Tag: cbd

Texas to Roll Out First CBD Sales By End of Year

In compliance with the Texas Compassionate Use Act, by Dec. 31, Knox Medical is expected to begin delivering its CBD oil throughout the Lone Star State.

Considered overly restrictive by many, the passage of Senate Bill 339 opened the door for a limited medical marijuana program in the Lone Star State nearly two years ago.

The Texas Compassionate Use Act was introduced by Sen. Kevin Eltife (R-Tyler) and won approval with a 26 to 5 vote in the Senate and a 96 to 34 vote in the House. Officially signed by the Texas Legislature on May 20, 2015, Gov. Greg Abbott signed Senate Bill 339 into law on June 1, 2015.

Regulated and overseen by the Texas Department of Public Safety, legal participation in the program will exclude any form of whole plant consumption — i.e., smoking. Instead, rather than lighting up to medicate, qualified patients will be legally permitted to access low-THC cannabis oil/extracts.

Allowed to grow, process and distribute their CBD-rich oils under the Texas Compassionate Use Act, three dispensaries have already been licensed to operate in the state, according to the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) website:

“The bill required DPS create a secure registry of physicians who treat epilepsy for the purpose of prescribing low-THC cannabis to patients who have been diagnosed with intractable epilepsy. In addition, the bill required DPS to license at least three dispensing organizations by Sept. 1, 2017, should they meet the requirements. The license authorizes the organizations to cultivate, process and dispense low-THC cannabis to prescribed patients.”

The three licensed providers of CBD oil in Texas will be Knox Medical, Surterra, and Compassionate Cultivation.

Knox Medical will be the first CBD delivery service to open in Texas. Projected to open by Dec. 31, the Florida-based company will operate their Texas subsidiary, Cansortium Texas, under the same brand name: Knox Medical. Providing Texans their first home delivery of CBD medicine, Knox does not currently have plans to open a brick-and-mortar dispensary.

As defined by Texas law, cannabis-derived medicine must not exceed 0.5 percent THC or 10 percent CBD by weight. “Prescribed” by either a neurologist or epileptologists, any patient hoping to participate In the Texas Compassion Is Use Act will need to have two doctors agree their patient would benefit from the plant’s medicinal compounds.

While Knox Medical will be the first medical marijuana dispensary to deliver CBD oil in Texas, Surterra and Compassionate Cultivation are projected to follow shortly thereafter.

Side note: While the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) licenses physicians to prescribe a host of pharmaceuticals, it still regards marijuana as a Schedule I narcotic. And according to the Nixon-era Controlled Substance Act, medical marijuana has “no currently accepted medical use.” According to NORML’s website, “When California passed the United States’ first medical marijuana program in 1996, Barry McCaffrey, then-director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, threatened to revoke the license of any physician who participated.”

Photo courtesy of Andy

 

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Use of CBD Oil Has Doubled in the UK in One Year

A trade organization in the United Kingdom that oversees the rapidly expanding cannabidiol (CBD) and hemp market, has published a study that shows the use of CBD oil in the U.K. has doubled in a single year.

The Cannabis Trades Association U.K.’s (CTAUK) figures reveal 250,000 people are now using CBD oil to treat their health conditions. CTAUK added that the number of users is up from 125,000 last year, with approximately 1,000 new users each month.

The information indicates 65 percent of CBD oil consumers are women using the medicine for anxiety, epilepsy, and back pain.

In October 2016, the U.K. government recognized the medicinal value of CBD, stating the cannabinoid has “restoring, correcting, or modifying” properties. This admission has allowed suppliers to sell CBD by obtaining a medicinal license, which is a lengthy and strict process. Many retailers have been able to circumvent the process by selling CBD products as food supplements.

“We’ve known about the endocannabinoid system for 40 years or so but it has been ignored to a greater or lesser degree,” said Mike Harlington, chairman of the CTAUK.

Harlington is calling for a better understanding of CBD in the hopes that education will help eradicate the existing stigma around anything derived from cannabis. “Products like CBD, because of where it comes from, are stigmatized despite the fact that every mammal has an endocannabinoid system and is therefore designed to use cannabinoids naturally,” he said.

Most recently, the public debate around medical cannabis in the U.K. has seen a lot of attention, with a bill to legalize going through its first parliamentary reading Oct. 10 unopposed. That same day, a protest incited by member of parliament and cannabis activist Paul Flynn took place in front of the Parliament building in London.

The show of civil disobedience involved protesters who rely on medical cannabis openly vaping, eating, and drinking their medicine — no arrests were made.

Photo courtesy of Allie Beckett

 

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Is This Indiana State Senator America’s Next Drug Czar?

All eyes are on Sen. Jim Merritt (R-IN) after Politico reporter Adam Cancryn tweeted that the Indiana politician is “under consideration for White House drug czar.” President Trump’s initial pick for the job, Rep. Tom Marino (R-PA) withdrew his name from consideration after his history of assisting Big Pharma became public last month.

Marino was pressured to remove himself from consideration after stories broke detailing his support for the pharmaceutical industry and simultaneous curtailing of enforcement efforts against them. The sudden change in plans occurred right before Trump’s promised revelation of his plan to cure the opioid epidemic.

Now, if we’re to believe Jim Merritt’s candidacy claim, the Indiana senator is one of an unknown number of people under consideration for the nation’s top drug job. The next White House drug czar will be tasked with eliminating an opioid problem that has become a bloated and convoluted issue fraught with bureaucratic obstacles like the Controlled Substances Act and pharmaceutical lobbyists.

Merritt has a checkered past when it comes to voting on marijuana issues. The state senator, who supported the decriminalization of marijuana possession in Indiana with his vote in 2013, also alluded to his belief that marijuana is a gateway drug.

When the Rocky Mountain High-Intensity Drug Trafficking Area organization released their highly contentious 2016 report that stated marijuana legalization had negative ramifications for the state of Colorado, Merritt applauded the findings.

“It does create crime and it is not something we want our children to get mixed up in,” Merritt said.

The possible future drug czar has taken a hard stance against black market opioid dealers this year, filling a key role in passing more than 15 new pieces of legislation that take direct aim at street sales. This was in stark contrast to his previous approach to alleviating Indiana’s addiction woes in recent years with a greater focus on education and health care.

In October, Merritt laid out his plan for turning the ship around, offering a peek at what kind of drug czar we may be able to expect should he be nominated and confirmed. Merritt plans to introduce bills that would:

  • Institute a minimum sentence of 10 years for dealers whose product is found to have caused a fatality.
  • Establish laws that target producers and distributors of synthetically-produced drugs.
  • Levy a 10-year minimum sentence on anyone found selling drugs that contain fentanyl, a contributing factor in an aggressively growing number of fatal overdoses nationwide.

State Sen. Merritt also voted his pledge of support for clean needle exchanges in the state of Indiana and has expressed his openness to try new approaches to an old problem.

“I’m empowering prosecutors and I think that’s what we need to do,” Merritt explained. “Because it’s not working right now.”

Last year, Indiana lawmakers passed legislation giving local governments more freedom to start needle exchanges, limited the number of opioids doctors could prescribe, and created a pilot program to help opioid-addicted pregnant women and those with newborns.

Critics have said that while they appreciate Merritt addressing the supply concerns in Indiana, his solutions fail to eliminate the flow of these drugs into the state, where they will surely find new distribution.

While Merritt is taking a balanced approach, keeping the hand of law enforcement strong while staying open to modern tactics like supplying emergency personnel with overdose antidotes and convincing insurance providers to cover addiction treatment costs, his goal of ending Indiana’s heroin epidemic within five years is challenging to say the least.

“A lot of times in politics people are afraid to put a goal out there because you might not make it and then you’ll subject yourself to a lot of criticism,” Merritt said. “But we need a goal. We need a vision. And I’m not going to apologize for having a big goal. I want to kill heroin within five years.”

Photo courtesy of Tom Britt

 

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