FLORIDA. Individuals are enrolling to obtain medicinal marijuana in Florida in record numbers, around 3,000 new patients per week. As of March 2019, an outstanding amount of individuals have enrolled in the state to take the medication.
The NBC6 Investigators discovered that more patients are taking therapeutic marijuana for persistent pain than anything else.
A report, issued by the Physician Certification Pattern Review Panel, demonstrates that from January through September of 2018, an amount exceeding 48,000 individuals were authorized to take the medication for pain-related conditions. The second most distinguished condition in Florida was post-traumatic stress disorder, also known as PTSD.
The Florida Department of Health is the office that runs this program. First, they said that they couldn't disclose the data. Later, a representative said it was "secured" data under the law despite the fact that more than 20 states across the country disclose this type of data.
"It quite frankly doesn’t make any sense," Jorge Silva, a medical lawyer and teacher at Florida International University (FIU), stated at the time. He also stated that there was really no reason for the state to withhold this information from the public. Said information was withheld until the NBC6 Investigators connected with State Representative Rene Plasencia, R-Titusville, who created a medical marijuana bill particularizing with public records. He revealed to NBC6 that the Department of Health (DOH) has an order to gather the information and give it to state officials every year. After the discussion with Rep. Plasencia, a representative with the Health Department considered their underlying refusal the demand a misconception.
Subsequently, they furnished a report that shows that out of the 11,796 individuals who are authorized to take the medication in Miami Dade, 4,176 take it for pain. In Broward County, where most people use the medicinal marijuana for PTSD, more than 4,500 individuals are authorized to use this drug.
Now, the patients that have signed up can take medical marijuana in an assortment of ways that incorporate vaping or orally ingesting pot oil and utilizing patches to put on their skin. At the moment, it's illegal to smoke cannabis in Florida, however that could be changing soon. Officials could take last votes on two different bills by March 15, 2019 that would make smoking medicinal marijuana legal.
Additionally, this medication could start to become more accessible. Florida voters could choose if everybody ought to approach the plant legitimately, not simply the individuals who have medicinal marijuana ID cards.
Via: NBC Miami
March 12, 2019
Cannabis legalization runs the extent in the U.S., from states where it is completely legitimate to those that permit just restorative utilization of constrained THC items. In any case, after the previous fall's races, Idaho, Nebraska and South Dakota are left as the sole holdouts to permitting some type of lawful cannabis use – and even Nebraska has decriminalized the plant.
This change implies something other than giving customers access to cannabis. It permits researchers, in states where cannabis is legitimate, to direct essential and gravely required research on its health advantages.
There are a lot of stories and little examinations that show cannabis helping individuals experiencing epilepsy and post-horrendous pressure issue and facilitating the negative symptoms, including nausea and absence of appetite, of some cancer treatments.
The issue is that exploration at the government level has been frustrated on the grounds that cannabis is as yet a Schedule 1 drug, compared with heroin and methamphetamines. That assignment makes it ineligible for a great part of the general population subsidizing that guarantees a majority of scientific research in the U.S.
The best research as of now accessible is from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine, which delivered a thorough report in 2017 on both the remedial impacts and dangers of cannabis. The research assembly checked on in excess of 10,000 studies to decide precisely what is thought about the potential medical advantages of cannabis and cannabis-inferred products.
Science demonstrates cannabis has health advantages for grown-ups, the report finished up. Specialists found that cannabis and cannabinoids can help ease pain and could be particularly useful in alleviating the manifestations of patients with various sclerosis-related muscle fits. They additionally discovered that some oral cannabis items essentially decreased the queasiness and spewing related with chemotherapy.
The National Academies report said that using regularly cannabis does not seem to convey similar dangers related to the utilization of tobacco, for example, lung, head and neck diseases. They found deficient proof to demonstrate that cannabis use by a mother or father amid pregnancy prompts a more serious danger of diseases in the youngster.
They prescribed extended cannabis research, more and better information gathering to help that examination and disposal of hindrances that block it. Alcohol kills about 88,000 Americans consistently. Another 77,000 die from narcotic overdoses. No passing by cannabis overdose has ever been reported.
Another bill that will before long be advancing through Congress (shamelessly named H.R. 420) would expel cannabis from the government Controlled Substance Act, opening the entryways for the US to lead the pack in medicinal research on the plant.
January 16, 2019
Congress considered to approve an $867 billion farm bill, which, among other things, classifies hemp as a very important agricultural commodity, due to the plant can be used to produce everything from livestock feed to cosmetics to cannabinoid oil, which has some untried medicinal qualities.
UF's two-year program is housed on three destinations over the state, where specialists are considering the danger of hemp plants getting to be obtrusive dangers just as distinguishing hemp assortments appropriate for Florida's different surroundings. The principal backer of the pilot was Green Roads, a CBD oil producer.
At this moment, analysts are setting up the land and vital endorsements for planting at the examination areas in the spring. They are as yet contracting exploration faculty, requesting seed, applying for planting grants and attempting to get extra sponsorship.
Jerry Fankhauser, the associate chief of UF's experimentation station, says the program goes for demonstrating whether hemp can adjust to Florida's developing conditions, which change drastically over the state.
The Department of Agriculture directs pesticide use for cultivators. The Department of Health, which is in charge of writing rules for palatable types of medicinal weed, hasn't done that yet so Agriculture's job is similarly indistinct. There is a prerequisite for a nourishment wellbeing investigation from the Department of Agriculture for every restorative pot treatment focus that produces edibles. Managing hemp cultivating, in any case, falls more straightforwardly under the division's domain than medicinal weed.
Via: Miami Herald News
December 20, 2019
A measure approved by a key state House panel Tuesday states that patients could be allowed to smoke medical marijuana -with a pre-elaborated joint with filters.
Committed in the House and Senate both propelled an enactment to nix Florida's restriction on smoking therapeutic pot, following a final proposal issued by Gov. Ron DeSantis not long after the Republican took office a month ago.
Regardless of key contrasts, for example, the pre-rolled joint necessity, the House and Senate estimates set legislators in a place to pass enactment that would almost certainly be acceptable to DeSantis by his March 15 due date.
DeSantis warned to drop the state's appeal of a court choice that found the smoking boycott crossed paths with a protected correction that extensively authorized therapeutic weed. The senator gave officials until 10 days after the ten days administrative session starts on March 5.
The House plan initially would have expected doctors to get the endorsement of a "case survey board" before having the capacity to arrange smokable pot.
In any case, on Tuesday, Rodrigues offered a change that would just expect specialists to give documentation supporting the treatment, commanded pre-rolled joints with filters to address worries about the negative wellbeing impacts of smoking, and would ban smoking for patients under 18.
A long-serving soldier, John Goodson, who said he has post-traumatic stress disorder after serving in Iraq, told the committee that concentrates or oral forms of therapeutic marijuana ‘’are not as helpful as the smokable cannabis.
On Tuesday, the Senate Innovation, Industry and Technology Committee was convinced to eliminate with the second opinion, except for children who are not terminally ill. Those youngsters would require the approval of pediatrician.
Under Brande’s amendment, assisted and hospice facilities, along with residents in nursing homes, would be allowed to smoke medical marijuana. The Senate proposal would also allow medical marijuana dispensaries to sell, not just pre-rolled joints, but the whole-flower products in any form.
Via: Orlando Sentinel News
February 12, 2019
Jake Bergmann, Surterra Holdings CEO, is a soft-spoken entrepreneur with stylishly gelled brown hair and a neatly trimmed beard. A private equity manager who also owns a firm called Valkyrie Capital, he's one of a handful of people set to make a windfall in the burgeoning medical marijuana market. His firm's facility near the state capital is built to crank out 3,000 plants per grow cycle. Surterra has already opened two dispensaries, one in Tampa and another in Tallahassee. Plans call for six more by the end of the year.
According to a private equity firm’s prediction, Surterra could generate $138 million in sales by 2021.
Surterra is one of seven firms the state has chosen so far to manage the new medical marijuana business following last year's 71% vote in favor of a constitutional amendment that made it legal. At first, marijuana defenders hoped state lawmakers would establish a free marketplace where as many as a half-million patients could choose from dozens of providers.
Instead, Florida's nascent medical marijuana industry (which could be worth $1 billion by 2020) remains in the hands of seven firms. All of them, like Surterra, had to partner with Florida-based nurseries that have been in business for at least 30 years.
To be steps ahead on possible new competitors, all 7 firms have spent a combined $1.5 million on lobbyists and $667,000 in campaign contributions to Florida legislators in the last election cycle and in the 2018 matchups so far, according to a New Times review of state data. Critics — such as state Sen. Jeff Brandes — have dubbed these companies and their executives Florida's medical marijuana "cartel." During the legislative session this past spring, the St. Petersburg Republican proposed scrapping the state's current program and replacing it with one like Colorado's, which allows more than 500 operators to grow and sell cannabis for medicinal purposes. However, that bill never got out of committee.
During a special session in June, Florida lawmakers caved a little by increasing the number of marijuana-growing licenses. In August, the health department allowed two new cannabis ventures to start their operations. By early October, another eight pot companies got their licenses to grow and sell medicinal weed in Florida.
But Brandes and other detractors claim the system has been set up to favor the seven companies that first secured licenses. According to the senator, Florida is not focusing on what is best for patients, as per the laws, inhibit access and the limit competition resulting in higher prices.
Jodi James, executive director of the Florida Cannabis Network, agrees. Current rules prevent operators from ever setting up shop. James states that the organizations that have licenses spent lot of money lobbying lawmakers, and what we saw come out of the legislative and special sessions had their fingerprints all over it.
So far, the state has authorized ingestion of medical marijuana only through vaporizers and tinctures. Smokable buds are not allowed. And providers are limited to a maximum of 25 dispensaries.
Before we get started it’s important that we lay out some background about this disease. Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a chronic movement disorder that permanently affects the nervous system by causing progressive damage to it. The cause is unknown and even though there are several treatment options, there is presently no cure to this disease.
The Parkinson’s disease primary symptoms include but are not limited to:
Marijuana contains more than 100 neuroactive chemicals that work with two types of cannabinoid receptors, type 1 (CB1) located in the brain and type 2 (CB2) located in the brain and peripheral immune system. Cannabinoids have power effects on these receptors, even though researchers are not sure how.
Cannabis can contain antagonist and agonists molecules that will positively interact with cannabinoid receptors. In addition to this, medical marijuana offers a combination of anti-anxiety, antioxidant and pain relief all in one.
Among the many studies and academic papers relating to the benefits of medical marijuana for Parkinson's disease, Sevcik J. and Masek K., of the Institute of Pharmacology, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, Prague had this to say:
"Cannabinoids might alleviate some parkinsonian symptoms by their remarkable receptor-mediated modulatory action in the basal ganglia output nuclei. Moreover, it was recently observed that some cannabinoids are potent antioxidants that can protect neurons from death even without cannabinoid receptor activation.
It seems that cannabinoids could delay or even stop progressive degeneration of brain dopaminergic systems, a process for which there is presently no prevention. In combination with currently used drugs, cannabinoids might represent, qualitatively, a new approach to the treatment of PD, making it more effective."
In 2014, an observational study demonstrated the effect of medical marijuana on both motor and non-motor symptoms of Parkinson’s. The study involved 22 patients who were evaluated 30 minutes before and after they smoked medical marijuana. After the patients smoked, most of them had a significant improvement in their test scores. Furthermore, patients reported an improvement in motor symptoms such as tremors and rigidity.
Medical Cannabis is not meant to replace Parkinson’s patient medications entirely. However, people will see a noticeable improvement when taking their prescribed medication and using medical marijuana. If you have Parkinson and you live in a state that allows medical marijuana use, it’s important that you work in close collaboration with your doctor to monitor and identify any side-effects from the medicines.
If you are a patient or caregiver looking for legal counseling concerning Medical Marijuana? Are you in the medical marijuana business? For legal counseling contact our expert attorneys to talk about your legal and/or business issues today.
September 15th, 2017
After 25 years in Key West, Jim Gilleran knows residents need a cold beer, a hot meal and a place to reconnect after a hurricane.
While most bars and restaurants remain shuttered on Duval Street, Gilleran opened his 801 Bar hours after Hurricane Irma smashed past the island. He’s kept his generator operating since, serving nearly 700-800 free meals a day.
On Thursday, the bar stools were packed with sweaty, unshowered, hungry residents anticipating a steak lunch while staff gave out bags of donated food and toiletries.
“Honey, you need anything?” asked a worker carrying a basket of facial wipes, toothpaste and tampons.
“My father taught me to take care of myself and my family so I can take care of my community,” Gilleran said on the day civilization slowly crept back into Key West, or at least as much as this idiosyncratic city at the very southern tip of the U.S. will allow.
The Publix in the Searstown shopping center on Roosevelt Boulevard also opened Thursday morning, a portal out of the suspended animation that a lack of electricity, cell phone service and water has held the city in for nearly five days.
Ed Sauer and Rit McClintock were nursing beers on outside bar stools while contemplating ways to return to Ft. Myers.
In the past week, they had two flights, a rental car and a bus trip cancelled, courtesy of Irma. With no operating ATM for 100 miles, they ran out of money until a new acquaintance offered them $1,000.
“Pay me back when you can,” he told them.
Sitting outside Pepe’s Restaurant, the oldest in the city, three residents who stayed during the hurricane were waiting for coffee while trading storm stories.
Barbara Bowers, a real estate agent and columnist for the Key West Citizen newspaper, said her city’s residents are sturdy survivors, like her 1850 Conch house, which easily weathered the storm.
“Don’t let anyone call us cowards,” she said, laughing.
Irma’s 130 mph winds felled a few of Old Town’s huge ficus and banyan trees, damaging a few Conch houses, but most appeared unscathed, although streets are littered with broken tree branches and palm fronds.
“They told us we were all going to die, so we should evacuate,” said Rick Davis, who didn’t. His concession to the storm was moving off his 37-foot boat and into his office at Key West Printing.
“Next time, fewer and fewer people are going to leave,” Davis predicted.
Brenda Duley reported that a chihauhua found swimming in the ocean off the Pier House after the storm was fine.
“It had to have been a boat dog swept off in the storm,” she said. “Her new name is Irma.”
Meanwhile, throughout the Lower Keys, search and rescue teams are continuing to comb neighborhoods looking for hurricane victims.
On Cudjoe Key, where Irma made landfall Sunday morning, a member of a City of Miami search-and-rescue team approached fallen power lines with a “hot stick” to determine whether the line still carried electricity.
“The power company is testing lines, so it’s possible some of these could become live periodically,” he said.
In searing shadeless heat under the denuded trees, crew members knocked on doors on Wahoo Lane to ensure residents had either evacuated or were safe at home.
Also on Thursday, streams of government SUVs, convoys of supply trucks, construction equipment and Publix semis could be seen moving through the Lower Keys.
Authorities are advising people to stay away from their homes for another few days until essential services are in place.
Key West currently has little power and water for two hours, twice a day.
The Keys’ water comes from the mainland through underground pipes, but hurricane-related breaks caused losses of up to 3 million gallons a day, requiring rationing, according to Jim Young, Key West’s director of Code Enforcement.
On Radio 104.1, virtually the only current source of post-storm information in a place lacking newspapers, television, wifi or cell phone service, Monroe County Commissioner David Rice pleaded with FEMA to arrive quickly with shelter for homeless residents.
“We’re going to have thousands of people coming back to their homes that can’t sleep in them,” he said.
San Diego will have a fully legal and regulated marijuana industry including pot farms, factories making edibles and retail storefronts selling the drug to both medical and recreational customers.
The City Council voted 6-3 on Monday to legalize local cultivation, manufacturing and testing of marijuana when new state laws take effect in January.
The council also agreed earlier this year to allow legally approved medical marijuana dispensaries to expand their sales to recreational customers. The city has approved 17 such businesses and 11 have begun operating.
The approval came despite strong objections from Police Chief Shelley Zimmerman, who warned of significant threats to public safety that she said couldn’t be outweighed by new tax revenue from the highly profitable industry.
The council majority said, however, that creating a local supply chain for the city’s dispensaries would boost the economy, create jobs and improve the quality and safety of local marijuana by eliminating the need to truck it in from elsewhere.
They also said it would prevent a local “black market” of unregulated cultivators and manufacturers that would emerge if the city outlawed those activities.
The council also took the less controversial step of allowing marijuana testing facilities in the city. Testing of for-sale marijuana will be required under new state laws prompted by California voters approving Proposition 64 last November.
The only other cities in the county that allow dispensaries are La Mesa and Lemon Grove, where voters forced the hands of city leaders by approving ballot measures last November. And only La Mesa has indicated it may allow cultivation.
The council also eliminated a proposed cap of two cultivating, manufacturing and testing businesses per council district, which would have allowed a maximum of 18 in the city. Instead, the council set a citywide cap of 40 such businesses.
Another proposal from staff that the marijuana industry opposed was a rule prohibiting such businesses from opening within 100 feet of each other or dispensaries. The council also eliminated that rule.
Councilman Chris Ward said the decision was obvious to him.
"Having sound policy and regulations in place will allow the city to enforce its rules and assist the cannabis industry in regulating itself," he said. "Would we tell Stone Brewery that we wanted them to manufacture everything in Riverside County and truck it down? Would we tell Ballast Point they can only grow their hops up in Humboldt?"
Councilwoman Barbara Bry said creating a legalized local supply chain was crucial.
"If we don't allow all parts of the supply chain in San Diego we are merely enabling a large black market," she said. "San Diego consumers are counting on us to provide them a safe product."
Councilwoman Lorie Zapf, who joined with colleagues Scott Sherman and Chris Cate to cast the “no” votes, said she shared the concerns expressed by Chief Zimmerman.
“I think we should listen to our police chief,” said Zapf. “We were elected if nothing else to oversee public safety and we’re just absolutely going down the wrong road.”
San Diego voters approved a local tax on recreational marijuana last November that would start at 5 percent and rise to 8 percent in July 2019.
That tax, which could rise as high as 15 percent with council approval, would apply to pot farms and factories as well as dispensaries.
Zimmerman said she doubted that revenue would be worth it.
"The negative consequences and secondary effects of the legal marijuana industry being allowed to operate on a larger scale in our city of San Diego are enormous," she warned the council before their vote. "I urge you not to allow any further marijuana facilities within our city."
She said the city’s legal marijuana dispensaries, which began operating less than three years ago, have generated 272 calls for service from police for burglaries, robberies, thefts, assaults and shootings.
"Officials throughout Colorado flat out told our team the revenue was just not worth these costs," said Zimmerman, who is retiring in March.
Dallin Young, executive director of the Association of Cannabis Professionals, said 30 businesses already engaged in cultivation, manufacturing and testing with tacit city approval have generated no complaints.
He said that’s primarily because such businesses have little or no contact with the public.
"It's clear there has not been a negative impact on the city by allowing these uses," Young said. "They’re supposed to have no public access. They are strictly for people to go in there, do their job and leave."
Young also stressed the importance of a local supply chain.
"We will know who the operators are and we won't have to import any of the products from our lovely neighbors to the north and we'll be creating jobs here," he said. "We'll be keeping all of the money here in San Diego where it belongs."
The 30 businesses already engaged in such activities without formal city approval will be allowed to continue operating for two years, but they won’t get a leg up on obtaining permits that would give them the right to legally operate long term.
Many of them, city officials said, are located in areas where the zoning makes it impossible for them to comply with the regulations the council adopted on Monday.
The council also agreed to address three additional issues at some point in the future: loosening rules on deliveries, compliance by marijuana businesses with labor laws and regulating odor at marijuana businesses.
Assistant City Attorney Mary Nuesca said it’s possible the council could act on its desire to regulate odor, but said that might not be legal because the state has chosen not to regulate that issue.
During a four-hour public hearing before the council’s vote, many marijuana legalization supporters thanked the council for being one of the few cities in the state to consider allowing a full supply and sales chain.
Many opponents also warned of the dangers of legalizing a drug that has become more potent in recent years and that is popular among teens.
Councilwoman Zapf said it was a major concern that high school students are frequently “high” in class.
“I know what’s going on with teenagers,” Zapf said.
Councilwoman Bry had a different take, contending that marijuana is not a new phenomenon on high school campuses.
“That’s a whole separate issue of educating our youth about the dangers of trying things like this,” she said.
Finalized state rules governing recreational marijuana are scheduled to be unveiled in January.
While no industry is perfect, if you've purchased marijuana stocks at some point over the past year, you're probably seeing green right now. Of the 14 largest marijuana stocks by market cap, the average gain among them over the trailing 12 months is a better than 100% return.
Why such love for pot stocks among investors? To begin with, sales growth estimates for the weed industry are off the charts. Marijuana Business Daily's newest report, "Marijuana Business Factbook 2017," is forecasting that legal U.S. cannabis sales will soar by approximately 300% to around $17 billion annually by 2021. A compound annual growth rate in the mid-20% range moving forward is simply something that investors can't overlook.
We've also seen a discernible shift in the way the American public thinks about cannabis. Gone are the days where the federal government waged its War on Drugs campaign. Today, according to a CBS News poll and a Quinnipiac University poll, both conducted in April, a respective 61% and 94% of Americans want recreational and medical marijuana to be legal across the United States. This strong support suggests that growing pressure on lawmakers in Congress could coerce action. As a reminder, cannabis is still a Schedule I (and illegal) substance at the federal level even though eight states have legalized it recreationally and 29 states have OK'd its medical use.
Two marijuana stocks with greater than 200% annual sales growthExpansion in the North American legal pot industry -- Mexico recently legalized medical marijuana, and Canada is debating legislation to legalize recreational weed next year -- has led to some rapid growth in a number of marijuana stocks. In fact, two marijuana stocks have grown their annual sales by north of 200%, which is a growth figure that's bound to catch the attention of opportunistic investors.
Let's take a brief look at these rapidly growing marijuana stocks, and I'll show you why these sales growth figures should probably have asterisks next to them.
Canopy Growth Corp.One of the quickest-growing marijuana stocks on the planet right now is Canadian grower and retailer Canopy Growth Corp. (NASDAQOTH:TWMJF). According to the company's fourth-quarter earnings report, it grew sales in fiscal 2017 by 214% over the previous year to $32.18 million from $10.24 million. Of course, this wasn't the only figure that jumped out in the company's full-year report, with total kilograms of cannabis harvested rising by 80%, and Canopy Growth ending the year with a healthy $82.1 million in cash and cash equivalents on its balance sheet.
However, it should be noted that this 214% year-on-year sales growth comes with an asterisk. Namely, the company has been an avid acquirer of businesses and land, which have positively affected its sales. Don't get me wrong: I'm not faulting Canopy Growth one bit for gobbling up Canadian producers to expand its capacity and give it greater access to an eligible patient pool that's grown by 10% per month, according to Health Canada as of May 2017. Its purchase of Mettrum Health, which closed earlier this year, gives it access to about half of Canada's medical-marijuana patients. But it's worth pointing out that this 214% sales growth figure is probably far from the company's organic growth rate, which it doesn't break out in its full-year reports.
The two biggest catalysts moving forward for the company involve Canada's recreational legalization efforts and expansion efforts in ex-Canadian countries.
Beginning with the former, the Canadian government has estimated that legalizing recreational weed would boost legal pot sales by $5 billion to $7 billion annually. Even with Health Canada relaxing its regulations and boosting the number of licensed producers, Canopy's superior market share and the influx of demand from consumers should provide ample growth opportunities.
The company is also among a very small handful of suppliers that have been given the green light to export dried cannabis to foreign countries that have legalized medical cannabis, such as Germany. Germany's medical-cannabis industry has next to nothing grown domestically, and until the industry matures, Canopy Growth would be expected to play a leading role in providing medical cannabis to patients.
Long story short, expect Canopy Growth's exceptionally high growth rate to continue, but also look for the company to keep growing by acquisition as well.
Aurora CannabisNot surprisingly, the other marijuana stock growing at an exceptionally quick rate also comes from the Canadian medical industry: Aurora Cannabis (NASDAQOTH:ACBFF). And like Canopy Growth, it sales figures come with an asterisk, but for an entirely different reason.
Aurora didn't commence retail sales until Jan. 5, 2016, meaning its sales are in many cases up against $0 or a minuscule amount in the previous year. For instance, here's a look at its sales totals, rounded to the nearest $0.1 million, over the past five quarters:
What investors should really be paying attention to is the ongoing development of the Aurora Sky project, Aurora's investments in the EU, and the recreational debates in Canada. Aurora has a decent chance to perhaps carve out around 10% market share in the recreational market if Canada moves forward with its efforts to legalize adult-use weed by July 2018.
n terms of future growth prospects, the company is counting on its Aurora Sky project, an 800,000-square-foot facility that's being tagged as one of the most advanced and automated facilities in the world, to really boost production. Aurora will need this project to remain on track and budget if it hopes to effectively compete against the likes of Canopy Growth and its peers. The projected cost for Aurora Sky is a staggering $110 million.
The company also made waves in May, when it acquired Pedanios GmbH for a little less than $17 million in cash and stock. Pedanios is a medical-cannabis distributor in the European Union, which gives Aurora an intriguing stepping stone in burgeoning EU medical cannabis markets, such as Germany, where domestic production is still nascent.
Taking into account its various growth channels, Aurora has a chance to deliver triple-digit sales growth for a few years to come.
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This week, I finally convinced my father to try a cannabis salve for his arthritis. You would think after four years of reporting on the marijuana world, I would have made headway on this long ago. After all, like over 85 percent of Americans, my dad supports the medical use of marijuana in a general way, and has been complaining about his achy joints for several years. Weed topicals don't even get you high. But somehow it just never happened.
Then, on Sunday morning, he texted me: "I put the rub on my knees. It works!"
"Duh!" I responded. Cannabis is a powerful medicine, even if we still know very little about what conditions it works for and why. As baby boomers like my father struggle to figure out how to age gracefully, it's very possible that legal pot could play a major role in alleviating a wide range of pains and discomforts, from chemotherapy to throwing out your back.
And yet people over 65 are the least likely to support cannabis legalization. Not every grandma gets gently handed a bong and turned into a YouTube star. Even the people who are cool with weed often don't know very much about how they might go about integrating cannabis into their own wellness routines.
So I wanted to offer up some of the collected wisdom I've managed to gain during years of conversations with scientists, doctors, patients and caregivers. Just as I hoped a few weeks back that my fellow stoners might help spread the gospel about how to be a good weed citizen with their canna-curious friends, this guide aims to provide you with the tools to help introduce someone to the world of medical marijuana.
Considering the information available online about medical pot is all over the place, here's a sort of cheat sheet for anyone trying to navigate conversations with reluctant parents, relatives and friends – regardless of access to a legal dispensary. Perhaps after listening to your grandmother ramble on in too much detail about her psoriasis, you'll feel emboldened to take her aside and suggest a calming cannabis cream. Maybe you'll talk to your insomniac uncle about acquiring a vape pen. It may sound difficult at first, but remember: taking a few minutes to have this conversation could vastly improve someone's quality of life.
Start simple: acknowledge that cannabis has medical properties.
A lot of people are under the impression that the "medical" part of medical marijuana is a euphemism – an excuse to legalize the drug so that hippies and stoners can get high. To a certain extent, this is politically true. Activists in the 1990s knew that AIDS and cancer patients were more sympathetic than all of the young black men being disproportionately fucked over by the war on drugs, and hoped that a California ballot initiative for medical use would ultimately open the door to full legalization. They were right, but by allowing wink-wink doctor's recommendations for everything from anxiety to a stubbed toe, they managed to convince a whole lot of people that medical cannabis was a joke. As a result, as recently as last year we still had reporters for major newspapers out here asking stupid questions like "Is there a legitimate reason for people to get medical marijuana?"
I've found that it helps to recognize the political realities before pivoting to explain that the therapeutic use of pot and its constituent compounds are a very real thing. Just because California has had a de facto recreational use market going for two decades under the auspices of medical use, doesn't mean that medical cannabis as a whole is fake. Remind people that lots of powerful medications – especially opioids – can both help with pain relief and be used recreationally. Heroin ruins lives by making people feel good, but morphine is still a useful and valuable drug.
If the people you're talking with still aren't convinced that medical marijuana is real, get them to watch Sanjay Gupta's Weed, a very persuasive 2013 documentary about how CNN's chief medical correspondent came to change his mind about the therapeutic use of cannabis.
Recognize that there are very few downsides.
Even if you are giving your dad shitty brick weed from a dealer that gets shipments from a Mexican cartel, there are hardly any potential negative health consequences to trying marijuana. Here's what we know, for sure: pot is considerably less addictive than pretty much every other drug out there, legal or illegal. It's not going to kill you, under any circumstances. It's not a gateway drug; one spray of a tincture is not going to lead your cancer-stricken aunt to suddenly want methamphetamine. And perhaps most relevant to the views of your skeptical relative: cannabis is 114 timesless harmful than alcohol.
But be familiar with the downsides
So, before I review some potential safety issues with cannabis, I want to make it clear that many conversations with experts over the years have led me to believe that none of these are significant enough to deter a truly sick person from seeking relief with pot. Think about the long list of side effects at the end of most commercials for prescription drugs. Even the very worst cannabis is not that bad.
That being said, here are the concerns you might want to take into account: A) Consuming too much at once can lead to a very, very uncomfortable situation. If someone is inexperienced, they shouldn't take more than a few milligrams of THC at first. B) Edibles or capsules or tinctures on an empty stomach can lead to some discomfort. Anyone new to these forms of the plant might need a meal first. C) That gold, viscous stuff that you see in vape pens likely contains concentrated pesticides and other chemicals. If your relative is considering vaping hash oil over smoking because they believe that will be healthier, they should be aware of the trade-off.
Remember that doctors receive no education about medical marijuana.
Unfortunately, most primary care physicians know almost nothing about the receptors in the body that respond to the active compounds in marijuana, or about what kinds of pot to buy for which diseases. So if your mom is waiting for the go-ahead from her doctor before she starts lighting up to deal with her glaucoma, let her know she could be waiting a while. She should feel free to ask her doctor's opinion, but keep in mind that they are likely not up to date on the research. Even in states with legal markets, many doctors are afraid to recommend pot because it remains federally illegal.
We are living through crazy times, and it's completely bananas that the federal government still considers marijuana to have no medical value while a majority of states have legalized pot for medical use and the FDA is fast-tracking trials of a cannabis drug. This situation sucks, but ideally in a decade or so we'll have a lot more research, regulation and legal access to this very important plant. Then, and only then, will more doctors suggest using it.
Stop talking about "medical grade" marijuana. That's not a thing.
A friend called me last year after his mother was diagnosed with cancer, asking if he should bother getting her pot from a dealer in their (black-market) state, or if it was worth it to make a trip to Cali to get some "medical grade" cannabis.
Sadly, there is no such thing as medical grade pot. The dispensaries in medical states are carrying the exact same bud as the dealers in Brooklyn or Atlanta or Dallas. If you're referring to the super strong pot that's become available in recent decades, like the frosty stuff with 25 to 30 percent THC content, be aware that that came along because the black market pushed weed farmers underground and indoors, leading to innovations in lighting and grow techniques that created increasingly powerful marijuana. It had nothing to do with medical markets or doctors.
Now, it's entirely possible you'll find stronger pot in dispensaries than from your dealer, especially if the weed had to get smushed and smuggled to get to you, but for the most part the whole thing is a crapshoot. Cultivators and dispensaries mislabel things to push shitty cannabis on patients and customers all the time. So please, retire this phrase from your vocabulary, and know that if you're just looking to help someone going through chemotherapy feel less nauseated, there's no reason to make a pilgrimage to Colorado.
Consumption doesn't have to mean coughing.
A lot of people just hate the feeling of smoke in their lungs. Fortunately, there are now myriad non-joint options available for anyone interested in trying medical marijuana. People with access to dispensaries can pick up pot-infused mints, balms, truffles, or tinctures. And even if your Iraq veteran cousin lives in a black-market state, and all she has access to is the green stuff, she doesn't necessarily need a bong to relieve her PTSD. She could try a flower vaporizer, like the PAX, or buy a Nova or a Magical Butter machine and make her own edibles.
Not every medical cannabis option involves getting high.
In the future, you'll probably think of shopping for medical marijuana as akin to shopping for frozen yogurt. You go to the store with your friends; everyone chooses and mixes different flavors and toppings; and when you walk out, it's hard to even recognize that you're all eating a single product. Peanut butter froyo mixed with cheesecake froyo topped with chocolate chips is most definitely not the same thing as plain yogurt topped with kiwis and blackberries. In the same way, cannabis can be broken down into separate compounds that create different smells and perform different functions. THC, the compound that gets you high, is the most famous of the plant's components, but several other compounds have huge medical potential and are not psychoactive. CBN, for example, seems to help people sleep. THC-V seems to suppress your appetite. CBD seems to be a powerful analgesic and anti-convulsant.
So if your uncle is suffering from some intractable medical issue like Parkinson's or MS, but he's totally freaked out at the prospect of using medical cannabis, make sure he knows that not all of the options will get him stoned.
Also, just going to say this again, because it's important: you cannot get high through your skin, so even if a cream or a salve has THC in it, it's totally safe for sober relatives to use.
When you look up info about pot online, consider the source.
As with all Internet research, do a little digging into who is giving you information. Are they selling something themselves? Many of the people spouting pro-pot propaganda online are doing so because they themselves own cannabis businesses.
Nothing is legal in all 50 states.
A number of products these days, especially those containing CBD derived from industrial hemp, advertise themselves as legal in all 50 states. Please be advised: even if they come from hemp, these compounds are illegal. The DEA has made this abundantly clear.