MJ News for 11/17/2014

7greeneyes

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http://www.komonews.com/news/local/States-first-marijuana-auction-brings-in-600000-282927021.html




(WA) State's first marijuana auction brings in $600,000




PROSSER, Wash. (AP) - Washington state's first marijuana auction brought in about $600,000.

Fireweed Farms of Prosser sold about 300 pounds of pot to state-licensed processors and retailers Saturday, the Tri-City Herald reported.

Bidding took place under a black tent fronted by tall heaters, and the event was monitored by at least two representatives of the Washington Liquor Control Board. Bidders could smell plastic bags of buds before offering a bid.

The marijuana was planted in May and harvested between late September and mid-October. Fireweed Farms owner Randy Williams had sold some of his marijuana to recreational processors earlier this year, but the auction represented the bulk of his harvest.

He said he held the auction to "get rid of it all quick" so he could spend time with his grandson instead of packaging marijuana. The harvested and dried marijuana was priced by the gram and auctioned by the strain in lots ranging from about half a pound to five pounds.

Williams said he planned to donate proceeds from three lots, totaling $14,000, to local schools.

Lt. Jeremy Wissing, an officer with the state Liquor Control Board who monitored a portion of Saturday's auction, said it appeared to be well run.

"I'm seeing a well-organized event," Wissing said outside the Fireweed Farms grow area. "It isn't a circus. I'm not seeing open consumption of marijuana."

Williams initially hoped to make $1 million through the marijuana fire sale, but said during the auction that he'd be happy with $600,000 or $700,000.

The purchased marijuana was to remain under video-monitored quarantine at Fireweed Farms overnight Saturday, Wissing said. Buyers could either retrieve their marijuana Sunday or arrange for it to be delivered to their business by Williams.

Although Saturday's auction was the state's first, Wissing doesn't expect it to be the last.

"It's just a different way of moving his product," Wissing said.

Interest in the marijuana auction was so intense that Williams commissioned the use of a parking lot across the street from his property to accommodate the visitors.

Buyers were provided with a detailed list of strains and lot sizes that provided a complete potency profile, labeling requirements and the date the batch was tested by Confidence Analytics, a state-certified laboratory. The auction attracted about three dozen potential buyers from across the state.

Nazareth Victoria, a 50-year-old licensed marijuana processor from Seattle, left empty-handed. He came because he was interested in seeing what was available, but ultimately wasn't sure about the quality, he said.

"I was just interested in the whole process," Victoria said. "To me, smoking the product is the ultimate test to tell you the quality."

Sampling the product was strictly forbidden Saturday.

"This is a controlled business environment," Wissing said.
 

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http://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/17/u...-premarket-approval-for-edible-marijuana.html





Colorado Health Department to Recommend ‘Premarket Approval’ for Edible Marijuana





DENVER — Worried that edible marijuana sweets are too attractive to children, Colorado health authorities plan to ask on Monday for a new panel to decide which marijuana foods and drinks look too much like regular snacks.

A Health Department recommendation, obtained by The Associated Press in advance of a final meeting Monday on edible marijuana regulations, suggests a new state commission give “premarket approval” before food or drinks containing pot can be sold.

The recommendation comes a month after the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment suggested banning the sale of most kinds of edible pot. That suggestion was quickly retracted after it went public.

Marijuana-infused foods and drinks have been a booming sector in Colorado’s new recreational marijuana market.

But lawmakers feared the products are too easy to confuse with regular foods and drinks and ordered marijuana regulators to require a new look for marijuana edibles.

“The department remains concerned that there are products on the market that so closely resemble children’s candy that it can entice children to experiment with marijuana. Marijuana should not seem ‘fun’ for kids,” the agency wrote in its recommendation.

The ultimate decision on how to change Colorado’s edibles market will be made by state lawmakers in 2015.

The state’s Marijuana Enforcement Division is holding work groups with industry representatives, law enforcement and health officials and parent groups to come up with a group recommendation to lawmakers. The final work group meets on Monday.

A Health Department spokesman did not respond to a request for comment on the revised suggestion, which has not been made public formally.

Edible-pot makers were upset at the suggestion, saying it runs afoul of a voter-approved constitutional amendment that guarantees access to retail marijuana in all its forms.

State regulations limit potency, serving size and packaging, but there are no regulations on what kinds of foods may contain pot. Edible-pot manufacturers say that limitation would go too far.

“We’re governed to death, and people need to take responsibility for themselves,” said Elyse Gordon, owner of Better Baked, a Denver company that makes edible pot products including teas, energy bars and candies.

“I don’t think anyone in the industry is looking to make products for children, and we resent this idea that people aren’t responsible for the products they bring into their home.”

Also coming out from the Health Department Monday is a highly anticipated statement about marijuana use by pregnant women and nursing mothers.

The agency was directed by the Legislature to review the health effects of maternal marijuana use.
 

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http://www.cbsnews.com/news/hazards-of-secondhand-marijuana-smoke/





Hazards of secondhand marijuana smoke





That whiff of pot that drifts your way at a rock concert or outdoor event could damage your heart and blood vessels as much as secondhand cigarette smoke does, preliminary research suggests.

Blood vessel function in laboratory rats dropped by 70 percent after a half-hour of exposure to secondhand marijuana smoke -- similar to results found with secondhand tobacco smoke, researchers from the University of California, San Francisco reported Sunday.

Reduced blood vessel function can increase a person's risk of developing hardened arteries, which could lead to a heart attack.

"Smoke is smoke. Both tobacco and marijuana smoke impair blood vessel function similarly," said study senior author Matthew Springer, a cardiovascular researcher and associate professor of medicine in the university's cardiology division. "People should avoid both, and governments who are protecting people against secondhand smoke exposure should include marijuana in those rules."

The safety of marijuana has become a growing public health concern as more states move toward legalization of the drug. Twenty-three states and Washington, D.C., have approved cannabis for medical use. And voters in four states -- Alaska, Colorado, Oregon and Washington, along with the District of Columbia -- have legalized the sale and possession of marijuana for recreational use.

"Marijuana for a long time was viewed as a relatively innocuous drug, but a lot of that came from a lack of information," said Dr. Stephen Thornton, a toxicologist and medical director of the Poison Control Center at the University of Kansas Hospital. "Now, as more and more people are using it, we're finding more and more detrimental effects. People just need to be cautious."

Secondhand tobacco smoke causes an estimated 34,000 premature deaths from heart disease each year in the United States among nonsmokers, according to the U.S. Surgeon General's 2014 report on the consequences of smoking.

Even advocates for marijuana's legalization acknowledge that secondhand marijuana smoke can be detrimental to health.

"The amount of second-hand smoke used in this experiment is probably well beyond what most people would endure in a casual setting. But repeated exposures are likely to take a toll," said Mitch Earleywine, a psychology professor at the State University of New York at Albany and chairman of NORML, a non-profit that works for the legalization of marijuana.

"We consistently encourage all cannabis users to consider vaporizers instead of smoking implements. Anyone hanging around cannabis users should certainly avoid smoke-filled rooms and encourage all their friends to vaporize rather than smoke," Earleywine added.

Colorado wants most edible marijuana banned
Springer, who was scheduled to present his findings Sunday in Chicago at the American Heart Association's annual meeting, said he came up with the idea for his study at a Paul McCartney concert.

"We were already studying the effect of secondhand tobacco smoke on vascular function, and in the middle of the concert, a bunch of people started lighting up," Springer said. "My first instinct was to say they can't do that here. But then I realized it was marijuana.

"I think if people started lighting cigarettes in the middle of a stadium, people would tell them to stop. But because they were smoking marijuana, it was OK," he continued.

For the study, researchers used a modified cigarette smoking machine to expose rats to marijuana smoke. A high-resolution ultrasound device measured how well the main leg artery functioned, and researchers recorded blood vessel dilation before smoke exposure and 10 minutes and 40 minutes after smoke exposure.

Marijuana smoke provoked even bigger effects than tobacco smoke had in previous lab studies, the researchers found.

Rats in previous tobacco studies tended to regain normal blood vessel function within 30 minutes of exposure. But in the marijuana study, blood vessel function hadn't returned to normal when measured 40 minutes after exposure.

The rats suffered the same effects even if the marijuana contained no THC, the compound that causes intoxication, a finding consistent with tobacco studies that found nicotine is not required for cigarette smoke to interfere with blood vessel function.

"Tobacco smoke and marijuana smoke both contain thousands of chemicals, many of which are toxic," Springer said. Burning tobacco produces more than 7,000 chemicals, including hundreds that are toxic and 70 that are linked to cancer, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Springer recommended that governments that have made some indoor or outdoor areas smoke-free go back to see if the laws specifically cite tobacco use, or if they would apply to marijuana smoke as well. "Some of these laws might be written very narrowly," he said.

Because the study findings were presented at a medical meeting they should be viewed as preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal.
 

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http://www.cnbc.com/id/102186623






Solving marijuana's banking problem





One of the main struggles marijuana entrepreneurs face is funding. The fact that businesses are selling a drug that's deemed illegal under federal rules makes financial institutions wary of cannabis start-ups.

But at the Marijuana Business Conference and Expo in Las Vegas last week, both traditional banks and private equity firms were warming up to the funding idea, thanks to a midterm election cycle that legalized recreational use in Alaska, Oregon and Washington, D.C. It was a sign of shifting public perception of the industry.

Tripp Keber, CEO of Denver-based Dixie Elixirs, a cannabis-infused edibles company, says accessing financial services is the industry's biggest challenge and opportunity.

"Even in a state where [recreational cannabis] is regulated like Colorado or Washington ... most businesses do not have access to traditional banking," Keber said. "I do ultimately think that states will work with the federal government to ensure businesses like mine have banking like you would in any other industry."

First Security Bank of Nevada is among the first financial institutions to step into the cannabis industry.

The bank is beginning to establish relationships with marijuana businesses under tight regulatory scrutiny within Nevada. John Sullivan, First Security's president and chief executive, says it has opened accounts for about 80 marijuana-related businesses. "The applicants hold approximately $35 million in deposits at present," Sullivan said.

The federal government wants banks to work with these businesses, says Sullivan, because it's safer in the long run.

"The government desires that the marijuana industry operate within the banking system so that all activities are transparent," Sullivan said. "As a small community bank, there are benefits to providing services to the industry ... in the form of new deposits as well as opening doors to other businesses and services."
venue, jobs

Private equity is also entering the cannabis industry.

Privateer Holdings in Seattle is at the forefront of investing in cannabis. The private equity firm has risked capital on the cannabis industry. And it has more than 40 investors, and has raised more than $50 million to date.


One of the main struggles marijuana entrepreneurs face is funding. The fact that businesses are selling a drug that's deemed illegal under federal rules makes financial institutions wary of cannabis start-ups.

But at the Marijuana Business Conference and Expo in Las Vegas last week, both traditional banks and private equity firms were warming up to the funding idea, thanks to a midterm election cycle that legalized recreational use in Alaska, Oregon and Washington, D.C. It was a sign of shifting public perception of the industry.

Read MoreSearching for the Ben & Jerry's of the cannabis industry

Tripp Keber, CEO of Denver-based Dixie Elixirs, a cannabis-infused edibles company, says accessing financial services is the industry's biggest challenge and opportunity.

"Even in a state where [recreational cannabis] is regulated like Colorado or Washington ... most businesses do not have access to traditional banking," Keber said. "I do ultimately think that states will work with the federal government to ensure businesses like mine have banking like you would in any other industry."

First Security Bank of Nevada is among the first financial institutions to step into the cannabis industry.

The bank is beginning to establish relationships with marijuana businesses under tight regulatory scrutiny within Nevada. John Sullivan, First Security's president and chief executive, says it has opened accounts for about 80 marijuana-related businesses. "The applicants hold approximately $35 million in deposits at present," Sullivan said.

The federal government wants banks to work with these businesses, says Sullivan, because it's safer in the long run.

"The government desires that the marijuana industry operate within the banking system so that all activities are transparent," Sullivan said. "As a small community bank, there are benefits to providing services to the industry ... in the form of new deposits as well as opening doors to other businesses and services."

Read MoreAs marijuana measures pass, states hope for revenue, jobs
Private equity is also entering the cannabis industry.

Privateer Holdings in Seattle is at the forefront of investing in cannabis. The private equity firm has risked capital on the cannabis industry. And it has more than 40 investors, and has raised more than $50 million to date.


The one catch? Privateer Holdings doesn't invest in any American companies that touch the product because cannabis is not yet federally legal, says Brendan Kennedy, the firm's founder.

"We're waiting for further clarification from the federal government in the U.S.," Kennedy said. "The disparity between state and federal laws has given us a lot of concern."

Privateer Holdings' only U.S. acquisition thus far is Leafly, a company that operates like a Yelp of the cannabis world. The site allows users to rate cannabis products. Leafly helps users find the right strain for patients, and also serves as an information hub for consumers and patients.

Seattle-based Leafly today has 30 employees, and does about $1 million a month in revenue, Kennedy says. Last month, 4 million people visited the site.

As more states begin to legalize cannabis, Kennedy says the hope is federal legislation will become a reality, opening the doors for Privateer Holdings to expand investments.

The marijuana sector overall is forecast to grow further.

America's legal wholesale and retail cannabis industry reached $1.5 billion in 2013, according to the ArcView Group, which invests in cannabis businesses and collects related data. The sector is forecast to grow to $2.6 billion by year-end, and to $10.2 billion by 2018.
 

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http://www.huffingtonpost.com/russ-belville/district-attorney-who-opp_b_6161346.html





District Attorney Who Opposed Oregon Legalization In Charge Of Implementing Marijuana Regulations




Measure 91 to legalize marijuana passed with 55.9% of the votes in Oregon. Now the task of implementing the regulations falls to the Oregon Liquor Control Commission, whose chair, Rob Patridge, pledged to "make this measure work Oregon's way" the day after the election.

But chairman of the OLCC isn't Patridge's only job. He's also the district attorney of Klamath County, where Measure 91 was opposed by 56 percent of the voters, including, presumably, Rob Patridge.

As part of my investigation into the Kevin Sabet Oregon Marijuana "Education" Tour, I uncovered emails from five counties' district attorney's offices, though, sadly, that did not include Klamath County. But it did include the Oregon District Attorneys listserve, where, on August 18, the Benton and Wasco County DAs voiced their opposition and the Crook County district attorney, Daina Vitolins, explained how she told the Bend Bulletin newspaper that "I told him ODAA had voted but that did not necessarily mean EVERY SINGLE DA opposed 91. I declined to tell him names or numbers but said the organization as a whole chose to oppose 91."

The Bulletin ended up reporting that the opposition to Measure 91 "consists mainly of the state's district attorneys and the state's sheriffs' association." The paper further commented, "The Bulletin asked the state's 36 district attorneys where they stand on Measure 91, and the group was unanimously against it, though they weren't lockstep in their reasons for opposing it. The district attorneys from Josephine, Union and Malheur counties didn't respond to the question."

In addition to being opposed to the measure he's now tasked with implementing, Rob Patridge lacks the fundamental understanding of both the science of cannabis use and the language of Measure 91. As a Southern Oregon TV station KTVL reported, Patridge opposed Measure 91 in part for its lack of an unscientific DUID standard. "Just like .08 is there for alcohol, that is not included in this particular measure," said Patridge, revealing his ignorance of how marijuana has no reliable equivalent to the 0.08 BAC used to determine alcohol impairment.

Patridge was also upset that there weren't any limits on licensing written into Measure 91. "You can be a producer, a distributor and a wholesaler and sell, so you can ... hold all four licenses," said Patridge, without any hint of the irony that he runs a commission that applies those same licensing procedures to alcohol - Measure 91 copied that language from the existing liquor laws Patridge's OLCC enforces.

Earlier in the year, Patridge was explaining to a Salem, Oregon TV station KDRV that he and the OLCC aren't competent to do the job. "We lack the training; we lack the testing that may have to go hand-in-hand with this. We lack, frankly some of the legal obligations that would have to go with this," said Patridge.

In a sit-down interview with The Oregonian in Portland shortly after the election, Patridge gave some insight on where he believes the legislature should step in to modify Measure 91. "We don't need excessive regulation," said Patridge. "By the same token, our goal is to protect public safety so we don't make edibles attractive to kids and we don't do things that other states have stumbled with because of the rapid nature of how they have had to" implement laws legalizing marijuana.

How will Oregon regulate edibles? How will the medical marijuana program co-exist with the recreational laws? Should there be a limit on the number of marijuana licenses? "All of that is on the table right now," Patridge told The Oregonian. "I certainly think it would be better to look at all approaches and keep the door open."

Guiding the measure through the legislature will be long-time allies to the state's medical marijuana lobbyists, State Sen. Floyd Prozanski and State Rep. Peter Buckley. But judging from comments the two made in The Daily Astorian newspaper on the north coast, advocates for marijuana legalization may not be happy with the legislative outcomes.

Regarding those THC-infused edibles that were the focus of the No on Measure 91 campaign and a concern to OLCC Chair / Klamath DA Patridge, Sen. Prozanski told the Daily Astorian, "I think we need to have a discussion about what's going to be available at a retail level for sale and consumption, as opposed to what's available in the medical program." It might make sense to more strictly regulate the "shape and fashion" of edible marijuana products available for recreational use, so they do not appeal to children, as well as "some of the extremely high THC products," Prozanski said.

Does that mean medical marijuana dispensaries might carry multi-colored infused gummi bears, but rec shops would have to carry beige-colored flavorless infused gummi discs? Those kinds of decisions will be made with the final approval of the Klamath County DA who opposed marijuana legalization and told Portland's TV station KOIN the day after the election, "Protecting kids is very important. The edibles piece is usually important."

Other considerations by the legislature mentioned in the Daily Astorian include Sen. Prozanski's call to move the date when personal possession and cultivation becomes legal from July 1, 2015, to a sooner date, as well as expunging the records of those convicted of marijuana crimes that became legal with the passage of Measure 91. Rep. Buckley mentioned streamlining the regulation of medical marijuana growers and testing facilities that could serve as a blueprint for Measure 91 recreational regulations.

Rep. Buckley also brought up consideration of tightening the qualifications for the medical marijuana program for preventing recreational users and illegal growers from using the program as a tax dodge or a trafficking cover.

Lobbyists for the cities and counties in Oregon have an issue with the local ban provisions of Measure 91. It allows for cities and counties to vote to ban marijuana licensees only through a vote of the people that cannot happen until November 2016. Those lobbyists complain that licensure will begin in January 2016, so cities and counties may already have functioning pot licensees up and running before they get a chance to band them, possibly opening the banning jurisdiction to lawsuits for restraint of trade.

Unmentioned in the Daily Astorian story are the 49 cities in Oregon that pre-emptively passed local taxes on marijuana prior to Measure 91's passage. While the measure explicitly vests taxation power at the state level, explicitly forbids taxation at the local level, and explicitly repeals and supersedes already-passed taxes, my sources tell me there will be a major push at the legislature to get those taxes "grandfathered in" by legislation. Such a move would go expressly against the will of the people, especially in cities like Portland where the measure passed by over 70 percent.
 

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http://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/20...juana-cannabis-washington-dc-colorado-alaska/





Why California Wasn’t The First State To Legalize Recreational Marijuana



SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — In the election a few weeks ago, two more states and Washington, D.C. voted to legalize marijuana. The question is: why hasn’t California?

One might think that California would be the first to legalize recreational marijuana, but no. In what some people are calling the “marijuana midterm” election, Alaska, Oregon and Washington, D.C. joined Colorado and Washington State in legalizing recreational marijuana — that’s different from medical marijuana which is legal in California and in a number of states.

And where is California? After all, we were leading the way on this issue. In 1975, we reduced the penalty for small amounts of marijuana to a misdemeanor, then in 1996 voters made California the first state to legalize medical marijuana and just a few years ago, our elected officials further reduced the penalty for possession of an ounce or less to a civil infraction with no jail time.

But the question of whether to make recreational use legal brings up two questions: first, should we legalize it? And second, how should we legalize it?

On the first question, you may be surprised to learn that only a slim majority of likely voters in California wants to legalize marijuana at all. A recent poll by the Public Policy Institute of California shows that only 53 percent of likely voters said we should.

And even among people who do want to legalize marijuana, they still need to agree on what it would look like. What does it mean for public safety jobs where employees are drug tested? What it is the legal limit for intoxication?

What about the fact that its still illegal under federal law?

But now that other states have taken the plunge, it could be less complicated for California.

Governor Jerry Brown, who is against legalization, says he’s looking closely at how Colorado is doing to see if we should do something similar. In fact, the same group that played a major role in Colorado’s law, called the Marijuana Policy Project, has formed a committee to put a measure on California’s ballot in 2016.

It doesn’t need to be a ballot measure and the legislature could at any point pass the same law. But it’s still not a slam dunk. Just two years ago, there was an attempt to legalize marijuana here in California and it failed.

So, don’t look for your elected officials to stick their neck out on this issue where we’re so divided. If it’s going to happen anytime soon, it’s going to come from the voters.
 

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http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/a...lp-shrink-brain-aggressive-brain-tumours.html





How CANNABIS can treat cancer: Study finds compound in the plant can help shrink aggressive brain tumours





Cannabis can have a dramatic effect on aggressive forms of brain cancer, a new study shows.

The new research, conducted by specialists at St George's, University of London, studied the treatment of brain tumours in the laboratory.

It found the most effective treatment was to combine active chemical components of the cannabis plant, which are known as cannabinoids.

Two of these - called tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) - were tested as part of the research into brain cancer.

This is particularly difficult to treat and claims the lives of about 5,200 patients each year.

It also has a particularly poor prognosis as the rate of survival after five years of patients' diagnosis is around 10 per cent,
The new research is the first to show a drastic effect when combining THC and CBD with radiation.

Dr Wai Liu, Senior Research Fellow and lead researcher on the project, said:

'The results are extremely exciting.

'The tumours were treated in a variety of ways - either with no treatment, the cannabinoids alone, and radiation alone.

'Or, with both the cannabinoids and radiation at the same time.

'Those treated with both radiation and the cannabinoids saw the most beneficial results and a drastic reduction in size.

In some cases, the tumours effectively disappeared in the animals.

'The benefits of the cannabis plant elements were known before.

'But the drastic reduction of brain cancers - if used with radiation - is something new and may well prove promising for patients who are in gravely serious situations with such cancers in the future.'

Here, writing in The Conversation, Dr Lui describes his work in detail...

Widely proscribed around the world for its recreational uses, cannabis is being used in a number of different therapeutic ways to bring relief for severe medical conditions.

Products using cannabinoids, the active components of the cannabis plant, have been licensed for medical use.

Sativex, for example, which contains an equal mixture of the cannabinoids tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD), is already licenced as a mouth spray for multiple sclerosis.

In the US, dronabinol and nabilone are commercially available for treating cancer-related side effects.

Now, in a study published in the journal Molecular Cancer Therapeutics, we’ve also shown that cannabinoids could play a role in treating one of the most aggressive cancers in adults.

There are more than 85 cannabinoids, which are known to bind to unique receptors in cells and which receive outside chemical signals.

These receptors feed into signalling pathways, telling cells what to do. Recent studies have shown that some cannabinoids have potent anti-cancer action.

For example, both THC and CBD have been shown in a number of laboratory studies to effectively induce cell death in tumour cells by modifying the faulty signalling pathways inside these cells.

Depending on the cell type this can disrupt tumour growth or start to kill it.

The psychoactivity associated with some cannabinoids, principally THC (which gives people a cannabis high), is also mediated via the same receptors.

Because these receptors are found in the highest abundances in brain cells, it follows that brain tumours also rich in these receptors may respond best to cannabinoids.

We wanted to investigate the anti-cancer effects of Sativex in glioma cells.
High-grade glioma is an aggressive cancer, with very low long-term survival rates. Statistics show that just over a third (36 per cent) of adult patients in the UK with glioma live for at least a year, while the five-year survival rate is 10 per cent

CANNABIS AND CANCER: AN EXPERT'S VIEW

Dr Kat Arney, Cancer Research UK’s science communications manager, told MailOnline: 'We know that cannabinoids – the active chemicals found in cannabis – can have a range of different effects on cancer cells grown in the lab and animal tumours.

'But at the moment there isn’t good evidence from clinical trials to prove that they can safely and effectively treat cancer in patients.

'Despite this, we are aware that some cancer patients do choose to treat themselves with cannabis extracts.

'These stories can help researchers build a picture of whether these treatments are helping or not, although this is weak evidence compared to properly-run clinical trials.

'Cancer Research UK is supporting clinical trials for treating cancer with cannabis extract and a synthetic cannabinoid In order to gather solid data on how best these drugs can be used to benefit people with cancer.'

Depending on the individual, treatment can consist of surgery, radiotherapy, and/or chemotherapy with the drug temozolomide.

However, due primarily to the intricate localisation of the tumour in the brain and its invasive behaviour, these treatments remain largely unsuccessful.

However, as our study showed, combining radiotherapy with cannabinoid treatment had a big effect.

FINDING THE RIGHT DOSE

We first had to perform lab tests on cells to optimise the doses of the cannabinoids, and showed that CBD and THC combined favourably.

We found that to achieve a 50% kill rate of glioma cells, a dose of 14mM (millimolar – a measure of amount-of-substance concentration) of CBD or 19mM of THC would be needed if each was used singularly.

However, when used in combination, the concentrations required to achieve the same magnitude of cell kill is significantly reduced to just 7mM for each.

This apparent reduction in the doses of the cannabinoids, in particular THC, without a loss of overall anti-cancer action is particularly attractive as unwanted side effects are also reduced.

Once we had these results, we then tested the impact of combining the cannabinoids with radiation in mice with glioma.

The efficacy of this treatment was tracked using sophisticated MRI technology – and we determined the effects on tumour growth of either CBD and THC
together, radiation, or the combination of both.

The drugs were used at suboptimal doses to allow us to see if there was any improvement in the therapy from combining them.

The researchers, who saw some tumours effectively disappear, hailed the results as 'extremely exciting'

The researchers, who saw some tumours effectively disappear, hailed the results as 'extremely exciting'

BALANCING ANTI-CANCER WITH PSYCHOACTIVE

In principle, patients treated with THC could experience some psychoactive activity.

But the secret to successfully exploiting cannabinoids as a treatment for cancer is to balance the desired anti-cancer effects with the less desirable psychoactive effects.

This is possible, as some cannabinoids seem to function independently of the receptors and so do not engage the adverse effects. CBD is one such cannabinoid.

The doses of THC we selected were below the psychoactive level, but together with CBD it partnered well to give the best overall anti-cancer effect.

Our results showed that the dose of radiation we used had no dramatic effect on tumour growth, whereas CBD and THC administered together marginally reduced tumour progression.

However, combining the cannabinoids with radiation further impeded the rate at which tumour growth progressed and was virtually stagnant throughout the course of the treatment.

Correspondingly, tumour sizes on the final day of the study were significantly smaller in these subjects compared with any of the others.

The results are promising. There may be other applications but for now it could provide a way of breaking through glioma and saving more lives.
 

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http://www.oregonlive.com/marijuana/index.ssf/2014/11/high_times_says_it_will_hold_c.html




High Times Cannabis Cup will be held in Portland in July, organizers say





The world’s largest celebration of marijuana is held annually in pot-friendly cities, like Amsterdam and Denver, where crowds flock to sample the hottest new strains.

This year, the High Times Cannabis Cup, considered the industry’s premiere pot event, will add a new location to its schedule: Portland.

Dan Skye, editor in chief of High Times, called the Pacific Northwest a “hot bed for marijuana” and said Cannabis Cup organizers have long eyed Portland as a potential site. The vote to legalize marijuana in Oregon earlier this month prompted the magazine to move ahead with plans to hold the event here.

The Oregon Cannabis Cup is scheduled for July, though the dates and location haven’t been announced. Changes to the state’s marijuana possession and cultivation laws take effect July 1.

“Oregon has a long history of marijuana,” Skye told The Oregonian. “It’s got generations of (marijuana) growers and great genetics. We are very, very pleased that Oregon has finally turned the page.”

The High Times Cannabis Cup, now in its 27th year, is the largest event of its kind, typically featuring well-known musical guests and vendors of pot products and marijuana-centric businesses. The Denver event drew a crowd of 40,000 people last year, making it the most well attended Cannabis Cup in history.

Pot, of course, is the main draw. Growers showcase their best stuff, hoping to snag an award that can confer celebrity status on their strain.

“Say you own a dispensary and you have a winning Cannabis Cup strain and you win, everyone wants to come and try out that strain,” Skye said.

If all goes well, said Skye, he hopes to make Portland a regular Cannabis Cup stop.

Skye said organizers haven’t yet selected a venue for the event, which allows consumption on site. He’s not personally involved with that process but said he doesn’t anticipate a problem finding a space.

Dru West, a medical marijuana grower in Bend, said having the High Times event puts a spotlight on the state’s marijuana culture. News that the Cannabis Cup will be held in Portland spread quickly through the state’s cannabis community, he said.

“People are really stoked,” he said.
 

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http://www.mainstreet.com/article/w...eterans-denied-pain-meds-if-they-use-cannabis





Widespread Reports Surface of Veterans Denied Pain Meds if They Use Cannabis





NEW YORK (MainStreet) - Despite major marijuana reform afoot post 2014 midterms, one group of traditional users continues to suffer although increasingly not in silence.

Veterans of the nation's wars from Vietnam forward have long found refuge in the wonders of medicinal marijuana for a host of both combat and stress related conditions including traumatic brain injury (TBI) and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). These two intractable, complicated, physical conditions, which often exacerbate the psychological impact of war, are known as the "signature wounds" of the recent wars in both Iraq and Afghanistan. The impact is lifelong and highly debilitating. It is estimated that as much as 50% of the nation's vets suffer chronic pain. Six veterans a day commit suicide.


That said, veterans are also the demographic hardest hit by the slow pace of forward reform on particularly the medical cannabis front and as a result are beginning to speak out across the country. Veterans, unlike almost any other population, are bound by federal law at all points in their recovery and reintegration process and in some cases, for the rest of their lives. Testing positive for cannabis, even for those legally registered in state programs, can negatively affect veterans' health care benefits, student loans, jobs and even health benefits that many use to reintegrate more smoothly back into civilian life. Furthermore, even in states where medical marijuana is legal, VA doctors have frequently forced patients to choose between opiates and cannabis.

In 2011, the VA issued a directive stating that veterans who use state marijuana programs to help deal with pain management cannot lose their benefits and it is up to doctors and patients to craft an individualized treatment plan.

Three years later, the results are less than ideal. A study published in the highly respected JAMA Internal Medicine Journal recently reported that "people already taking opioids for pain may supplement with medical marijuana and be able to lower their painkiller dose, thus lowering their risk of overdose." The study was written by a researcher at the Philadelphia Veterans Affairs Medical Center and also found that "medical cannabis laws are associated with significantly lower state-level opioid overdose mortality rates."

No matter. Veterans still find access to cannabis, particularly in consultation with a doctor, brings tremendous negative impact if not at minimum, severe stress.

Scott Murphy, the youthful founder of Veterans for Safe Access and Compassionate Care explains it this way: "It is unclear how widespread the problem is, but it again shows the lack of professional management of the VHA system as a whole. VA doctors are not getting the basic education they need for cannabis, and because of that, veterans are not receiving the high quality healthcare they earned. The impact of the federal intolerance for veterans can be the difference between life and death, recovery or relapse.

Many veterans are forced to choose between their health and the wellbeing of their family. If they lose their job because of using medical cannabis or lose housing their family also suffers."

Murphy, a combat vet, speaks passionately about the issue in his home state of Massachusetts; on Capitol Hill, where he frequently lobbies Congress on vets' issues; and to groups who invite him to speak.

"These are the same men and women who were willing to give their lives for their country," he says. "And their country does not have the decency to allow them to recover from deep emotional war wounds or physical aliments. Veterans who rely on opiates for pain management that have safe legal access denied are forced into the black market."

What makes this situation so much worse is that even VA doctors, despite issuance of federal guidelines on the same, frequently are afraid to prescribe or actively steer their patients away from medical marijuana. Military doctors serving vets, much like doctors who served the LGBT community during the AIDS crisis, are particularly vulnerable to professional if not unofficial federal government pressure to do the same.

"Freedom of speech is not the freedom to talk to a wall but the freedom to have a conversation," Murphy. "If doctors are denied the freedom of speech then veterans lose the freedom to listen."

As a result, Murphy says, "Veterans lose confidence and respect for their doctor, the policy makers and the medical system as a whole."

Families suffer, of course, because their loved ones are denied an option and a choice that may or may not work for their condition.

"Politics has no business in the doctor-patient relationship," he says. "In the veterans' community, doctors are viewed as spies of the state out to deny veterans their benefits."

In the next two years, it is very likely that this demographic will turn into a powerful force for reform, particularly on the topic of rescheduling or descheduling what is now a drug that the federal government claims has no medical efficacy as a Schedule I.

And in the meantime, full time advocates who know well of what they speak are determined to bring this long and festering issue to public attention. Many of them, like Murphy, can also prove that their lives post integration have been profoundly changed, and in many positive ways, by having the right to legally access and integrate medical marijuana into holistic healthcare plans designed for the full health of the vet.

And as a result, their voices, so long suppressed, are increasingly finding ways to change a system, long reluctant to change.
 
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