Happy Friday afternoon everyone! And for those of you on the east coast, happy Friday evening. I hope happy hour is going fantastically whatever stage of celebrating the end of the work week you might be in at the moment. Imagine the day that happy hour includes a legal joint in some legal marijuana bar. Hey maybe some of you in San Francisco already know what we are talking about! If you do, we and all of our followers would love to hear what it is like to go smoke a joint in a marijuana lounge on a Friday! I am Todd Denkin with TNMNews.com and I am here to tell you all about what’s happening with weed on this Friday, August 17th, 2018. Let’s get started with the trending marijuana news.
Synthetic Marijuana endangers more lives
First off, this synthetic marijuana stuff is really dangerous. There were reports last year and earlier this year that a number of people in the Midwest were bleeding from their eyes and being rushed to the hospital after consuming synthetic marijuana like K2. The most recent news reported that 71 people overdosed on this synthetic crap just this past Wednesday in the Connecticut town of New Haven. While nobody has been reported to have died, officials did report that victims were vomiting, hallucinating, had shallow breathing and many had fallen entirely unconscious. Synthetic marijuana is not illegal and can be purchased in many convenience stores around the county. While the natural plant remains illegal, the copied compounds found in marijuana synthetically made by people does not fall under the Schedule 1 restrictions. Which, of course, makes zero sense. These companies producing things like K2 or Spice have been shutdown, but they simply rebrand it and resell it. The source of the K2 used by the New Haven victims has not been completely disclosed but arrests have been made. Nobody on record has ever died from an overdose on the actual marijuana plant.
Rate of Veteran suicides on the Rise and Weed for Warriors amplifies its message
Moving to some national news. The Department of Veteran Affairs released a report recently that shows that the rate of our military veterans committing suicide is on the rise. The report suggests that veterans are twice as likely to take their own lives than civilians. Military veterans, both men and women, come home with severe injuries that can leave them in chronic pain and suffering mentally. Even those that do not suffer a physical injury can still struggle reacclimating to life here at home and struggle with PTSD. Many become addicted to opioid-based drugs which compounds the problem even further. Cannabis advocates around the country have argued that cannabis can and does help veterans with chronic pain, PTSD and to simply get comfortable here at home again. Weed for Warriors is one such group out of Los Angeles that spreads awareness for how cannabis has helped them. Unfortunately, the VA healthcare system has done little to nothing to help veterans with medical marijuana. If anything, due to its Schedule 1 status, the VA have discouraged the use of cannabis. We can only hope that medical marijuana can do more for our veterans. Cannabis must be removed from the controlled substance list.
Trump’s Tariffs on China are Likely to Increase the Costs of Cannabis Vape Pens
So the trend towards the use of vape pens is still on the rise here in the U.S. People love its convenience and how inconspicuous it is, but prices might be going up on the vaping community soon. Trump’s 25% tariff on Chinese exports to the U.S. could cause a 15% increase in prices throughout the country on the batteries, cartridges and recharging chords. It may force dispensaries to start looking elsewhere for vaping suppliers. The new tariff is set to start next week and will impact states with medical marijuana laws that prohibit the smoking of marijuana like Florida, the most. Medical marijuana patients that have no choice but to use vaping products will be left with no other choice but to pay the added costs if they want to continue using their medication.
Florida Judge Decides Yet Another Aspect of Florida Medical Marijuana is Unconstitutional
Speaking of Florida, another judge has decided that yet another aspect of Florida’s medical marijuana laws are unconstitutional. Judge Charles Dobson has ruled that the cap on the amount of dispensaries, or medical marijuana treatment centers as they call them in Florida, does not abide by the amendment voters approved by 71% in 2016. He also ruled that forcing these treatment centers to be vertically integrated, which means that they grow, harvest and dispense their own cannabis, was never intended by the verbiage of the law. If his ruling stands it could mean that many more business could be licensed to participate in Florida’s medical marijuana program increasing the supply of medical cannabis to patients and the amount of medical marijuana stores that patients could walk into. It would also increase the amount of competition for medical cannabis possibly making the medicine more affordable in the future. Florida has already appealed a decision by another Florida judge that ruled the ban on smoking marijuana is not constitutional either. Florida lawmakers never built the medical marijuana program to follow the nature of the law and have faced harsh criticism. The Director of Florida’s Office of Medical Marijuana Use, Christian Bax, stepped down last week.
Ontario’s New Government Delays the Sale of Adult-Use Cannabis until April
We have kept our followers updated on the status of adult-use marijuana up in Canada ever since Justin Trudeau took office as Prime Minister. A little over a month ago Canada’s Senate passed the Cannabis Act making Canada the first G7 country to fully legalize marijuana and it is expected that the commercial sale of marijuana will start on October 17th. Since then, Ontario, the most populated province in Canada, replaced its entire government. The previous government, the Liberal Party, was set to have government run cannabis dispensaries start selling cannabis on time. But the new government, the Progressive Conservative Party, is going to have cannabis sold by privately owned companies and needs time to create new laws for distribution. You may remember Rob Ford, the former mayor of Toronto that was caught smoking crack on camera, well it is his brother, Doug Ford, that is the new premier of Ontario. Hopefully he can keep crack out of his decision making for the people of Ontario.
Well that’s it for this week everyone. Remember to follow us on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, our handle is @nationalMJnews. We would love to hear from you patrons of marijuana lounges in San Francisco too. Allow us to live vicariously through you. Until next week, this is Todd Denkin with TNMNews.com.