Canada: Want future job security? Take a college course on cannabis

Canada is legalizing recreational cannabis for adult use on October 17, so now would be the time to take a college course on cannabis.

With Canadian cannabis businesses offering sky-high wages in exchange for expertise, many are now looking for a reliable way to break into the industry. Prospective cannabis industry workers—and the businesses doing the hiring themselves—are now looking for academia to provide that bridge. Canada is preparing to officially legalize recreational cannabis for adult use on October 17. With the cannabis industry booming, businesses have begun teaming up with universities to expedite the implementation of college and university cannabis courses.

The cannabis company Sunniva, one of Canada’s licensed producers under the newly legal recreational cannabis legislation, has already partnered with Okanagan College in British Columbia.

The college recently created an advisory board in order to consult with legal cannabis companies like Sunniva directly, as to better inform their courses that train students to work in the cannabis industry. The courses offered to students range from programs on investment and trading, business, to cultivation and more.

While courses are often developed with governmental input, the cannabis industry is simply moving too fast. And as a new industry, cannabis businesses themselves are more experienced and can offer practical guidance. As thousands of new job opportunities crop up as a result of legalization, colleges need a way to keep up with the industry.

Cannabis companies are partnering with colleges1 Want Future Job Security? Take a College Course on Cannabis

This also stands to benefit both students who are looking for work within the cannabis industry and businesses that are seeking professionals to hire. As the CEO of Sunniva, Dr. Tony Holler, says in the Financial Post, cannabis businesses are currently forced to hire and train inexperienced employees themselves, which is both expensive and time-consuming.

Durham College in Ontario is also already offering a two-day course for business graduates to learn about medical cannabis, and this fall is rolling out a new specialization program in partnership with a subsidiary of Emblem Corp, a Canadian licensed cannabis producer. This program includes six courses, some of which require students to be at least 19 years old.

The Ontario college has also partnered with software company Ample Organics Inc, lab testing company Molecular Science Corp, recruitment company Cannabis at Work, and the publication CannaInvestor Magazine.

Niagara College is also now offering its own graduate certificate program for students who want to learn cannabis production, which was designed with the help of multiple licensed producers.

While this type of arrangement between cannabis companies and colleges is novel, so is the cannabis industry itself and the university courses needed to help it thrive.

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Border Patrol agents prepare for legalization of recreational marijuana in Canada

Recreational marijuana will be legal in Canada starting Oct. 17.

Border Patrol agents say they are ready for heavier traffic, which can impact anyone going to Canada.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection Chief Officer Aaron Bowen warns anyone that may try to sneak weed back into the U.S. will face anything from a fine to a zero-tolerance policy.

“A smell is obviously going to alert an officer and probably going to get you a secondary exam because we want to make sure the actual marijuana isn’t in the vehicle,” Bowen says.

Medical marijuana will also be seized at the border.

Anyone who gets caught could be arrested and fined $500.

Agents urge people planning to use marijuana in Canada to spend the night or have a designated driver.

Is psilocybin next for drug reformers after cannabis legalization?

Congressman Beto O’Rourke (D-TX), a U.S. Senate candidate, delivered fired up comments about marijuana, Botham Jean’s killing by police and the racially discriminatory drug war.

Activists in Denver, Colorado and Oregon took steps this month toward qualifying ballot measures allowing psilocybin use.

California Gov. Jerry Brown (D), who has a history of saying mean-spirited and inaccurate things about people who use cannabis, took a dig at marijuana consumers in an unrelated comment about fighting back against climate change.

  • “We either do nothing and smoke marijuana because it’s legalized, or we put our shoulder to the plow and do everything we can.”


The Trump administration is organizing a drug policy event outside of this month’s United Nations General Assembly, according to leaked documents.

The Department of Justice convened a meeting in Denver for U.S. attorneys to discuss marijuana policy.

Congresswoman Mia Love (R-UT) said she’s undecided on the state’s medical cannabis ballot measure, while her Democratic challenger supports it.

Congressman Vern Buchanan (R-FL) and his Democratic opponent are taking differing positions on rescheduling marijuana.

Congressman Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) and Congressman Peter DeFazio (D-OR) discussed marijuana policy while sampling CBD-infused beer.

The U.S. Senate bill to encourage the Department of Veterans Affairs to study medical cannabis got one new cosponsor, for a total of five.

The U.S. House bill to protect federal employees from getting fired for state-legal marijuana use got two new cosponsors, for a total of three.


Here’s an advance look at the details of New Jersey’s soon-to-be-filed marijuana legalization billGov. Phil Murphy (D) supports a higher tax rate than is proposed in the bill, but said he’s “not ruling anything out.”

Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper (D) spoke about his support for expanding marijuana research.

Utah’s lieutenant governor asked a federal judge to dismiss a lawsuit seeking to remove a medical cannabis initiative from the state’s ballot.

California’s treasurer tweeted, “We’re exploring a public cannabis bank so biz don’t have to operate purely in cash. Carrying around thousands of dollars paints a target on legal biz & increases violence in communities. Until DC takes action, CA will lead on legalized cannabis.”

Missouri appeals court affirmed a judge’s dismissal of a lawsuit that one medical cannabis campaign filed seeking to remove a competing measure from the ballot.

Here’s a look at where Minnesota gubernatorial candidates stand on legalizing marijuana.

Illinois Democratic attorney general candidate Kwame Raoul said he supports legalizing marijuana but wants to regulate edibles.

Alaska regulators certified changes to rules on marijuana advertising and promotions.

Massachusetts regulators will consider granting marijuana retail, cultivation and manufacturing licenses on Thursday.

Here’s a look at where New York is on the path to legalizing marijuana.


Manhattan’s district attorney spoke at a marijuana industry event, saying he wants cannabis entrepreneurs to “be successful and legal.”

The Broken Arrow, Oklahoma City Council adopted ordinances regulating medical cannabis businesses.


The South African government and lawmakers reacted to a court ruling overturning the prohibition on using and growing marijuana for personal use.

Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad says the death sentence of a man convicted of selling medical cannabis oil should be reviewed.


A study “demonstrated rapid and durable improvement in social anxiety symptoms in autistic adults following MDMA-assisted psychotherapy.”

A majority of participants in a trial on CBD’s effects on severe epilepsy are seeing improvement in seizures.


A poll found that Maryland residents support legalizing marijuana, 62% – 33%.


Aurora Cannabis Inc. addressed reports that it is in talks with the Coca-Cola Company about making CBD beverages together.


Actress Kristen Bell said she likes to vaporize marijuana and watch 60 Minutes.

Comedian Chelsea Handler tweeted, “Coca-Cola is supposedly considering cannabis-infused drinks. Just a reminder: there are still people in prison because of marijuana. Let’s address that first.”

Maine restaurant Charlotte Grill thinks it’s more “humane” to blow marijuana smoke into a box of lobsters before boiling them to death.

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Canada: How will the legalization of cannabis affect athletes? It’s hard to say

While there’s been plenty of discussion around the pending legalization of cannabis, its effect on athletes hasn’t been part of the conversation. One of the reasons for the absence of dialogue is marijuana’s reputation for impairing, not improving athletic performance, which makes cannabis a poor workout partner.

The other reason that athletes have been left out of the discourse is the inclusion of marijuana on the World Anti Doping Association’s (WADA) list of substances banned during the competitive season, thereby limiting its use among elite athletes. Yet despite these factors, marijuana is reported to be the second most popular drug among athletes, after alcohol. It replaces tobacco, which ranks No. 2 among the rest of the population.

Prohibited by WADA for in-season use since 2004, marijuana is considered a “risk to health” of athletes and “in violation of the spirit of sport.” Yet the legalization of cannabis in Canada may lead to a change in how our athletes, both recreational and elite, view marijuana.

“Changing social attitudes and cannabis policies around the world may play an important role in changing use patterns of cannabis among athletes,” said a team of Montreal researchers led by Mark Ware.

Ware, who recently took a leave from his role as associate professor of family medicine and anesthesia at Montreal’s McGill University Health Centre to accept the position of chief medical officer at a medical marijuana company, addressed with his team the issue of cannabis and the health and performance of the elite athlete in a review paper published this month in the Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine.

Getting a clear picture of how marijuana affects performance as well as the pattern of use among athletes isn’t easy. There are ethical issues around getting athletes to participate in studies given the existing laws concerning the use of marijuana as well as those instituted by sporting organizations. And given that the potency of cannabis varies depending on the strain and how it’s used and that much of the data compiled in studies as early as a decade ago may reflect a substance far different from the one sold today, there’s some question about the veracity of the information we do have.

In the meantime what we do know is that cannabis use increases heart rate and blood pressure while reducing physical work capacity, none of which are conditions consistent with winning gold.  As such, it’s unlikely that athletes use cannabis with the expectation that it’s going to result in an immediate boost in performance. Instead its use is likely related to its secondary affects. Marijuana has been used to ameliorate pain and concussion symptoms, improve sleep, spark appetite and reduce the stress associated with competing at the elite level.

“Self-reported use of cannabis for pain and concussion management among elite athletes is increasingly being reported,” said the Montreal research team.

Also reported by a separate team of researchers is that athletes involved in individual sports such as snowboarding, skiing, surfing, sailing and kayaking are more likely to use marijuana than team sport athletes.

Yet despite how athletes regard marijuana, the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport is clear that it will continue to be prohibited during competition even after legalization. To help clear up any confusion, they have published a Cannabis in Sport information guide geared to elite athletes subject to drug testing and doping violations.

Still, Ware believes that legalization creates conditions that are ripe for more research on the use of marijuana within the athletic community. That said, there are safety considerations worthy of acknowledgement. Recreational users have been known to experience deficits in memory, coordination and judgment and chronic use in youth is thought to have long-term negative consequences. Episodes of paranoia and/or psychosis have also been linked to high doses of cannabis, hence WADA’s concerns regarding the safety of athletes who use the drug.

Ware hopes that given concerns about safety and the changing views and laws on marijuana, the opportunity to find out more about the real world use of cannabis within the athletic community shouldn’t be ignored.

“Legalization (of marijuana) allows us to have more honest and open conversations with athletes,” said Ware.

Those conversations, combined with more targeted research on how marijuana use impacts athletes, could lead to more evidence-based information so that athletes of all ages and abilities can make informed choices about how cannabis affects their training and performance. Athletes, like the rest of the country, need information based in science, not assumption, regarding the recreational and medical use of cannabis given its new legal status.

Until we know more about marijuana, athletes are warned that in-season use could lead to a doping violation. And for recreational athletes, the knowledge that cannabis impairs physical and mental capacity over the short term means that caution should be taken when it comes to use prior to training or a workout.

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Cannabis 101: A guide to CBD oil, what it is, how it works, who can use it

This is part of an on-going series of Sun-Times info guides about cannabis. Today, we look at CBD oil: what it is; how it works; what it treats plus the legal issues surrounding CBD use in Illinois.

Cannabidiol, or CBD, is a non-intoxicationg chemical compound that comes from the cannabis sativa plant.  CBD is one of over 100 such compounds, known as cannabinoids, that are found in the plant.

Unlike THC — or tetrahydrocannabinol, another cannabinoid — CBD doesn’t get users stoned. In recent years, CBD has grown increasingly popular, with patients and experts reporting that it can be used to treat a range of health conditions, including epilepsyCrohn’s disease and even anxiety in dogs.

Here’s everything you need to know about the trendy drug treatment:

What is the history of CBD?

CBD was first discovered in the 1940s by Roger Adams, the former head of the chemistry department at University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana. In his research, Adams isolated CBD from hemp but couldn’t determine what exactly he’d found. In addition to CBD, Adams also synthesized analogs of THC and another cannabinoid, showing their relationship to CBD.

In the 1960s, Israeli chemist Raphael Mechoulam and his team took the research further, eventually synthesizing cannabinoids — including CBD, THC and others — and describing their chemical structures for future research. Mechoulam, a professor at Hebrew University of Jerusalem, still studies cannabis to this day.

Is CBD legal in Illinois?

Much of the confusion over CBD stems from its murky legal status.

Because the DEA still lists hemp and marijuana as dangerous Schedule I drugs, along with heroin and ecstasy, CBD remains illegal under federal law. Congress is now is considering the 2018 Farm Bill, which would legalize industrial hemp across the country.

Despite some confusion, the Agriculture Act of 2014 didn’t legalize hemp-based CBD products nationwide, but only allowed for states and universities to grow hemp. Nevertheless, hemp-based CBD is already widely and freely available throughout most of the country.

Illinois is among 37 states that have legalized marijuana-based CBD for medical use, while nine other states have fully legalized pot and its derivatives. Four other states — Idaho, Kansas, Nebraska and South Dakota — still prohibit the medical use of pot-based CBD.

Last month, Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner signed off on a bill that legalized industrial hempcultivation in Illinois and established rules to test crops’ THC levels. Like the bill being considered by federal lawmakers, the legislation in Illinois bars hemp-based CBD from containing more than 0.3 percent THC.

What is CBD used to treat?

In a study released last year, the World Health Organization’s Expert Committee on Drug Dependence said CBD may benefit people diagnosed with:

  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Huntington’s disease
  • Pain
  • Psychosis
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Cancer
  • Nausea
  • Inflammatory diseases
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Infection
  • Inflammatory bowel and Crohn’s disease
  • Cardiovascular diseases
  • Diabetic complications

In the report, the committee noted that “CBD exhibits no effects indicative of any abuse or dependence potential.” Other health care professionals are also using CBD to treat other medical issues, like autism, sleep problems and other mental health conditions.

CBD started gaining national exposure when media outlets began profiling Charlotte Figi, an 11-year-old girl from Colorado with Dravet syndrome, a severe form of intractable epilepsy.

At age 5, Figi’s parents, Matt and Paige Figi, had exhausted all traditional options in their quest to control the hundreds of grand mal seizures their young daughter was experiencing every day. They ultimately turned to the Stanleys, a group of brothers who grow pot in Colorado, who then developed a groundbreaking hemp-based CBD oil they dubbed “Charlotte’s Web.”

Since she began taking the oil, Figi has experienced far fewer seizures and is able to enjoy a more normal childhood. However, evidence from cases like Figi’s remains largely anecdotal as researchers continue to pin down CBD’s exact scientific effects. 

What are the effects of CBD?

Unlike THC, CBD doesn’t get users high, an important distinction that has helped drive the popularity of the drug compound.

Traditional medications tend to target the symptoms of a specific condition, but CBD goes after the cause of those symptoms, according to Ronald Aung-Din, M.D., a renowned Florida neurologist.

Pharmaceuticals generally stimulate or block receptors to provide their function, but CBD and other cannabis-based treatments interact with the body’s endocannabinoid system, which naturally binds to chemicals like CBD and THC. This biological effect reportedly enables CBD to treat such a wide range of medical conditions.

A European study published last year by the National Center for Biotechnical Information listed tiredness, diarrhea and changes in weight and appetite as possible side effects of CBD. Most of the research was conducted on patients with epilepsy or psychotic disorders.

Are there different types of CBD?

Yes, there are several different types including:

Marijuana-based CBD:

CBD products that come from the marijuana plant tend to have higher amounts of THC, a combination that some experts claim increases the CBD’s healing effects. As a result, CBD strains with higher amounts of THC can cause both euphoria and stony side effects, like anxiety, paranoia and dizziness, according to Leafly.

To buy marijuana-derived CBD from an Illinois dispensary, qualifying patients must first obtain a medical cannabis card by following the steps outlined in this Sun-Times guide to medical marijuana in Illinois.

Once a patient has been approved for the state’s medical program, they can go to the dispensary they selected during the application process to buy CBD and other cannabis products.

Hemp-Based CBD:

Hemp-based CBD products can be bought over-the-counter at wellness centers and bong shops in most of America, including Illinois.

There are a pair of options for hemp-based CBD users: Products that only contain CBD and others that contain a full range of hundreds of cannabinoids, including cannabinol (CBN), cannabigerol (CBG) and tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV), as well as CBD and a minuscule amount of THC.

All the different chemicals found in the cannabis plant are said to have various healing effects. For example, non-intoxicating CDG apparently helps with sleep and inflammation and kills bacteria.

A new study predicts the market for hemp-derived CBD could eclipse the rest of the legal pot industry to reach $22 billion by 2022. 

Pharmaceutical CBD:

In June, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the first prescription CBD drug, a move that will almost undoubtedly spur more research into what else it can treat. 

The drug, a strawberry-flavored syrup called Epidiolex, is used to treat two rare forms of childhood epilepsy. During their research, FDA officials found that Epidiolex reduced seizures when it was combined with other epilepsy drugs.

FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said his agency had supported research on cannabis-derived products for “many years,” but warned against the use of CBD products with “unproven medical claims.”

“The promotion and use of these unapproved products may keep some patients from accessing appropriate, recognized therapies to treat serious and even fatal diseases,” Gottlieb said.

Before Epidiolex can go to market, the Drug Enforcement Administration must formally reclassify CBD into a federal drug category with medical approval. The FDA has previously approved synthetic cannabinoids to treat severe weight loss in patients with HIV.

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Want to buy legal pot on Oct. 17? Here’s what you need to know

With just a month left to go until recreational pot is legal across the country, here’s what you need to know if you want to partake.

Where can I get some of that legal weed?

On Oct. 17, there will be just one B.C. Cannabis Store in the entire province. The government shop will be located in Kamloops at the Columbia Place Shopping Centre. There will also be online sales through the B.C. Liquor Distribution Branch.

What about all those private dispensaries in cities like Vancouver?

There’s no indication these will be shut down right away. The province’s new Community Safety Unit has pledged a crackdown, but only after more legal outlets are available.

The B.C. government says it’s received more than 100 applications for retail shops across the province. It’s possible some of those could be approved in time for Oct. 17.

In Vancouver, which began licensing illegal pot dispensaries in 2015, pot shops will need a development permit, a provincial retail licence and a new municipal business licence if they want to stay open.

Who’s allowed to partake?

Like alcohol, the minimum age for possession has been set at 19. But unlike liquor stores, anyone under the age of 19 is banned from entering a cannabis dispensary, even if they’re with an adult.

What can I buy?

For now, only dried cannabis, seeds and oils will be legally available, along with accessories like rolling papers, pipes and bongs.

What about edibles?

All those pot-infused brownies and cookies will still be illegal on Oct. 17. The plan is for legal edibles to be available within a year.

And vaping?

Cannabis concentrates and vape juice won’t be legal on Oct. 17, either. Health Canada says it needs more evidence about the risks.

How much pot am I allowed to have?

Adults can possess up to 30 grams of weed in public places, and grow as many as four plants per household — as long as the home isn’t being used as a daycare. Those plants must not be visible from public spaces.

Vaping is not just for tobacco. In California, nearly a quarter of sales from 2016 were for cannabis vape cartridges.

Where can I smoke up?

Toking will be banned everywhere that cigarette smoking is, as well as in vehicles, and places where children commonly gather, including school properties, playgrounds, sports fields and skate parks.

What are the potential penalties for breaking those rules?

Selling cannabis to minors will still be a federal crime, punishable by up to 14 years in jail. B.C. has also introduced some new cannabis offences, with fines ranging from $2,000 to $100,000 and jail time of three to 12 months.

What are the restrictions around driving?

Anyone in the graduated licensing program won’t be allowed to have any THC in their system. For everyone else, the province says it’s giving police “specialized training” and tools to identify drugged drivers. Potential penalties include a 90-day driving ban.

Both drivers and passengers are prohibited from smoking inside vehicles.

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Xavier Jayakumar to push for reform of laws governing medical marijuana

PETALING JAYA: Water, Land and Natural Resources Minister Dr Xavier Jayakumar is poised to take the issue of medical marijuana law reform to the Cabinet.

On Monday (Sept 17), Permatang Pauh MP Nurul Izzah Anwar said she would write to Attorney General Tommy Thomas and ask for a pardon for Muhamad Lukman who was sentenced to death for possession of medical marijuana.

On Tuesday (Sept 18), Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said that he believes the case verdict should be reviewed.

Dr Xavier told the Star Online he would like the law to be amended so that medical marijuana and cannabis oil are decriminalised under the Dangerous Drugs Act 1952.

“The Government should look at this law considering that many other countries have reviewed it.

“There is plenty of medical research to support the healing properties of medical marijuana and cannabis oil,” said Dr Xavier.

Lukman, a 29-year-old father of one, was arrested in December 2015 for the possession of 3.1 litres of cannabis oil, 279 grams of compressed cannabis, 1.4kg of substance containing tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).

He was nabbed by the police along with his five-month pregnant wife, who was freed later, during a raid at his home.

Fast forward to Aug 30 this year, Lukman was handed a death sentence under the Dangerous Drugs Act 1952 by the Shah Alam High Court.

Under Section 39B of the Dangerous Drugs Act 1952, any individuals caught with the possession of more than 200 grams of cannabis will be charged for drug trafficking, which carries the death penalty.

Lukman’s case, highlighted in a column by The Star news editor Martin Vengadesan on Sept 9, has brought about renewed discussions on Malaysia’s harsh laws against cannabis, with several academicians and activists crying foul of his sentence, describing it as a miscarriage of justice.

On Sept 9, his lawyer Farhan Maaruf told The Star that Lukman only wanted to assist patients who are suffering from ailments that can be treated by THC, an active ingredient in cannabis.

Lukman had no intention whatsoever to distribute or “push” cannabis on the streets, his lawyer Farhan said.

A petition calling for the release of Lukman is now making rounds in social media with over 45,000 signatures as of Tuesday.

Lukman’s case is not the only one of its kind as Amiruddin @ Nadarajan Abdullah, who is known as Dr Ganja, is facing 36 charges and the death sentence for similar offences. His advocates claim he has helped treat more than 800 people.

In many developed countries, the recent trend is to decriminalise and even legalise marijuana, particularly for medical purposes.

Apart from the Netherlands, Canada will legalise recreational marijuana in full on Oct 17, 2018.

In Argentina, the government has been providing medical marijuana since March 2017 while it has been legal in Australia for the last two years. In Uruguay, you can buy it from regular pharmacies.

Switzerland and Russia have also decriminalised marijuana in small amounts. Similarly, laws on it have been relaxed in 17 US states, including California, Colorado, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Oregon and Washington.

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Coca-Cola eyes marijuana drinks business

Coca-Cola has unveiled plans to venture into the marijuana drinks business, apparently following after beer manufactures which have recorded gains in the trade.

Bloomberg says that the multi-national corporation is in talks with Aurora Cannabis to develop a beverage infused with CBD.

Cannabidiol is a non-psychoactive ingredient in marijuana that treats pain but doesn’t get one high.

“Coca-Cola confirmed it is “closely watching” CBD as an ingredient in wellness beverages,” Bloomberg reported on Monday.

“The space is evolving quickly. No decisions have been made at this time.”

The development is viewed to cushion Coca-Cola from the adverse effects of its declining sales and also a move to further diversify beyond its traditional base of sugary beverages.

“While beer-makers have been betting on the marijuana industry, Coca-Cola’s interest indicates that CBD could soon break into the mainstream,” Bloomberg said.

Coca-Cola’s new venture follows in the wake of a wave of countries, especially in North America and Europe, legalising the use of cannabis products.

Canada is due to legalise recreational cannabis use on October 17. Many other countries, including Germany and Australia, have legalised weed for medical purposes.

Several others are evaluating decriminalisation.

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U.S. Medical Marijuana Market worth over USD 8 billion by 2024: Global Market Insights, Inc.

The U.S. Medical Marijuana Market is poised to surpass USD 8.0 billion by 2024; according to a new research study published by Global Market Insights, Inc. Growing prevalence of chronic pain associated with neurological disorders, cancer, HIV/AIDS, and arthritis will drive the U.S. medical marijuana market. The preference of marijuana over opioid medication is also boosting market revenue in the U.S. as opioids are associated with various side lethal side effects. Therefore, the demand for medical marijuana is continuously on an upsurge in various U.S. states, thereby accelerating market sales.

Medical marijuana programs in the U.S. have continued to develop, and most of the states have started to approach medical marijuana from the perspective of public health rather than from a recreational use prospective. Various states in the U.S. have demonstrated positive public health outcomes through the application of medical marijuana, hence boosting the market outlook.

The U.S. medical marijuana pain management market segment is forecasted to grow rapidly at 13.3% CAGR during the forecast period. Growing cases of chronic pain which is the most common cause of long-term disability in the United States will drive the segment growth. In addition, the U.S. population has been using marijuana for pain management as compared to other traditional opioids which have lethal side-effects.

The U.S. topical medical marijuana market segment valued USD 179.3 million in 2017. Increased number of companies are manufacturing lotions and creams that are absorbed through the skin for localized relief of pain and inflammation. Furthermore, topical route of administration is preferred by most of the patients as it results in maximum therapeutic benefits without the cerebral euphoria associated with other delivery methods.

The U.S. medical marijuana dispensaries market segment will expand at a robust 13.3% CAGR over the forecast period owing to presence of number of legal dispensaries operating in a most of the states. With each state legalizing marijuana for medical purposes, more and more dispensaries are being set up in the country, hence propelling the market growth of the segment.

California medical marijuana market is estimated to grow at 13.7% from 2018-2024. Medical marijuana is legalized in California since 1996. The manufacturing, distribution, transportation, and sales of medical marijuana is completely legal in California, thereby boosting the market growth in the coming years.

New Hampshire medical marijuana market is forecasted to expand at 24.1% CAGR during the forecast period. New Hampshire ranked second in the country for the highest opioid overdose rate. With the legalization of medical marijuana, it will result in improvement of health outcomes for individuals suffering from pain, thereby driving the segment growth in the long run.

Prominent industry players in U.S. medical marijuana market include Canopy Growth, Aurora Cannabis, Inc., Medical Marijuana, Inc., GW Pharmaceuticals, Aphria, Inc., CanniMed Ltd., Tilray, Emerald Health Therapeutics, and United Cannabis. These companies are opting for strategic mergers, acquisitions, and partnerships to expand their geographic reach, and product portfolio, hence resulting in improved position in the overall market.

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How Legal States Intend Tackling “High” Drivers

The issue of weed-intoxicated drivers is a serious and concerning one. Thousands of people die on the roads every year because people climb behind the wheel when impaired, whether “high” on pot, drunk on booze, or otherwise Non Compos Mentos. Until now, officers have not had any tools available to detect marijuana use in drivers, not accurately, not fairly, and not effectively. That is about to change.

Problems with Existing Intoxication Tests

Currently, officers can test those they suspect of driving under the influence of weed with those they use for drunk drivers. They only have field sobriety tests available to them, as well as breath, blood, and urine tests. Field sobriety tests are not effective for weed lovers, since weed does not affect people the same way alcohol does. They can still walk straight, stand on one leg, and pass these tests easily.

For this reason, field sobriety tests will not stand in court. Blood, urine, and breath tests are slightly more accurate, but not enough to provide concrete evidence of weed use. These tests can detect THC in the body, but they can only establish if drivers were “high” within the last week. They cannot determine if drivers are intoxicated now, as they are driving in that moment. This makes them legally irrelevant.

Statistics for Stoned Driving

Now that cannabis is legal medicinally in more than 30 states and recreationally in 9 states, the need to develop an accurate test for weed impairment is crucial. In fact, some states that are considering legalization, such as New York, are demanding that companies develop a breathalyzer that will suffice as evidence in court. Much of their impending legalization hinges on this.

Back in 2017, some frightening statistics emerged out of Colorado. Its Department of Transportation conducted a survey that found a dangerously high number of “high” drivers risking the lives of everybody on its roads. At least 70 percent of surveyed participants admitted to driving stoned within the last year, and at least 27 percent confessed to driving pot-impaired daily. That is shockingly high.

Although the effects of marijuana and alcohol differ enormously, and despite cannabis being much safer to consume, there is no denying its ability to alter a user’s state of mind. No matter what anybody says, driving “high” is irresponsible and can get you and others killed. People should not be able to drive around intoxicated on pot, and enforcement officers must have some way to stop them.

New Breathalyzer Technology

A company from California, Hound Labs Incorporated, has managed to develop a first-of-its-kind breathalyzer device. It is fully capable of determining if drivers are “high” behind the wheel. It is likely to rollout across the country this fall, holding drivers accountable, making roads safer, and giving law enforcement the tools they need to achieve this.

The new pot breathalyzer is hypersensitive, able to detect THC on a driver’s breath. It also works for alcohol. On the company’s website, it says, “The Hound Breathalyzer is one billion times more sensitive than today’s alcohol breathalyzers.” This is excellent for everybody in the United States, except for those who insist on driving stoned and endangering their and others’ lives.

In the United States, anybody with a blood-alcohol level of 0.08 percent or higher is legally too intoxicated to drive. However, weed is more complex. For example, much scientific debate exists over what exactly qualifies someone as being under the influence of pot, particularly in the moment that he or she is behind the wheel.

How Pot Breathalyzers Work

According to Hound Labs, we now have the answer to that question. For its breathalyzers, timing marks that qualification. The company admits that its new technology is unable to determine just how much THC is in someone’s system, but it is able to detect its presence and how long ago that person consumed pot. THC remains on a person’s breath for up to two hours after consumption.

This time, called the “peak window of impairment,” is how officers will catch stoned drivers. After three hours, THC is no longer present on the breath and readings measure zero. Therefore, when a driver blows into a pot breathalyzer, it can detect the presence of THC, alcohol, even both, within minutes, but it also gives officers some compelling evidence to charge them with intoxicated driving

Because THC can only exist on someone’s breath during those two hours, the driver obviously consumed weed within that period if the breathalyzer tests positive. The driver must be guilty, since it will not detect THC after that time, and the effects of THC last much longer, sometimes several hours. If positive, the device will display “Warning.” If negative, it will display “Pass.”

Upholding Driver’s Rights

Louisa Ashford, marketing manager for Hound Lab, said this in a statement, “The device will help ensure safety on our roads and in the workplace, while also promoting fairness to people who use marijuana legally and responsibly.” What this means is that these tests will not infringe on anybody’s right to use cannabis or subject them to any whims and fancies. It is a scientific, accurate method of detecting THC.

Pot breathalyzers, such as the alcohol and weed device offered by Hound Labs, as well as the roadside saliva-testing device developed by Cannabix Technologies Incorporated, a Canadian-based company, are able to remain objective. They can determine with accuracy the impairment of a driver, without basing evidence on a police officer’s hunches or judgements, or forcing them to endure intrusive tests.

Author Bio

John Levy writes for Pot Valet, a leader of marijuana delivery Los Angeles. He shares his research with the world at large and hopes fervently for legalization to spread across the planet.