Hey there everyone, this is Todd Denkin coming to you on this beautiful summer day, July 6th, 2018. Let’s get you up-to-date on what has been happening over the past week in cannabis news.
Russia is Condemning Canada’s Decision to Legalize Marijuana. That is right folks, surprise surprise Vladimir Putin does not like weed, talk about being cannabinoid deficient. Russia’s Foreign Ministry sent a letter to the United Nations stating, “We expect Canada’s partners in the G7 to respond to [Canada’s] ‘high-handedness’ because this alliance has repeatedly declared its adherence to the domination of international law in relations between states.” It’s funny they threw in the ‘high handedness’ pun, absolutely no one can help themselves from weed puns apparently. Canada’s Senate passed the Cannabis Act on June 19th, making Canada the first G7 country to legalize marijuana nationally. The United Nations has also been questioning the validity of having marijuana listed as a Schedule 1 substance.
Massachusetts False Started on Cannabis Legalization. You know, living here in Las Vegas and watching our city and the rest of Nevada work diligently to meet its July 1st, 2017 start date for adult-use cannabis set expectations for consumers and provided a strong example for other states. Apparently, Massachusetts did not get that memo though. The July 1st, 2018 deadline came and went for the Bay State but still no adults can access recreational marijuana. Two licenses have been issued to dispensaries in Massachusetts but they still need more permits and they need an adult-use lab testing facility as well. So far only one lab testing facility has even begun filling out the application according to local news. Massachusetts will be the first east coast state to sell adult-use cannabis and strong demand is expected in the most heavily populated region of the country. When we called Sira Naturals and Cultivate, the two dispensaries that have actually won licenses, their automated messages told us that we could expect recreational marijuana sometime later this year.
Florida Medical Marijuana is Expensive. So, based off of our team’s calculations, it costs the average Florida medical marijuana patient $2,600 a year to benefit from medical cannabis. Patients must pay $75 to the state of Florida each year and will also have to pay a certified medical marijuana practitioner at least $300 a year for 2 annual visits at a doctor’s office that is not likely to be nearby. Nearly all medical cannabis products are some sort of vape oil which requires the purchase of a battery for at least $25, and the oil itself, for let’s say a 600 milligram cartridge, will cost about $75. If the average consumer goes through about 2 of those cartridges a month plus you throw in a delivery fee since nearly all dispensaries are located in the least populated areas of Florida, that is running the average medical marijuana patient about $200/month. You can do the math to see if the costs for medical marijuana are reasonable. Now, I also have to comment that medical marijuana flower should become available in Florida sometime later this year, which should lower costs since extracts are much more expensive to produce, but we will have to wait and see. Read our full article at TNMNews.com and please let us know about medical marijuana costs in your state and whether you think they are reasonable.
The FDA Rejected the Drug Watch International Petition to have Cannabis and their Derivatives Placed on a Restricted List. Drug Watch International is a large group lobbying to stop the advancement of marijuana legalization around the country. The group petitioned the Food and Drug Administration to put cannabis and all of its derivatives on a restricted list for substances that are not, “generally recognized as safe and effective.” Thankfully, the FDA said no. Janet Woodcock is the the director of the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and research and she wrote back to the anti-marijuana group that it is, “not necessary for the protection of public health.” While the FDA’s decision does nothing to provide consumers with more access to cannabis, it does suggest that the federal government is not looking to go out of its way to interfere with the marijuana legalization movement.
That’s it for this week. I hope everyone’s enjoying their summer so far and we will back with you next week to make sure you stay informed about all things cannabis. Follow us here on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Have a great weekend everybody! This is Todd Denkin with TNMNews.com.