not fix this packaging nightmare.

Another reason why switching to licensing cultivators who already have grow facilities may not solve the supply shortages is the red-tape at Health Canada. Many entities have been waiting for over a year to have their license application considered even without the requirement to have ready cultivation facilities. It is hard to imagine how the processing of applications will miraculously speed up just because Health Canada now says they will give priority to applicants with cultivation facilities already set up.

Phivida Holdings Inc. (CSE: VIDA) (OTCQX: PHVAF) and Net Element Inc. (NASDAQ: NETE) look forward to the time when Health Canada fixes all its internal issues which have played a part in perpetuating the cannabis shortages in the country.

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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 – 3 Things We Get Wrong When We Look at Cannabis as We Do Alcohol

As more states move to legalize cannabis in the U.S., there is a tendency to think about marijuana in the same light as alcohol, and this sets up people to make a number of mistakes. Below are three things that you are likely to get wrong when you look at cannabis through the same lens as you think about alcohol.

Expecting Quick Results from Consuming Marijuana Edibles

When you take alcohol, it is fairly easy to know when you are approaching your limit and are now crossing into the realm of intoxication.

When some people consume cannabis edibles for the first time, they make the mistake of thinking that the products will produce immediate effects in a way that is similar to the timeline within which alcohol produces its effects.

What you may not know is that while alcohol can be absorbed by the stomach lining, cannabis edibles have to be digested and absorbed in the small intestine before you can notice the effects of the edible.

Consequently, it is possible to consume more than is needed to generate the effects that you want just because what you ate took long to kick in.

Expecting THC Concentration to Match Intoxication Levels

For decades, scientific data has existed showing that when someone’s blood alcohol level exceeds a certain concentration, then that person will be impaired. For this reason, courts have always upheld the charges against those found to be driving while under the influence of alcohol.

Many law enforcement agencies are taking the same view when determining driving while under the influence of marijuana. What these agencies don’t seem to appreciate is the fact that marijuana acts differently from alcohol.

It is therefore not possible for one to claim that someone was under the influence just because their blood had more THC than is stipulated as the legal limit.

Prosecutors are therefore likely to face a hard time from defense attorneys who bring into question the science behind the THC limits upon which intoxication is presumed.

Expecting Marijuana to Have the Same Effect

The effects of alcohol are fairly uniform across the different types. For example, someone who takes a certain number of glasses of wine is expected to be affected in a certain way. Similarly, one can predict how a given number of pints of beer will affect an individual.

However, the same cannot be said of cannabis due to the varying combinations and concentration of the components available in a given plant or strain. For example, the terpenes that give cannabis strains their flavor and taste can influence the effect of consuming that cannabis.

It is therefore erroneous to make generalizations about the effects of cannabis because it is hard to predict how the different cannabis products will react once consumed.

Phivida Holdings Inc. (CSE: VIDA) (OTCQX: PHVAF) and Net Element Inc. (NASDAQ: NETE) call for cannabis to be studied thoroughly so that the plant isn’t judged based on misconceptions borrowed from what is known about other substances.

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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 – StatsCan Reveals that Cannabis Legalization Resulted in Canadian Weed Becoming More Expensive

Data released by Statistics Canada last week shows that after recreational cannabis was legalized in Canada on October 17, 2018, the price of legal marijuana increased by approximately 17 percent.

However, the Canadians who are buying pot from the licensed suppliers are paying about 57 percent more for the product when compared to those who are getting their weed from the black market.

Statistics Canada (StatsCan) arrived at these figures after collecting data from residents who were asked to volunteer information without any fear that they would be victimized for revealing their cannabis buying habits.

This creative approach helped StatsCan to get badly needed information about not just the legal cannabis market but most importantly the illegal market.

19,433 people volunteered information about their purchase of cannabis on the black market before recreational marijuana became legal in the country. The responses show that Canadians paid approximately $6.85 for each gram of cannabis on the black market.

After legalization, the average cost of a gram of marijuana increased to about $8.04. This is an increase of about 17.3 percent.

However, Statistics Canada cautions that their findings should not be wholly relied upon even if they cleaned the data and remained with only 936 responses from those that came in from the volunteers.

The Canadian official data collection agency says that the information could still suffer from statistical bias due to the limited number of responses and also because the responses were self-reported.

Smaller provinces and territories were particularly noted for the limited number of responses submitted. For example, just a handful of responses came in from Nunavut. In contrast, a disproportionately high number of responses were submitted from Quebec and Ontario.

Nevertheless, the data collected paints a believable picture of the Canadian marijuana industry. For example, the post-legalization average price of $8.04 for each gram of cannabis based on the data collected is a true reflection of the average cost of cannabis on the legal market and the black market combined.

Most importantly, the statistics show that the cannabis on the black market isn’t just more affordable, but its price is dropping fast. The data shows that the illegal weed cost $6.79 before marijuana legalization and it has now dropped to $6.37 a gram.

The data also shows that government-run marijuana retail stores were the most expensive with the average price being $10.73 for a gram of weed.

233 of the respondents admitted that they have continued to buy marijuana from the black market because the price of the legal stuff is too high for them. This provides some food for thought for the regulated marijuana market since the black market will continue to thrive if prices don’t reach affordable levels. U.S. states where recreational marijuana is legal can also learn from these findings and do some introspection about how to bring down the cost of cannabis on the regulated market.

Net Element, Inc. (NASDAQ: NETE) and Phivida Holdings Inc. (CSE: VIDA) (OTCQX: PHVAF) advise the cannabis industry to analyze the findings of Statistics Canada and use the information to make decisions that will take the legal cannabis industry forward.

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 – Israel Decriminalizes Recreational Cannabis

New cannabis laws that were passed in Israel on April 1 decriminalize recreational cannabis. This means that people found with small amounts of cannabis will be fined instead of facing criminal charges if those individuals don’t have a license to use medical cannabis.

The day when adult-use marijuana was decriminalized was also the day when the fourth edition of the annual CannaTech conference was held in Tel Aviv. Ehud Barak, a former Israel premier, spoke eloquently at the CannaTech conference about the immense benefits of medical cannabis. He went as far as saying that the Israeli motto may be updated to “the land of milk, honey and cannabis.”

Why would Ehud Barak deliver a keynote address at a cannabis conference? It so happens that the former premier is the chairman of an Israeli medical marijuana company called Canndoc/Intercure.

Barak joins a growing list of politicians who previously opposed cannabis but are now ardent advocates. He joins the likes of former speaker of Congress, John Boehner. Vicente Fox, the former president of Mexico, also changed from being a kingpin in the fight against marijuana to calling for an overhaul of prohibitionist marijuana laws.

Ehud Barak pointed out during his keynote address that the future of marijuana belonged to the bigger and more assertive players who would “swiftly enter the cannabis market.”

He was referring to the decision of the Israeli parliament that passed a law in December last year paving way for Israeli companies to export medical marijuana. This law positioned Israel to be one of the biggest players in the international marijuana industry.

Barak also talked about Israeli cannabis companies like Tikun Olam (a Hebrew expression meaning “repair the world”) that already had a major stake in the cannabis market. This company alone commands an estimated 40 percent share of the global medical cannabis industry.

His statements should not be taken lightly, because major milestones, such as the discovery of the endocannabinoid system in humans, can be traced to Israeli doctors or researchers.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Health in Israel has revealed that more than 550 farms in the country have submitted their applications for licenses to grow medical cannabis. There is no guessing which market these cultivators are eyeing, since the local market cannot utilize all the cannabis grown by these farms.

Israel has a short list of qualifying conditions for which patients can get a prescription for medical marijuana. These include epilepsy, Parkinson’s, cancer and many other terminal illnesses. Most of the medical cannabis grown in Israel is therefore likely to be headed out of the country.

MustGrow Biologics Corp. and Net Element, Inc. (NASDAQ: NETE) congratulate Israel upon taking the important step of decriminalizing recreational cannabis. The next step should now be full legalization.

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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 – Proposed Bill Aims to Make Illinois Medical Cannabis Program Permanent

A bill sponsored by Rep. Bob Morgan seeks to make the pilot medical program in Illinois permanent. The bill also has provisions to include more qualifying conditions for the program.

The pilot program was approved in 2013 and lawmakers expanded as well as extended its duration to mid-2020.

Under the existing program, patients who suffer from one or more of the 40 qualifying conditions can buy a maximum of 2.5 ounces of medical cannabis every fortnight as long as a doctor approved their enrollment on the program.

It should be noted that law enforcement agencies haven’t raised any red flags about the program. For example, no reports have emerged of people using medical cannabis when they aren’t licensed to do so.

In contrast, the program has received a lot of praise from patients because those patients have been able to wean themselves off of stronger prescription drugs as a result of using medical cannabis.

Currently, about 58,000 people are registered on the medical marijuana program. However, this number is small when compared to the number of patients on the medical cannabis programs of other states.

One of the reasons for the low enrollment in Illinois is that chronic pain isn’t one of the qualifying conditions for which someone can enroll on the program.

This is set to change if Morgan’s bill becomes law. Chronic pain, migraines, autism, irritable bowel syndrome, osteoarthritis and several other conditions will be added to the list of qualifying conditions.

The bill also wants to make it possible for doctors to receive payment from patients or medical marijuana businesses. This payment is necessary because a lot of responsibility is given to doctors and yet no compensation was prescribed for the services that they offer to keep the medical marijuana program running.

However, the bill clearly states that doctors will not be paid for making medical cannabis referrals. Instead, they can be paid for conducting medical cannabis research.

Notably, the bill tabled by Rep. Morgan also wants to put in place mechanisms for veterans to access medical marijuana. Veterans need special attention in this regard because marijuana is still illegal under federal law, so Veterans Affairs doctors cannot prescribe it.

Morgan’s bill wants medical marijuana to be available to veterans as an alternative to the opioids that the veterans take to deal with chronic pain.

If all goes according to plan, the bill introduced by Morgan may be passed by fall. MustGrow Biologics Corp. and Net Element, Inc. (NASDAQ: NETE) hope that Rep. Bob Morgan’s bill sails through so that patients aren’t left wondering what will happen to them once the pilot medical cannabis program runs its course.

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