$68 Million Marijuana Research Contract Awarded to University of Mississippi

Category: News | Posted on Wed, March, 25th 2015 by THCFinder

The National Institute of Health (NIH) will hand over nearly $70 million dollars to the University of Mississippi’s marijuana research lab, which since 1968, has been the only academic entity permitted to grow pot under the auspices of the U.S. government. The recent contract provides for Ole Miss to increase the number of plants it is growing to 30,000, according to the Los Angeles Times. This stash, grown on 12 acres of campus land, is the only official source of pot available for researchers testing marijuana for medical purposes.

While the government appears to be interested in developing new methods for growing plants that contain a variety of different levels of THC and cannabidiol, researchers complain about the lack of access and unreasonable scrutiny they experience in pursuing their work. To get anything from the Ole Miss project, researcher must first be approved by the DEA and, in some cases, a separate panel with a representative from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) must also sign off on the project.

“It is a bizarre situation,” said Orrin Devinsky, director of the Comprehensive Epilepsy Center at NYU Langone Medical Center. “The DEA is acting like this is 1935 and cannabis is this extremely dangerous substance.”

Researchers are hoping that President Obama’s possible rescheduling of marijuana might open the door to more access and more studies around the country.

A NIDA spokeswoman told TIME last August that the agency was starting a new bidding competition for the government contract because the current one was set to expire in 2015. On Monday, officials announced that the exclusive deal with Ole Miss would continue. 



Congressmen Introduce House Version Of Bipartisan Federal Medical Marijuana Bill

Category: News | Posted on Wed, March, 25th 2015 by THCFinder

federal medical marijuana billRep. Steve Cohen (D-TN) and Rep. Don Young (R-AK) have introduced the House companion to a groundbreaking bill legalizing marijuana for medical use that was introduced in the Senate two weeks ago by Senators Cory Booker (D-NJ), Rand Paul (R-KY), and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY). Senators Dean Heller (R-NV) and Barbara Boxer (D-CA) co-sponsored the bill soon after.

“Reforming our nation’s failed drug policies is one of the few issues Democrats and Republicans can agree on,” said Bill Piper, director of national affairs for the Drug Policy Alliance.   “The tide is quickly turning against marijuana prohibition and the war on drugs in general. ”

The Compassionate Access, Research Expansion and Respect States – CARERS – Act is the most comprehensive medical marijuana bill ever introduced in Congress. The CARERS Act will do the following:

  • Allow states to legalize marijuana for medical use without federal interference

  • Permit interstate commerce in cannabidiol (CBD) oils

  • Reschedule marijuana to schedule II

  • Allow banks to provide checking accounts and other financial services to marijuana dispensaries

  • Allow Veterans Administration physicians to recommend medical marijuana to veterans

  • Eliminate barriers to medical marijuana research.

    Read More:


    GOP medical marijuana bill has oils, legal growing

    Category: News | Posted on Tue, March, 24th 2015 by THCFinder

    Marijuana legally grown, processed and given for treatment at the recommendation of a doctor in Tennessee could become a reality if lawmakers approve a new Republican-led initiative.

    The chances of changing current law aren't fantastic: Sen. Steve Dickerson, R-Nashville, put the odds of the General Assembly approving his limited medical marijuana plan this year at "50-50, plus or minus 5 percent." The anesthesiologist argues the science behind the need for medical cannabis oil is more concrete.

    "The data is improving every day. I've read 50, 60 papers and abstracts, and it looks like 60 percent plus of those have some sort of beneficial effect," Dickerson said.

    Dickerson considers the approach he's taking with Rep. Ryan Williams, R-Cookeville, as targeted. The bill goes further than a cannabis oil bill sponsored by Rep. Jeremy Faison, R-Cosby, but stops short of Nashville Democratic Rep. Sherry Jones' medical marijuana bill.

    The proposal would allow a very specific type of medicinal marijuana oil that is low in THC, the psychoactive ingredient that makes marijuana popular for people who want to get high. The oil could be ingested, used through a skin cream or potentially inhaled using a nebulizer, Dickerson said.

    A person would have to receive a recommendation from a doctor — it's listed as a Schedule I drug federally, which means it can't be prescribed like other medicine — and take it to a dispensary, which would use oil that comes from plants grown and processed in Tennessee.

    Read More:


    Hemp Research Bill Heads To New Mexico Governor's Desk

    Category: News | Posted on Tue, March, 24th 2015 by THCFinder

    federal farm bill hemp amendment researchHemp reform is sweeping the country, with almost every state in America either allowing it now, or exploring the idea of allowing hemp cultivation in one form or another. New Mexico is on the list of states that are on the verge of passing hemp reform, albeit for research purposes. Both chambers of New Mexico’s Legislature have signed off on the hemp research bill, and the legislation now goes to New Mexico’s Governor where it’s expected to be signed into law. Per New Mexico Political Report:

    A bill that would allow research into the growth of industrial hemp passed the House and is now headed to the governor’s desk.

    The House passed the bill on wide bipartisan vote, 54-12.

    There was very little debate on the bill that would allow New Mexico State University and the state Department of Agriculture to grow hemp for research purposes.

    Rep. Antonio “Moe” Maestas, D-Albuquerque, carried the bill on the floor. He had carried a similar bill on the House side.

    “This is strictly research and development,” Maestas said.

    Even thought this bill is just for research purposes, I’m confident that it will lead to full legalization. I can’t fathom what their research would turn up that would stop that from eventually happening. Hemp is a very versatile plant, and I can’t wait to see what is learned from the research that will eventually be conducted in New Mexico.



    Legislators want say over legal marijuana

    Category: News | Posted on Mon, March, 23rd 2015 by THCFinder

    Beacon Hill legislators are working on a marijuana legalization proposal, in part as an effort to short-circuit an expected 2016 ballot push.

    Advocates have long planned an initiative petition to legalize the recreational use of the drug for adults, and political analysts have expected that measure to pass in the next presidential election year.

    But some lawmakers are balking at the prospect of activists unilaterally writing a law that would have such a profound effect on the state. The legislators would rather write the proposed law themselves, allow for lots of public input, and have final say on the scope and details.

    “Wouldn’t it be a good idea for the Legislature to look at it ahead of time, listen to every point of view, anticipate every problem that we could, and try to do it right?” said Senator Patricia D. Jehlen, Democrat of Somerville and a lead sponsor of a bill to legalize, tax, and regulate recreational use of marijuana.

    Senate President Stanley C. Rosenberg, who said he doesn’t have a strong opinion on legalization and backs a Senate panel researching the issue, added, “I think it’s better, if we’re going to do this, to do it in the Legislature than on the ballot.” Rosenberg, who is not listed as a cosponsor, later continued, “I believe if the Legislature doesn’t act on it, it will be done on the ballot.”

    Opposition from top officials could doom a legislative push. Governor Charlie Baker, Attorney General Maura Healey, and Mayor Martin J. Walsh of Boston all oppose legalizing marijuana for recreational use.

    But that is not stopping legislators from trying.

    Read More:


    IRS Will Refund Fines To Denver Medical Marijuana Dispensary

    Category: News | Posted on Mon, March, 23rd 2015 by THCFinder

    irs marijuanaThe IRS has a provision that penalizes companies that pay employee withholdings in cash. An employee withholding has to be paid electronically, otherwise a 10% penalty is applied. That puts marijuana businesses in a very bad situation, as most banks will not work with marijuana businesses. This situation almost automatically results in a penalty for most marijuana businesses, which is obviously unfair. A medical marijuana dispensary in Denver challenged the provision, and the IRS has agreed to refund the $25,000 in penalties that the business had received. Per The Cannabist:

    The Internal Revenue Service has backed away from a policy that penalized an unbanked marijuana business in Denver for paying taxes in cash, but the federal agency will not say if the approach applies industry-wide.

    In a settlement with Denver-based Allgreens, a medical-marijuana dispensary that challenged the agency over its policy, the IRS said it would abate future penalties and will refund about $25,000 of fines the business was forced to pay despite having paid its federal employment withholding on time.

    This is either going to be a very significant change in direction by the IRS, or it could just be an isolated case, no one knows for sure at this time. However, if the IRS doesn’t apply the rules to everyone equally, it could lead to equal protection lawsuits. Marijuana businesses have it hard enough with 280e issues, banking problems, and constant attacks from politicians. Penalizing them even further because they pay their tax bills in cash is ridiculous. Yet somehow the industry continues to succeed. Imagine what will happen if/when the industry gets to operate on an even playing field with other industries.




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