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Issue #60 Now Available!!!


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Leading the way

From hi-tech to ‘high’ tech, Israel is planting the seeds for a cannabis economy

israel-mmj-flagSpark-Up Nation has a pretty good ring to it, don’t you think? Saul Kaye, the CEO of iCAN, certainly does.

For Kaye, whose company is holding its second annual CannTech conference on cannabis in Israel next month, the Jewish state is fertile ground for growing a cannabis economy.

“Israel is leading the world in research and development, from the medical side to the medical devices to the agro side,” he told The Jerusalem Post in the company’s co-working space in Beit Shemesh.

Indeed, Israel has been a leader in cannabis research.

Compared to the United States, where heavy regulation prohibits many forms of marijuana- related research, Israel’s regulatory framework has been somewhat more relaxed.

The active compounds in cannabis – which has become the preferred term over marijuana within the industry – were discovered in Israel by Prof. Raphael Mechoulam and Dr. Yechiel Gaoni. Add that to the fact that Israel has been a leader in agriculture, medical devices and pharmaceuticals, and the formula for a cannabis economy comes together nicely.

“Every business can touch the future cannabis economy.

If you’re a marketer, if you’re an online guru, if you are a tech person, if you want to develop a drug, a prescription medication, if you want to develop grow-tech, everything can be developed into this new economy,” he continued.

Already, there have been signs of a shift for even looser restrictions in Israel.

In May, Police Insp.-Gen.

Yohanan Danino said, “The time has come for the Israel Police, together with the state, to reexamine their stance on cannabis. I think we must sit and study what’s happening around the world.”

Dr. Alan Shakelford, known for concocting a strain of medical marijuana called “Charlotte’s Web” that helped dramatically reduce the number and intensity of seizures in a five-year-old girl, moved to Israel to join a cannabis research firm because of friendlier regulation.

In August, the insurance group Israel Loss Adjusters Association said that “the economic potential of growing Big Cannabis is greater than that of the [natural] gas [off Israel’s shores].”

In October, Colorado’s Gov.

John Hickenlooper told the Post that his state, which legalized recreational marijuana use in 2012, was looking for Israeli collaboration in the field.

Even large corporations that may have shied away from the industry have begun showing restrained interest, according to Kaye.

Bank of America Merrill Lynch put out a primer on medical cannabis in December, which estimated that there were more than a half-million legal medical marijuana users in the US. “Medical marijuana is a $2.9bn industry and could at least double if more states legalize use,” the report said.

According to a report in Calcalist last month, Philip Morris was preparing a $20 million investment in Syqe Medical, an Israeli start-up that developed a medical cannabis inhaler.

Kaye said members of some large organizations have expressed interest in this year’s CannaTech conference, including players from the NFL and NBA interested in how marijuana might be used for treating sports-related traumas, and a representative from Strauss. The Strauss Group said it was not aware of anyone planning to attend the conference.

ICan, in particular, is interested in the market developing around medical cannabis, and is developing products to deal with the side effects as well as find legal ways of financing companies (US federal law makes such financing difficult).

Kaye said that by 2018, the industry will reach $60 billion globally, “and that’s just cannabis, not the ancillary services, the lighting, the water, the electricity, everything we’re talking about a very large economy.”

The floodgates may open further should a new outline regulating medical cannabis pass in the Knesset.

“Even in Israel, cannabis is registered as an illegal drug, When you get a license in Israel you get a license to use an illegal drug,” Kaye said. The new regulation would fix that, and allow doctors to prescribe cannabis instead of requiring licensing for Israel’s 23,000 medical cannabis patients.

Kaye cited Meretz MK Tamar Zandberg and Likud MK Sharon Haskel as the top advocated of a new approach, though he notes that a surprising number of parliamentarians who have seen the effects of medical cannabis have become advocates as well. Haskel, he said, is set to propose a decriminalization bill that would allow people to grow up to one plant and possess up to 5 grams of marijuana, though its passage is far from assured.

“When we talk about cannabis as a new industry, it’s only new because the regulations are allowing it to be new. It’s always been there, it’s illegal, it’s underground, and now we’re bringing it to the light, so if Israel positions itself well it will continue to be a global leader,” Kaye said.

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Chew on this

'Ganja Gum' could soon be made in Aspen

gumMarijuana-infused bubblegum could become the newest cannabis-related product manufactured in Aspen if Pitkin County commissioners approve a Denver woman’s business plan today.

Commissioners are scheduled to hold a public hearing on the application today during their regular meeting, which begins at noon. If they give their thumbs-up, Diane Van Os, co-owner of the business, said she hopes to be open and producing “Ganja Gum” within a month.

“It’s something new to the market,” Van Os said in a recent interview. “It’s really, really good. It tastes and smells just like bubblegum

“You can barely taste the cannabis.”

Van Os, a Denver-area patent attorney, said a friend of hers came up with the bubblegum recipe when the woman’s father was going through cancer treatment and marijuana soothed the side effects. The woman’s father didn’t like smoking marijuana and found that edibles were too strong because they came on all at once, she said.

But the gum worked well for him because it delivered the drug in a more measured dose, Van Os said.

“It’s hard to overdose (with the gum) or get so high that you’re not functioning,” she said. “It was what really helped her father get through the cancer treatments.”

While other cannabis-infused gums are on the market, their taste and consistency are often inferior, Van Os said. Ganja Gum, however, tastes and looks like the bright pink Dubble Bubble gum and has already won awards in Washington, she said.

“It’s super, super popular,” Van Os said. “Actually, you can blow bubbles (with it).”

The pieces will each contain 10 miligrams of cannabis and eventually also will be offered in watermelon and apple flavors, she said.

Van Os said she plans to sell the product statewide, and picked Aspen as a manufacturing base because of the moratorium on marijuana-businesses currently in effect in Denver.

“I had to apply in a county where there wasn’t a moratorium,” she said.

To that end, she is partnering with Sonya Bollerjack, a local resident who was already in the process of setting up a kitchen at the Aspen Business Center to manufacture marijuana edibles called Aspen Mountain High.

“We’ve been working on the kitchen for a month,” Van Os said.

Attempts to reach Bollerjack on Monday and Tuesday were not successful. However, Van Os said they plan on producing other marijuana-related products in addition to the gum.

“We are definitely going to make other products down the road,” she said.

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Jamaican me wanna go

CLA to accept applications for ganja licenses on April 4

Jamaican_patties_and_redstripeKINGSTON, Jamaica — The Cannabis Licensing Authority (CLA) has announced that it will be ready to accept applications for ganja licenses for Monday, April 4, 2016.

The regulations that will allow for the granting of licenses have now been drafted and are currently being reviewed ahead of finalisation and approval, which is expected in the next two weeks, a news release from the Cannabis Licensing Authority said Monday.

The regulations, according to the release, will immediately allow for the publishing of application forms as well as the furnishing of information to potential licensees on eligibility criteria and the terms and conditions of licenses.

“Under the regulations, 11 types of licenses across five main categories will be made available to interested persons – cultivator, transportation, processing, retailing, and R&D – ensuring coverage over the entire value chain for the medicinal marijuana industry,” the release stated. “The regulations make special provisions for small farmers, cooperatives, and small-scale processors to participate in the industry with distinct requirements and licensing fee structures in place.
“Residency requirements and local participation in companies have also been included as a critical component of participation in this nascent industry,” the release continued. “Licenses will also be available for importation for research under conditions stipulated by the CLA.

jamaicaThe CLA said as a special concession to ensure the participation of small growers in the new industry, it will waive the upfront payment of licensing fees for this category of licensee for the first year of operations.

Once the interim regulations have been agreed, the Authority says it will continue its consultations, including the hosting of a series of town-hall meetings across the island, where it hopes to gather additional information to refine the licensing regime and build-out the full industry management framework that will underpin the emergence of Jamaica’s new, legal ganja industry. With this done, the Authority says it expects to be able to put forward an expanded and more comprehensive set of regulations by May 2016 that will seek to address other areas of the industry.

“We made a commitment to the people of Jamaica that the cannabis industry would be in place by the end of the fiscal year, and we will meet that commitment,” said Dr Andre Gordon, chairman of the CLA.

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Celeb Strain list by Leafly

 10 Celebs Who Share Their Names with Cannabis Strains

Brett Konnen

The nominations are in, the red carpet gowns are (presumably) purchased, and Oscar week is upon us! In celebration of all the celebs who’ll be gracing the awards ceremony with their presence on Sunday, we compiled our own A-list – of celebrities with cannabis strains named after them.

Numerous luminaries, both living and dead, lend their names to strains. Among them are rappers, singers, actors, comedians, athletes, a president – even celebrity youngsters. The following are just 10 of the stars immortalized by strains. And the awards go to…

Snoop Dogg

Snoop Dogg holding microphone and rapping at concert

Leafly "Snoop's Dream" hybrid cannabis strain tile   Leafly "Snoop Dogg OG" indica cannabis strain tile

The inimitable rapper and cannabis evangelist has been singing about smoking weed every day since the 90s, and even has his own cannabis brand, so it’s no surprise that he lends his name to both Snoop’s Dream and Snoop Dogg OG.

Marshawn Lynch

Marshawn Lynch drinking from cup at press conference

Leafly "Beastmode OG" hybrid cannabis strain tile   Leafly "Beastmode 2.0" indica cannabis strain tile

The legendary Seattle running back, who hung up his cleats for good on Superb Owl Sunday, inspired two strains with his nickname – Beastmode OG, and Beastmode 2.0.

Blue Ivy Carter

Beyonce and Jay-Z in crowd wearing winter coats

Leafly "Blue Ivy" hybrid cannabis strain tile

Though it’ll be years before she’s old enough to consume cannabis herself, the four-year-old daughter of Beyoncé and Jay-Z inspired the eponymous Blue Ivy hybrid.

Michael Phelps

Michael Phelps smiling at press conference

Leafly "Michael Phelps OG" hybrid cannabis strain tile

The 18-time Olympic gold medal swimmer and most decorated athlete in Olympic history made waves in 2009 when a photo surfaced of him smoking out of a bong. Michael Phelps OG is named in his honor.

Charlie Sheen

Charlie Sheen with microphone at press conference

Leafly "Charlie Sheen" hybrid cannabis strain tile

The TV and movie star, who was once the highest-paid actor on television, lends his name to the hybrid strain Charlie Sheen, whose effects are in fact relaxed and mellow.

Margaret Cho

Margaret Cho smiling at event

Leafly "Margaret Cho-G" hybrid cannabis strain tile

Edgy, outspoken and hilarious, actress and comedian Margaret Cho is also a cannabis entrepreneur and activist, meriting a strain called Margaret Cho-G.

Tiger Woods

Tiger Woods smiling at press conference

Leafly "Tiger Woods" hybrid cannabis strain tile

The lionized golfer, considered by many to be the best of all time, is just one of many superstar athletes thought to consume cannabis – hence the Tiger Woods strain named after him.

Stevie Wonder

Stevie Wonder singing at concert

Leafly "Stevie Wonder" hybrid cannabis strain tile

The prodigious singer-songwriter’s relaxed, uplifting music matches the relaxed, uplifting effects of the Stevie Wonder hybrid.

Barack Obama

Barack Obama speaking at even with American flag in background

Leafly "Obama Kush" indica cannabis strain tile

Though we wish he’d take more of a stand on cannabis reform before leaving office, it’s no secret that Barack Obama has both enjoyed cannabis himself and allowed states to legalize free of federal opposition. Obama Kush shares his name.

Tommy Chong

Tommy Chong smiling at event

Leafly "Chong Star" hybrid cannabis strain tile

Tommy Chong’s acting and comedy careers alike have been interwoven with cannabis culture for decades, so it’s no surprise that the cannabis personality and activist is the namesake of the Chong Star strain.

Tommy Chong Endorses Trump! (Just Kidding, He's Feeling the Bern)


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Pretty flowers

Pro-cannabis advocate reacts to pot's exclusion from Philadelphia Flower Show

"Marijuana is a gorgeous flower. And, this is a show celebrating flowers," says PhillyNORML's Chris Goldstein

Hayden Mitman Philly Voice
flower-farmer-grows-smiles-with-flowers-on-strangers-heads-10__605-479x479One that just might be the most profitable plant in all of the country.

"It's arguably the most lucrative flower in the county," PhillyNORML's Chris Goldstein said of cannabis. "Colorado made a billion off it last year. I'm not sure that roses made that much."

Proponents of cannabis – weed, bud, pot, or whatever you'd call it in your preferred vernacular – had hoped to have a booth to showcase the plant's medicinal benefits, history and facts about its growth at this year's flower show, which runs March 5-13 at the Pennsylvania Convention Center.

But, that was not to be.

Aside from the obvious reason the plant can't be at the show - it's illegal, duh - Goldstein said that the booth would have included photos of cannabis flowers and a brochure of information about the plant.

The Philadelphia Horticulture Society did not immediately return a call for comment, but a spokesman told the Philadelphia Inquirer that the group who had requested the booth - Green Rush Advisors - had misrepresented their intentions. As a result, the producers of the show were concerned the group would attempt to advocate for the legalization of marijuana at the event.

Goldstein said his group, PhillyNORML, had made a push to get volunteers to help staff the booth, which would have included information about the plant, but refrained from political statements regarding the legalization issue.

"Certainly, nobody was misrepresenting what was happening," he said. "Volunteers would have been told not to get political."

Instead, he said, the main part, that is used for its medicinal qualities, is the flower of the cannabis plant, making the annual show an ideal place to share information about the plant's medicinal benefits.

"Marijuana is a gorgeous flower," he said. "And, this is a show celebrating flowers."

According to Goldstein, similar marijuana-friendly booths have appeared at farm shows throughout the state in the past and, it has never been a cause for concern.

In fact, he said, as an issue that can boast a healthy amount of support from the public, medical marijuana is something he believes the public would have enjoyed learning more about.

And, Goldstein said, there's likely no better place for people to learn facts about cannabis than at the flower show.

"Quite simply, this is a plant," he said. "Cannabis deserves its place as a beautiful plant and it should share a place among the wonderful plants at the flower show."

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Growin down undah

Senate passes medicinal cannabis legislation

Australia-KangarooMedicinal cannabis will be legally grown in Australia, with changes passed to create a national licensing scheme for growers.

The changes to the Narcotic Drugs Act, which passed the Senate on Wednesday, create a national body that can issue licences to growers and regulate local crops of medicinal marijuana.

The many advocates who have fought long and hard to challenge the stigma around medicinal cannabis products so genuine patients are no longer treated as criminals.
Health Minister Sussan Ley

The drug remains a "prohibited substance" under the poisons schedule. But Health Minister Sussan Ley said the Department of Health and the Therapeutic Goods Administration were "well-advanced" in considering downgrading it to a "controlled substance" class, putting it in the same category as morphine.
The federal government says patients will be able to access locally-produced medicinal cannabis with a valid ...

The federal government says patients will be able to access locally-produced medicinal cannabis with a valid prescription under the scheme. Photo: Uriel Sinai

"This will in turn reduce any barriers to access, no matter what state a patient lives in," she said.

Ms Ley said that patients would be able to access locally-produced medicinal cannabis with a valid prescription under the scheme.

It was previously illegal to grow and import most medicinal cannabis products, leading some patients to buy them from the black market and run the risk of being prosecuted for drug use and possession.

"This is an historic day for Australia and the many advocates who have fought long and hard to challenge the stigma around medicinal cannabis products so genuine patients are no longer treated as criminals," she said.

Advocates have said that regulating medicinal cannabis for certain health conditions will pave the way for a safe, sustainable local industry and allow more research to be done on the quality of different products.

A handful of Australian companies have been preparing to import medicinal marijuana cuttings from overseas and searching for potential sites to plant crops in anticipation of the changes.

AusCann chairman and former Liberal MP Mal Washer said the Therapeutic Goods Administration still had to determine the types of medicinal marijuana that could legally be grown and manufactured. But he said the group could start growing the product within a month of this decision.

Listed company MGC Pharmaceuticals executive chairman Brett Mitchell said the Australian market for medicinal marijuana was worth billions of dollars, and the local climate was ideal for growing the plant.

"It's really fast-tracked our strategic planning of starting our operations in Australia. We didn't think it would move this quickly."

He said cannabidiol would be highly sought after to help treat severe epilepsy and nausea following chemotherapy. This had strong anti-nausea and anti-inflammatory properties.

Lucy Haslam, who has led the campaign to legalise medicinal cannabis, estimated that hundreds of thousands of Australians bought the drug on the black market to treat conditions such as paediatric epilepsy. She said the prosecution risk they faced added to the "enormous burden" associated with such life-threatening conditions.

Wednesday was also the anniversary of the death of her son Dan, who publicly revealed he was using the drug to relieve the nausea and vomiting he experienced as he underwent chemotherapy, and campaigned alongside her.

Ms Haslam said: "He would really be at peace today. He didn't want to die...but it would give him peace to know this is going to help so many Australians. I think he'd be proud."

Greens leader Richard Di Natale said the changes were an "important first step" to legalising medicinal marijuana. More work was needed to deal with how doctors would prescribe the drug and how it would be distributed, he said.

Senator Di Natale dropped his attempt to pass a separate law - co-sponsored by Labor and Liberal senators - to establish a regulator that would oversee growth, manufacture and distribution, but said: "If we don't see the drug make its way to pharmacies and to doctors, we will look at reintroducing legislation that does that."

Read more:
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Double standards

Standing Room Only At Cannabis Club Hearing

colorado springs hearingIt was standing room only at a public meeting to discuss the fate of cannabis clubs in Colorado Springs.

The pro-pot crowd stood united Tuesday night, applauding long and loudly for every speaker among their ranks who addressed city council. Our partners at The Gazette noted that the sustained, thunderous applause eventually frightened a service dog who had accompanied its owner to the meeting.

City council is gearing up to vote on whether or not to ban cannabis clubs in the city. Many of those who attended Tuesday's meeting implored city council to give marijuana users a place to go.

"I'm a recovering alcoholic," one person said. "[I] don't want to go to bars to be in a social setting, I want to go to cannabis clubs and smoke pot safely in safe environment."

"My landlord won't let me smoke inside. Y'all won't let me smoke outside. In order to smoke cannabis legally, what do you recommend I do if you ban these clubs? I came from Afghanistan with PTSD. I fought for that flag right there in that corner, and I did it in the name of freedom. All I'm asking for is freedom now," said Jonathan Doezier.

Doug Brown, who lives on Bijou Street, countered that he'd called police nearly two dozen times since June because of the cannabis clubs near his home.

The complaints he listed--fighting and public disruptions--sounded like they were coming from the bars near his home, not the cannabis clubs, several in the crowd fired back.

Another at the meeting, Paul Seeling, suggested Springs residents were feeling buyers remorse over legalizing pot more than three years ago.

"Do we want to be a city of virtue? Or do we want to be a city of vice? There is a medical use of marijuana; I do not dispute that at all. The people of Colorado Springs in recent polls have said, 'I think we might have made a mistake.'"

Our partners at The Gazette note that this was the moment that sent the meeting into chaos.

"What polls?" shouted pro-pot protesters from the back of the room. "What polls?"

"The problem is," Seeling continued, "we can't control it because it has too lucrative a pull from the undercurrent of our society."

"Point of order! Point of order!" another man shouted.

Councilman Don Knight had to quiet the crowd.

Knight says he's in favor of banning cannabis clubs because residents like Brown don't have a say over whether or not the clubs are built in their neighborhoods.

"If we do vote to ban it, no one would be allowed to open a new club," Knight said, adding that existing clubs would be grandfathered in--though for how long would be up for another vote down the road.

"If we elect not to ban [cannabis clubs], then we will vote on what zones they are going to be allowed in...from our planning staff, we are saying our industrial zones."

Jason Warf, the executive director of Southern Colorado Cannabis Council, said the clubs have a place in the community.

"The biggest benefit to the community is safety...they do offer that place for tourists and for people who can't smoke cannabis in their place of dwelling. ... Our owners and our clubs don't see these places as a place for sales, but they are a business, a needed business."

The vote on the ban will be on March 8.

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Big win for patients in Canada

Medical marijuana patients can grow own cannabis, judge rules

Judge Michael Phelan struck down federal legislation introduced by the previous Conservative government that barred patients from growing their own plants and required them to buy from licenced producers.

VANCOUVER—A Federal Court judge has ruled that medical marijuana patients have the right to grow their own cannabis.

medical-marijuana-cerebal-palsyJudge Michael Phelan struck down federal legislation introduced by the previous Conservative government that barred patients from growing their own plants and required them to buy from licenced producers.

He is suspending the decision to strike down the law for six months, allowing the federal Liberal government time to create a new medical marijuana regime.

Phelan also extended the injunction that allowed people who held licences to grow their own marijuana to continue until a further court order.

The judge says in his ruling that the patients have demonstrated that marijuana can be produced safely, with limited risk to public safety and consistent with the promotion of public health.

The constitutional challenge was launched by four British Columbia residents who argued that the 2013 Marijuana for Medical Purposes legislation violated their charter rights.

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