420 with CNW – Canadian Marijuana Consumers Unaware They Can Object to ID Scanning

Canadian law requires cannabis buyers to present a valid ID for verification before one buys recreational or medical cannabis. However, some retail stores are going a step further and scanning the IDs of their customers.

Such scanning isn’t provided for in the law, and the stores doing so are using that information for their own purposes. For example, some may use the collected data to track buyer behavior.

The danger in scanning cannabis buyers’ IDs is that there is still a lot of stigma attached to cannabis users. It would therefore be very damaging if the data collected by the marijuana retailers is accessed by hackers and leaked online.

Fears about unauthorized access to this data aren’t unfounded because some incidents have already come to light. For example, Canada Post revealed that there was a security breach in which the data of 4,500 cannabis buyers in Ontario was illegally accessed. This happened barely a fortnight after recreational weed became legal in Canada.

The personal data of cannabis buyers can also be used for other purposes, such as identity theft, by criminals who may decide to target the databases of the weed retailers.

The constant threat of being denied entry into the U.S. if you are found to be involved in the cannabis industry also hangs above Canadians. Having your ID scanned could allow U.S. immigration authorities to get proof that you buy and consume cannabis, something that could result in a lifetime entry ban.

It is such concerns that have prompted legal experts like Caryma Sa’d (a cannabis lawyer) to start the conversation about ID scanners in cannabis retail stores.

In response to the voices raised on this matter, one retail store in Toronto (PEI Cannabis) stopped using the scanners which they had reportedly been using “to check for fake IDs.”

Other stores claim that scanning one’s ID is optional, but they aren’t willing to assert that they notify their customers about their right to decline before the ID is scanned.

The onus may therefore be on each customer to take the necessary precaution of preventing their personal data from being collected and stored when such data collection doesn’t have any legal basis. Cannabis users in the U.S. would also be well advised to take the hint and protect their personal data more jealously, especially now when the federal government is still adamant that marijuana remain a Schedule 1 restricted substance.

Medical Cannabis Payment Solutions (OTC: REFG) and MustGrow Biologics Corp. call on the regulators to close any legal loopholes that may expose cannabis consumers to an invasion of their privacy.

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 – Utah Moves to Hire Software Provider for Medical Marijuana Program

After passing a medical marijuana law in December 2018, Utah has now engaged high gear in moving towards implementing the program. The state is currently looking for a software provider who will design a two-part system that will, in effect, run the entire medical cannabis program.

One part of the system will track each medical cannabis plant from the time it reaches eight inches tall to the point when it is bought by a patient registered to use medical marijuana in the state.

Tracking the plants is important because the state will be sure that legally grown weed isn’t being channeled to the black market.

The second part of the software will be used to enroll patients on the medical cannabis program, store information about the prescriptions issued by doctors and keep track of how much medical cannabis each patient is buying.

The state will have a big decision to make regarding whether one provider will be sufficient for the two components of the medical cannabis system or multiple providers should be sourced for the different aspects of the system.

State officials want to select the firms that will provide the software by May so that the second half of the year is devoted to selecting medical marijuana cultivators. The deadline for starting to receive applications from patients who want to use medical marijuana is March 1, 2020, but the officials want to start receiving applications earlier than that date, if possible.

However, eyebrows have been raised about the plan to allow law enforcement to access the system. Advocates are concerned that the police or any other law enforcement agency (state or federal) may abuse that access they are granted.

The state insists that law enforcement will only be allowed to confirm whether someone is authorized to possess medical cannabis or not. Other details, such as the qualifying condition for which a patient got approval to use medical cannabis, will be inaccessible to law enforcement.

The software program is expected to cost anywhere from $2 million to $5 million. This amount will cover the cost of building as well as running the system for its first five years of existence.

To put this cost into perspective, think about what Pennsylvania spent for a similar system. The state spent $10.4 million for building and operating its system for five years.

However, Nevada spent approximately $816,000 to acquire and operate a traceability system for its medical cannabis program for four years. Traceability covers just half of what Utah is seeking, but you can get a picture of how the costs compare.

Marijuana Company of America, Inc. (OTCQB: MCOA) and Medical Cannabis Payment Solutions (OTC: REFG) hope that the provider selected designs and implements a system that will not be plagued by the glitches that have disrupted medical cannabis programs in other states.

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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 – British Lawyers Head to Brussels Over CBD Ban

Last month, we reported that there was a run on CBD drinks and other CBD products in the UK after the EU declared that CBD and other cannabis or hemp extracts were novel foods that could only be allowed on the market after receiving regulatory approval. Cannabis industry players in the UK aren’t taking that ban lying down. Their association has instructed a team of lawyers to head to Brussels in order to try and overturn that ruling.

While the EU law, (EU) 2015/2283, isn’t binding on the member states, many countries use the guidance provided by the EU to draft their own domestic laws and regulations. Actually, many EU countries promptly act on those recommendations then ask questions later.

For example, Austria immediately banned CBD and all food products containing it as soon as the EU made its ruling on the products.

Cannabinoids were categorized as novel foods by the EU since industry players “failed to prove” that those products had a history of being consumed in the EU prior to 1997 when the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) was established.

Mackrell Turner Garrett, a London-based law firm, together with a leading trading standards and food attorney in the UK, have been sent to Brussels to meet EFSA officials in order to argue the case of the CBD industry in the UK.

The lawyers are acting on behalf of the Cannabis Trade Association UK and they will try to convince EFSA at the EU headquarters that since hempseed and hempseed extracts have already been approved, then they don’t belong in the category of the novel foods that should be banned.

This will be a tough fight to complete because the EU has a history of being cautious regarding any major global developments with origins in North America. This pushback has particularly been strong ever since the financial meltdown of 2008.

But the team from London is unfazed and wants to argue the case of its members. CBD has grown so rapidly that in just three years, the CTA (Cannabis Trade Association) has grown to more than 700 members.

Additionally, the CBD industry contributes approximately $130 million to the British economy each year. It remains to be seen whether the arguments presented by the lawyers will change the minds of the regulators in Brussels. Medical Cannabis Payment Solutions (OTC: REFG), MustGrow Biologics Corp. and other people who see investment opportunities hope that Brussels changes its stand so that the growth of the industry isn’t torpedoed at this point.

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 – Signature Gathering Slated to Start on Nebraska Medical Marijuana Ballot Measure

A petition that is intended to put medical marijuana on the ballot in 2020 has received approval from the Nebraska Secretary of State. This clears the way for the petitioners to start gathering signatures in order to have the ballot measure included among the issues to be voted on during the 2020 elections.

Medical marijuana activists, together with two state senators (Anna Wishart and Adam Morfeld) formed a committee last year to explore ways of getting voters to decide on the matter. This was after numerous attempts to legalize medical marijuana through legislative means failed. The senators involved in this petition are both Democrats.

The petition seeks to amend the constitution of Nebraska so that patients can be given a right to use, access, possess and safely use marijuana materials and products in order to alleviate serious medical conditions that a nurse practitioner or doctor regards as something that can be alleviated by the use of medical cannabis.

By law, petitioners are required to submit their petition to the secretary of state so that the wording of that petition can be approved. The advocates duly submitted their petition last month and it was approved on Friday last week (March 1).

Senator Morfeld announced that since the petition had been approved, plans to legalize medical cannabis in the state would now shift gears to the phase of collecting signatures in support of the petition.

That task of collecting signatures isn’t a small one given that the constitution stipulates that any petition must have the support (by way of signatures) of at least 10 percent of all the registered voters in the state.

Furthermore, the petitioners are required to collect signatures from a minimum of five percent of all the voters in at least 38 counties in the state (out of a total of 98 counties).

Senator Wishart has revealed that they will try to push for a legislative solution as they gather signatures for the ballot measure petition.

However, chances are slim for a bill legalizing marijuana to become law in the state. This is because Gov. Pete Ricketts (R) is determined to use his veto powers to block any law that seeks to legalize marijuana in the state. A ballot measure therefore seems the only realistic way to get medical marijuana legalized.

Medical Cannabis Payment Solutions (OTC: REFG) and MustGrow Biologics Corp. wish the petitioners all the best as they try to get medical cannabis legalized so that the patients in the state can have an extra treatment option for their medical challenges.

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 – 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.

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 – 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.

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 – Craft Medical Cannabis Growers Form Co-op in British Columbia

Small medical cannabis growers and producers in the Canadian province of British Columbia are coming together to form a co-op in order to bridge the supply gap. This co-op venture will be incorporated at the provincial level instead of seeking national incorporation.

This undertaking involves a partnership with Victory Square Technologies and Grow Tech Labs. The supply shortages that have plagued the Canadian recreational cannabis market prompted the initiators of this co-op to take action.

The company will be called the British Columbia Small Cannabis Producer and Processor Co-op. This is intended to reflect the character of the province as a leader in the cannabis industry both nationally and internationally.

Barinder Rasode, the CEO of this new company, revealed during its launch that the entire province and the cannabis industry will benefit greatly if small producers and processors come together to continue making a contribution in the industry.

Rasode added that once these small players combine their capacity, they have the potential to become a formidable player in the cannabis industry not just in Canada but globally.

The new company is calling on small producers to send them an email expressing interest to join this new group and to get additional information about this new entity.

The co-founder and CEO of Victory Square Technologies (Shafin Diamond) remarked that he was excited to see that micro-growers of medical cannabis were coming forward to take part in the co-operative.

It is not clear whether the desire to combine forces wasn’t driven by a survival instinct. As the cannabis industry has grown, large scale operations have increasingly taken an upper hand due to their economies of scale that lower the cost of producing each unit of cannabis.

While production costs are being driven downwards, the cannabis market hasn’t sufficiently segmented (as yet) in order to sustain the niche growers and producers. Consequently, the small growers and producers may have felt some pressure on their profit margins as the large producers brought more products to the market at lower rates.

This pressure could be the reason why the initiators of the co-op decided that they should either combine forces or fold. Such a factor may explain why Grow Tech Labs and Victory Square Technologies were brought on board to provide a way to standardize the products from the small growers and producers.

If that is the case, then that is a positive step forward since the entire industry, including Net Element (NASDAQ: NETE) and Medical Cannabis Payment Solutions (OTC: REFG), would want every entity that can chip in to do so in order to nurture this nascent industry.

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 – 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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420 with CNW – Research Shows that Fewer Teens Consumed Cannabis in Washington after Legalization

Many opponents of cannabis legalization often argue that teens will use the substance once it is legalized. However, a recent study done in Washington State has found that such fears are unfounded.

The researchers carefully analyzed the data collected during the Washington Healthy Youth Surveys conducted in 2010-2012 and the data gathered during the 2014-2016 survey. The data clearly shows that the number of teens who reported that they use cannabis had declined.

Recreational marijuana was legalized in the state in 2012, so the researchers had a keen interest in comparing consumption rates before and after legalization.

The study found that marijuana use among eighth-graders dropped by nearly 3 percent from approximately 10 percent in the years just before legalization to approximately 7 percent in the data captured following legalization.

There was a drop of 2 percent among 10th graders since the rate stood at 20 percent in the data captured in the 2010-2012 surveys while the rate was 18 percent when those teens were surveyed in 2014-2016. There was no change in the percentage of 12th graders who consume cannabis.

However, the researchers were quick to point out that their findings do not in any way suggest that the drop in cannabis use among teens is entirely the result of legalization. They also added that their findings may not be an accurate indicator of what trend marijuana consumption among teens will take in the long-term.

The researchers suggested that more research needs to be done about the how the availability of cannabis in given neighborhoods affects the marijuana-use patterns of teens. Such research is necessary since what happens in the state capital may have little influence on what happens in particular neighborhoods.

The impact of advertising, packaging and the proximity of retail outlets should also be investigated to reveal how those factors influence the drug-use behavior of minors.

In the meantime, another study that was published shortly before the one on teenage cannabis use shows that the number of cannabis users in Washington State is almost twice what it was thought to be. This study makes the findings showing a lower prevalence of marijuana use among teens even more significant since it becomes clearer that legalization didn’t trigger a spike in the number of teens who can access and consume cannabis.

Cannabis industry participants like Net Element (NASDAQ: NETE) and Medical Cannabis Payment Solutions (OTC: REFG) are glad that verifiable scientific studies are disproving those who want to discredit cannabis at every opportunity.

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