Philman's Pharm: "German Quality, California Ingenuity." Est. 1977

Top 10 Studies for 2016

Study: Marijuana is Not a Gateway Drug

“Research suggests that people may be using cannabis as an exit drug to reduce use of substances that are potentially more harmful, such as opioid pain medication.”

Study: Marijuana Use Can Decrease Your Body Mass Index

Alarming some naysayers, scientists concluded those daily marijuana consumers with an XY chromosome (male) have a BMI that is approximately 2.7% lower than non-smokers, while daily female users (XX chromosome) have a body mass index that is approximately 3.1% lower than non-users.

Study: Cannabinoids Obstruct Carcinoma Cell Growth

Published online by the United States National Institute of Health, a group of Chinese scientist found that cannabinoids can inhibit the growth of carcinoma cancer cells. Similar to Dr. Christina Sanchez’s 2014 discovery that THC kills cancer cells, this 2016 study demonstrates that certain cannabinoids trigger specific cancer cells to parish.

Study: THC and CBD Helpful In Treatment of Dementia

A new study finds that tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ9-THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) are effectual at mitigating symptoms of dementia. The report, published in the U.S. National Library of Medicine – National Institutes of Health, shows that marijuana’s two primary cannabinoids provide hope and help for those suffering from dementia.

Study: Dr. Sue Sisley Gets FDA Approval For Research Of 76 Vets Suffering PTSD

Thanks to the never-ending tenacity of individuals like Dr. Sue Sisley, the FDA has finally provided its long-overdue approval for testing marijuana’s miracle compounds as a potential treatment for veterans returning home from combat with PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder).

Study: Israel Conducts First Study on Cannabis for Autism

In the first experiment of its kind, Dr. Adi Eran, head of the Pediatric Neurology Department at Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem, is planning to test 120 low- to medium-functioning autistic individuals from ages 4 to 30 years.  Researchers will administer cannabis oils that are rich in CBD but do not contain enough THC to produce any psychoactive effect.

Study: Alcohol Fuels Aggression While Marijuana Reduces It

Tapping the keg of America’s never-ending violence, “intoxicated aggression” spikes precipitously among drinkers, while marijuana snuffs out those same aggressive tendencies. At least that’s the takeaway message from a peer-reviewed study just published in the July 2016 edition of Springer Science.

Study: States With Medical Marijuana Observe Decline in Sick Time Taken By Employees

Increasing productivity and profitability from coast-to-coast, a new study indicates employees in states with medical marijuana laws enjoy a reduced rate of absenteeism, due to illness.

Study: Cannabidiol Oil Promising Treatment for Pediatric Epilepsy

Offering help and hope to those suffering from intractable pediatric epilepsy, a January 6, 2016 study published on PubMed.gov demonstrated children suffering from seizures have benefited greatly from the administration of a high-CBD cannabis oil.

Study: Cannabis Offers Hope for Insulin Resistant Diabetics

By simply smoking pot, humans inadvertently activate their CB2 receptor. Once activated, research indicates the cannabinoid 2 (CB2) receptor plays a key regulatory role on the secretion of insulin, immune modulation and insulin resistance.

A historic and groundbreaking year, 2016 ushered in a new era for the marijuana reform movement. During the 2016 election cycle, eight states legalized recreational marijuana consumption and several more legalized medicinal cannabis. Putting presidential politics aside, our country made some incredible progress this year. Thanks to the voters in California, Nevada, Massachusetts, and Maine, our freedom loving country has inched ever closer to permanently snuffing out the costly prohibition of a peaceful plant, while the majority of the U.S. has thoroughly embraced the efficacy of medical cannabis.

Happy New Year 420-world, Peace!

Thanks for voting


Born in Long Beach, raised on the central coast: I surf, dab, burn, and blog – though not necessarily in that order. I’m a husband, a father and a lifelong consumer of connoisseur grade weed. I don’t drink alcohol or consume any other “drugs.” I consider myself to be living proof that weed is not a gateway drug. If it were, I’d be in some serious trouble. Instead, as a 50-year-old ex-realtor that has been smoking weed for nearly 80% of my life (just did the math) … I can only say, marijuana is safer than prescription pills or alcohol could ever hope to be for calming what stirs the savage beast.


Agency overprescribed painkillers to returning veterans; now treatment options are scarce


FAYETTEVILLE, N.C.—Robert Deatherage, a 30-year-old Army veteran who has battled addiction to pain pills and heroin since suffering severe injuries in Afghanistan, says he reached rock bottom a year ago when he holed up in an empty church and tried to kill himself. Twice.

“I was just so sick of being as sick as I was,” he says. He put a gun in his mouth and pulled the trigger, but it didn’t fire. He says he then used two syringes to shoot all the drugs he had, but didn’t overdose.

Mr. Deatherage took the failure as a spiritual sign and walked to the nearby Veterans Affairs Medical Center. The facility didn’t have any space and turned him away, offering only a jacket from the lost and found and a phone number for a homeless veterans coordinator. After he picked up his disability check a few days later, he checked into a hotel where he knew other addicts, including veterans.

“It gets discouraging,” Mr. Deatherage says. “It makes it easier to just say, ‘F— it, I’ll just keep doing what I’m doing.’ ” The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs acknowledges its role in creating a large population of opioid-addicted veterans by overprescribing painkillers for injuries and post-traumatic stress disorder. After the agency tightened prescribing practices in 2013, many veterans bought pain pills sold illicitly on the streets. When those



became too expensive, they sought heroin and fentanyl, a potent synthetic narcotic.

The VA is now struggling to undo the damage. Hampered by budgetary and bureaucratic obstacles, it has failed to build a rehabilitation program robust enough to meet the overwhelming demand for treatment from the tens of thousands of veterans with opioid addiction, say analysts who have studied the issue. That has left many veterans to fend for themselves, tapping whatever resources they can find to battle a chronic, complex—and frequently fatal— condition.

In Fayetteville—home to Fort Bragg, the largest military installation in the U.S.—47% of opioid prescriptions are abused, according to an April study by Castlight Health Inc., a health enterprise-software company. Yet the VA health system here has no residential addiction- treatment program, no inpatient opioid detoxification facility and only five doctors in a 21-county area able to dispense medications like buprenorphine, used to treat opioid- use disorder.

“The Fayetteville VA is one of the worst in the country,” says Justin Minyard, a retired Army first sergeant who has battled opioid addiction and testified before Congress about the issue. “There’s no help for veterans dealing with the addiction they now have.”

Elizabeth Goolsby, director of the Fayetteville VA Medical Center, says Mr. Deatherage’s “is not a typical story.” He should have been sent to the local hospital emergency room if the VA’s crisis mental health unit was full, she says.

The Fayetteville VA serves the fastest-growing veteran population in the nation, with 70,000 patients last year, up from 42,000 in 2010. It is moving quickly to meet demand, Ms. Goolsby says. It has added facilities and reduced wait times for primary care to four days, from 29 days in 2014, when an audit found the hospital had among the longest wait times of 700 VA facilities in the country.

Seeking alternatives

The VA is working to increase treatment capacity nationwide and expand alternatives to the use of painkillers, such as acupuncture, says Carolyn Clancy, deputy undersecretary for health for organizational excellence at the Veterans Health Administration. The department also is aggressively addressing the supply of prescription opioids. Since 2012, the peak of opioid prescribing, the VA has reduced the number of its patients on long-term or high-dose painkillers by about a third.

“We owe it to the nation’s veterans to help them end their dependence on opioids,” said Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert McDonald in a September speech, “and break the downward spiral that all too often ends in homelessness, prison or suicide.”

More than a decade of war in Afghanistan and Iraq produced a flood of veterans with severe physical and mental conditions. Because of advances in battlefield armor and combat care, serious injuries now have 90% survival rates, compared with 40% in the Vietnam War, according to Rollin Gallagher, director of the national pain management program at the VHA. Yet many survivors are returning with permanent damage, such as amputations and spinal-cord injuries.

While many injured veterans required opioids, VA medical centers prescribed the drugs in too many cases, and often for months instead of days or weeks, department officials now say.

The VA’s Mr. McDonald said veterans are 10 times as likely as the average American to abuse opioids and that such abuse is the leading factor contributing to veteran homelessness.

Military communities are magnets for veterans seeking camaraderie. In Fayetteville, the metropolitan population of 349,000 people includes 77,000 soldiers and civilians working at Fort Bragg, 63,000 activeduty family members and 98,000 veterans and their family members. Units based here, including the 82nd Airborne Dioptions vision, have deployed repeatedly to the Middle East since 9/11, sending home a steady stream of severely injured soldiers.

Air Force veteran Ken Grady, 45, says the local VA prescribed him OxyContin, Percocet, Vicodin and fentanyl patches in the 2000s because of a series of surgeries for back injuries. “The VA made it so easy,” he says. “It was endless, and I abused it.”

When he couldn’t get prescriptions, Mr. Grady says he could easily obtain opioids on the street. He has been struggling to get clean, and has spent all but 65 days of the past 2-½ years in VA-funded treatment or in jail, as he is currently.

During one stay at the VA’s crisis mental health unit, a doctor in another section prescribed him Percocet for his chronic back pain, he says. “Please don’t give me that,” he says he told the doctor. Mr. Grady says he has sometimes bought drugs from veterans selling just-filled narcotic prescriptions outside VA facilities.

Last month, Mr. Grady had several teeth pulled by a VA contractor, who prescribed him Vicodin for the pain. Mr. Grady says he protested, but “you don’t have to twist my arm too much.” He relapsed, bought more pills on the street and landed back in jail. He hoped to be out by Christmas but his mother says it is taking longer than expected to find treatment and a place to stay.

Ms. Goolsby, director of the Fayetteville center, says VA facilities are sprawling public places, and it would be regrettable but not unheard of for veterans to sell pills on campus. She also says the VA has improved its record-keeping to better track prescriptions for veterans with substance-use disorder.

The VA system’s treatment are limited. The Fayetteville VA has an outpatient alcohol detox unit but no opioid detox unit. It refers veterans to other local facilities for detox, the initial period of up to about a week when an addict comes off drugs, endures withdrawal and is stabilized. The VA then refers them to its outpatient substance-abuse treatment program, the much longer process of overcoming addiction and underlying issues through therapy, group programs and medication. The outpatient program has 1,000 visits a month, and saw a total of 2,800 new patients from January to October of this year.

Addicted veterans can be referred to one of the VA’s 43 inpatient rehab centers around the country, which combined have 906 beds, according to a 2014 VA audit. Waits are usually longer than 30 days, though, which deters referrals, and beds often stay empty because of lack of staffing, the audit said.

The nearest inpatient VA facility to Fayetteville is in Salisbury, N.C., nearly three hours away.

Given the scarcity of VA services, addicted veterans often turn to public and private providers, which typically are also overwhelmed by demand. Cape Fear Valley Health System has a contract to provide mentalhealth services for the county, and has 16 detox beds, which stay full.

Users seeking methadone or other medication to treat their addiction mainly rely on a handful of private clinics. The largest is the Carolina Treatment Center, in an office park behind the hospital. The clinic dispenses medication to 600 patients each day, with lines forming before the clinic opens at 5 a.m.

Alan Shay Davis, a moonlighting obstetrician, started filling in as the medical director three years ago after a loved one became addicted to opioids. “I’ve been a part of the problem for some patients,” he says, by prescribing opioids in his obstetric practice. “Hopefully now I’m part of the solution.”

One of Dr. Davis’s patients at the clinic is Mr. Deatherage, who is taking Vivitrol, a longacting drug that attaches to receptors in the body and blocks the effects of opioids.

Shortly after enlisting in 2006, Mr. Deatherage was prescribed Percocet for a back injury from paratrooper training. He says he took pills during most of his deployment in Afghanistan in 2009 and 2010. His armored vehicle was bombed repeatedly while clearing roads in remote areas. He suffered back, neck, facial and shoulder injuries, and cracked his skull in an explosion that he later learned caused a traumatic brain injury.

“I got blown up seven times,” he says. “I would go see my medic, get bandaged, get Percs and get on with it.”

Back home, he was prescribed opioids for his injuries while stationed on the West Coast and in Hawaii. As his tolerance increased, he started buying pills from other soldiers. He lost his marriage, his savings and his job, and was medically discharged for substance use in February 2014.

“They threw me out there and said, ‘Take care of yourself,’ ” he says. “So I did.”

Mr. Deatherage says he sought substance-abuse treatment from the VA over the years, including the spring of 2014 when he says he was told there was a four-month wait for residential treatment. The VA continued to prescribe opioids for his injuries.

He overdosed six times, once at his mother’s house in Oklahoma. She has trained as an emergency medical technician and revived him. “That’s how my family found out,” he says. “They thought I was just depressed.”

His mother, Louise Johnson, 54, says her son had been fooling no one since he came home with a blank stare and a gallonsized Ziploc bag full of VA prescriptions.

Mr. Deatherage would call home during his 18 months in Afghanistan and tell her horror stories, like cleaning up after a bomb severed his buddy’s leg and fatally shooting a civilian whom he feared was carrying a bomb. “The things that he saw and the things that he did hurt him deep,” she says.

She says she was close to finding a VA facility for him to check into when he left town.

Mr. Deatherage says he bounced around Texas awhile before heading to his brother’s house west of Fayetteville in early 2015. By then he could no longer get pills from the VA because of tighter prescribing policies. He got kicked out of his brother’s house after stealing his nephew’s prescription cough syrup and replacing it with Robitussin. He started using heroin, which was cheap and plentiful.

An arrest

Mr. Deatherage was arrested for theft and other charges, and spent stretches of the past two years homeless or in jail. He was referred earlier this year to one of two area veterans treatment courts, which allow low-level offenders to avoid prison by completing programs that address their underlying conditions.

In court this fall, Mr. Deatherage, looking thin and disheveled, told the judge he was sleeping in his car and spending half of his $3,000 monthly disability check on child support for his two sons, and the other half on heroin. Court staff arranged for him to start medication at Carolina Treatment Center, and to stay at a local halfway house that has a federal contract to serve up to 18 homeless veterans at a time.

There, he made friends with another veteran in the court program, Reggie Scott. In an interview in the fall, Mr. Scott said he was grateful for the VA’s help connecting him to treatment. “I’d be dead without them,” he said. But he still felt unmoored and prone to relapse.

In October, Mr. Deatherage and Mr. Scott used heroin together, and both went to jail under the terms of the court program.

Mr. Scott got out in October and kept using. He overdosed on heroin on Dec. 9 and went back to jail. He says he’s going to drop out of the veterans treatment program and serve his original sentence.

In court last week, Mr. Scott shuffled out of a holding cell in shackles to address other addicted veterans, his father and his mother, who was crying in the front row. “I want to give up. I’m done,” Mr. Scott said. “I don’t know if I’ll ever quit using drugs. But I do love y’all, I do.”

“Love you, Reggie!” several veterans said.

Mr. Deatherage was in the courtroom. He got out of jail in November and has been sober more than two months. He starts a 10-week training program in January to be a foreman at a natural-gas company.

He is optimistic that he will finally get clean. “I can’t worry about Reggie,” he says. “I’ve got to focus on me.”

In Fayetteville, 47% of opioid prescriptions are abused, according to an April study.

Robert Deatherage, a 30-year-old Army veteran who was injured in Afghanistan, stands outside a halfway house in Fayetteville, N.C.


“Cannabis Made in Germany”

The Long Wait for “Cannabis Made in Germany”


In Germany, according to the Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices (BfArM), as of December 21, 2016, there were exactly 900 cannabis patients with an “exception permission to purchase cannabis flowers.” The rest of the approximately 5,000 patients receive pharmaceutical marijuana products such as Sativex or Dronabinol.

The hurdles for the state document allowing the acquisition of whole plant cannabis are high for patients and doctors — the application process takes up to eight months — but this will change soon. On January 19, 2017, the German Parliament (Bundestag) will adopt a law that allows every doctor to simply prescribe cannabis  beginning in March or April of 2017 with a so-called “narcotics prescription.”

Currently, Germany’s medical doctors can only recommend cannabis for a patient, and then assist the patient with the complicated application process.

One gram of cannabis currently costs an average of 15 euros, although the strain variety is very limited at seven. The oldest and most popular strain is “Bedrocan” by the Dutch company of the same name, deriving from Jack Herer (Sensi Seeds).

The state-supervised producer offers:

Bedrocan (Jack Herer, THC 22%, CBD <1%)

Bedrobinol (Jack Herer x Afghaan, THC 14.5%, CBD <1%)

Bedica (Afghani x Herijuana, THC 14%, CBD <1%)

Bediol (Strain unknown*, THC 6.5%   CBD 8%)

Bedrolite (Strain unknown*, THC 1%, CBD 9%)

Since the end of August 2016, there are two Tweed varieties from Canada’s state cannabis program:

Argyle (Nordle, THC: 6.31% CBD: 8.92%)

Princeton(Ghost Train Haze, THC: 14.00%, CBD <1%)

Another two other Tweed varieties will follow soon:

Penelope (CBD Skunk Haze, THC: 10.2%, CBD: 7.42%)

Houndstooth (Super Lemon Haze, THC 13.5%, CBD 0.05%)

Within the next week, Ontario-based producer Peacenaturals will be selling the following strains via German pharmacies:

Pedanios 22/1 (Strain unknown*, THC 22%, CBD 1%)

Pedanios 14/1 (Strain unknown*, THC 14%, CBD 1%)

Because the varieties offered are more expensive than high-quality cannabis on the black market, many patients still buy illegally or grow their own despite their lack of permission. To make matters worse, the pharmaceutical products offered in pharmacies are still much more expensive than the herbal cannabis they also sell. For example, 1000mg of THC costs 456.80 euro as the mouth spoon Sativex, as Dronabinol drops 880 euro and 68.20 euro as herbal “Cannabis Flos.”

However, Sativex is paid by health insurance for patients with a Multiple Sclerosis diagnosis. Dronabinol or buds are only covered by insurance companies in very rare and exceptional cases, most German cannabis patients must pay for medicine out-of-pocket. But in Germany the reimbursement of almost all drugs is anchored by law, and the new law could make cannabis a prescription medicine covered by health insurance providers. A multi-year trial with voluntary patients will decide if cannabis will need to be covered by health insurance providers.

Germany Moves From Cannabis Importer to Producer

The Federal Republic will be letting companies grow medical cannabis on domestic soil in the near future. The new law provides for the establishment of a German Cannabis Agency which will issue state licenses for cultivation and monitor production and distribution channels. Although the agency has not yet been established, many companies have already applied for a license through the BfArM. Insiders consider German-Austrian company Bionorica as a serious potential player in the burgeoning market. The company already cultivates cannabis in Vienna for Dronabinol production together with the Austrian Agency for Health and Nutrition Safety (AGES). Bedrocan does not seem to have any interest in building up facilities in Germany, as the Dutch producer is currently busy on new projects in the Czech Republic and Italy.

The new agency’s rules will likely to be similar to those of the Netherlands, and therefore be very strict. For the production of medical cannabis, minimum requirements such as 100% sterility, accounting for every milligram handled, a financial concept, access to significant starting capital as well as the cooperation of pharmacologists, doctors, government laboratories and various other government authorities.

For Germany’s illegal growers, it will be much more difficult to legalize their business than it was in the U.S. with small-scale medical dispensaries. The new rules are things underground botanist are not too familiar with yet, because transparency is just as new to German growers as new as the difference between Master Kush and Purple Haze is for an official in the German Cannabis Agency.

The Gold Mine in Strain Knowledge

Countries with established medical cannabis programs have made one thing clear: a medical cannabis program works a lot better with the help of growers. The Netherlands have cooperated with former illegal botanists since 1993 to set a medical cannabis program.

In Canada, it was obvious that the program would not work without the knowledge of patients and growers. For this reason, a few years ago, patients were asked to provide the producers with their home-bred strains. Those strains were then taken over by the cannabis companies and certified by Health Canada. For the development of new strains, the producers now have laboratories and personnel, which work according to scientific and medical standards. However, the Strain-Knowledge of the Canadian Medical Growers was the basis for a well-functioning program, creating competition by strain diversity.

Although Canadian patients are not too satisfied with the program, compared to Germany the variety is now robust, the prices are adequate and the quality is strictly controlled and excellent. While in Canada, patients can choose from more than 200 strains with different cannabinoid profiles, whereas  a few EU countries with corresponding laws have just five; in Germany, currently seven strains are available.

The countries attempting to keep illegally acquired botanic knowledge out of their reach are currently not ready to put their own medical cannabis programs on their feet. Uruguay has had three years to get it right, but to this day, a legally-produced flower has not been delivered to patients. In the Czech Republic and Italy, production is lagging far behind the demand, with both states’ programs failing after being initialized. Now Bedrocan consults at least Italy and the Czech Republic.

Finland imports Bedrocan and has no intention of producing domestically for patients. The rest of the EU does not care at all. Even in cannabis-liberal Spain, where thousands of social clubs are tolerated, patients still move in a gray area due to the lack of a medical cannabis law.

The average German patient receives 1.8 grams of cannabis per day, which equates to an annual requirement of 591 kilograms for the current 900 patients. Once the new law comes into force and cannabis becomes prescriptive on a national level, observers expect a rapid increase in demand.

Maximilian Plenert, who is regularly invited by the German Bundestag as an expert in questions about medical cannabis, estimates with approximately 175,000 patients that, “The quantity of cannabis, which a patient has received on average per day, was four grams in 2014 (in Canada) is now 2.7 grams. The number of patients developed parallel to the quantity sold cannabis. In mid-2014 it was 7,914 people and the most recent value for mid-2016 was 75,166 patients. The proportion of patients in the population is slightly above 0.2%. In Germany, there are 0.001% of the inhabitants who have a medical license. As a first approximation, one can transfer absolute values to Germany. The number of inhabitants is higher (in Germany) by a factor of 2.3. This makes 175,000 patients in Germany soon, compared to Canadian circumstances.”

20 Legal Plants Are Already Flowering

Similar to “Urban Grower” Remo and other Canadian patients, two patients in Germany have fought successfully for their right to self-help. In addition to Michael F., Frank Ackermann has been able to continue his legal cannabis therapy with self-cultivated flowers since December 2016. But the conservative Federal Ministry of Health has not discovered his heart for distressed cannabis patients overnight, Ackermann has merely made the best of a 16-year-long series of defeats in the court: A new law that keeps patients from growing currently only allows two patients permission to grow; both won their lawsuits before the law was implemented. Three more might follow soon due to another pending lawsuit. .Just as during the Harper-area in Canada, despite the numerous defeats against self-supplying patients, homegrowing patients are still not part of the new German law. Therefore, all private licenses are limited in time and are expected to be withdrawn as soon as the law allows the reimbursement of the costs or provides patients with cannabis produced in Germany. Because of the history of its origin, the new law is called “cannabis cultivation prevention act” among patients.

Germany would do well to skim off the strain knowledge and needs of its growing patients as quickly as possible. Everything else leads to new lawsuits like those filed in Canada. In the end, German patients will be able to choose whether they want to alleviate their symptoms with self-cultivated flowers or Cannabis Flos, tinctures, extracts, and other pharmaceutical products available at the pharmacy. The main thing is, it helps.



Michael Knodt is an expert on cannabis politics and cannabis culture across Europe. Born in North Germany, Michael has been living in Berlin since 1990. He initially studied history and journalism before receiving his certification as a carpenter. Since then, Michael has made regular visits to countries where cannabis is cultivated, such as Jamaica and Morocco. He has worked as a freelancer for Weedmaps, Vice Magazine Germany, Sensi Seeds and numerous German-language cannabis magazines since 2004. From 2005 to 2013, Michael was the Editor-in-Chief of Germanys biggest cannabis periodical. He also is the face and presenter of the most popular program on cannabis prohibition and just launched a new channel called “DerMicha.” Aside from his journalistic work, Michael is a cannabis patient, activist, sought-after speaker on conferences and congresses, and a father of two.

HOBAN LAW GROUP – DEA Hurts Growing Industry and Exceeds its Authority Regarding Scheduling Controlled Substances; Enacts Final Rule Seeking to Make Any Extract of the Cannabis Plant a Schedule 1 Drug

DENVER, CO–(Marketwired – December 14, 2016) – On December 13, 2016, the DEA issued its Final Rule, “Establishment of New Drug Code for Marihuana Extract,” which serves to potentially devastate developing businesses and consumer, textile and manufacturing industries related to cannabinoids. Robert Hoban, a cannabis, cannabinoid and hemp lawyer and expert as well as an adjunct professor of law at The University of Denver, states the DOJ and DEA cannot unilaterally make law and schedule controlled substances, thus causing this Final Rule to exceed the DEA’s authority. Instead, such actions require an act of Congress.

As is the case here, the DEA is an agency that has previously sought to exceed its authority contrary to applicable law. It is anticipated that this “final ruling” and determination will be challenged both in court and administratively across the country. With 28 states that already have medical cannabis laws on the books, 8 states passing adult use laws in the November election, and numerous other states enacting industrial hemp legislation, the industry is up for the challenge of litigation against any government agency that operates contrary to prevailing law and enforcement policies.

The DEA’s Final Rule seeks to broadly expand and override existing definitions of controlled substances by newly creating a “Marihuana Extract” classification. The effect of this Final Rule appears to be incorporation of any and all cannabinoids from the Cannabis plant as a Schedule 1 controlled substance, despite the fact that many such cannabinoids are naturally occurring derived from non-“marihuana” portions of the plant or or from entirely different plants altogether. Problematically, the Final Rule fails to acknowledge there exist certain parts of the plant, and certain types of the plant — namely, industrial hemp — which cannot and should not be treated as a “Marihuana Extract.” Notably, the DEA has sought to unilaterally create laws before, and has lost, when challenged.

Hoban surmises, “The feeling is that this is an action beyond the DEA’s authority and we believe this is unlawful and we are taking a course of action for our clients. This Final Rule serves to threaten hundreds, if not thousands, of growing businesses, with massive economic and industry expansion opportunities, all of which conduct lawful business in reliance upon the Federal Government also acting pursuant to law, and as ordered by the Ninth Circuit in 2003 and 2004. We will see the Federal Government in court.”

Isodiol and Canadian Zeolite Sign Agreement for R&D of Cannabinoid-Infused Products

CARLSBAD, CA / ACCESSWIRE / December 27, 2016 / Isodiol, the Southern California-based cannabinoid innovator, is proud to announce that it has reached an agreement with Vancouver, British Columbia, Canadian Zeolite Corp. (the “Company”) (TSX-V: CNZ) (OTCQB: CNZCF) (FSE: ZEON) to research and develop cannabinoid-infused Zeolite products. The initial products to be developed are intended for human and animal consumption.

Zeolites are microporous, aluminosilicate minerals commonly used as commercial adsorbents and catalysts. The term zeolite was originally coined in 1756 by Swedish mineralogist Axel Fredrik Cronstedt, who observed that upon rapidly heating the material stilbite, it produced large amounts of steam from water that had been adsorbed by the material. Based on this, he called the material zeolite, from the Greek word meaning “to boil” and “stone”. Zeolites occur naturally but are also produced industrially on a large scale.

The Canadian Zeolite products developed with Isodiol will be
nano-amplified for immediate bioavailability then combined with cannabinoids and other adaptogenic herbs. The first products will consist of detoxifying, anti-aging products for oral consumption.

As with all of Isodiol’s cannabinoid products, all Zeolite products will be laboratory tested for purity prior and documented with certificates of analysis with each product run.

Isodiol’s Chief Operating Officer, Troy Nihart, stated, “Isodiol is looking forward to introducing these new products to the marketplace. Zeolite, as an additive, has tremendous potential especially with its detoxification properties. We feel there is an undiscovered zeolite market which we can begin to develop and are very excited to begin a partnership with Canadian Zeolite.”

Ray Paquette, Chief Executive Officer for Canadian Zeolite stated, “We are excited to be working with Isodiol who is at the forefront of developing and marketing CBD products. We are excited to implement our natural zeolite into Isodiol’s already successful product lines which will bring immediate value to our shareholders.”

Correction to Prior Release: Isodiol’s R&D will focus on human and pet-grade zeolite-infused anti-aging products intended for detoxification.

Media Contact:

Denise Mahaffey

About Canadian Zeolite:

Canadian Zeolite Corp. is an environmentally friendly Green Tech business well suited to today’s economic environment. The Company is operating and has a competitive advantage in the world of zeolites given the products has been tested, applied and exceeds the standards of specific markets. The Company is working with dedicated global advisors recognized as leaders in zeolite use.

Neither TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.

Some statements in this news release contain forward-looking information. These statements include, but are not limited to, statements with respect to future expenditures. These statements address future events and conditions and, as such, involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause the actual results, performance or achievements to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by the statements. Such factors include, among others, the ability to complete contemplated work programs and the timing and amount of expenditures. Canadian Zeolite does not assume the obligation to update any forward-looking statement.

About Isodiol:

Isodiol and its team of collaborators are a group of companies that together, grow & harvest hemp on an industrial scale, and then process it to extract the non-psychoactive cannabinoids to the highest available purity for worldwide distribution. By utilizing one of the world’s largest hemp farms, Isodiol and its partners are the choice for industrial volumes of high-grade, non-psychoactive cannabinoids. Pharmaceutical, nutraceutical and cosmetic companies worldwide have gained market share due to our products. For more information, visit www.Isodiol.com. To follow Isodiol online, visit Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Six Predictions For The Marijuana Industry In 2017

Six Predictions For The Marijuana Industry In 2017

This year saw big election wins for marijuana in several states. In addition, Colorado crossed the $1 billion mark for annual marijuana sales. Now a new year is almost here and a new presidential administration for the cannabis industry to navigate. It’s time to look ahead and see what’s in store for the cannabis industry in 2017.

The two biggest areas of focus for the upcoming year are California and Jeff Sessions. With California’s recreational marijuana market in the building phase, many in the industry will be watching for progress throughout the year. Another big center of attention will be the appointment of Jeff Sessions as U.S. Attorney General. This will keep the industry on heightened alert for any changes in law enforcement.  Aside from those two topics, here are some of the industry’s biggest predictions for the 2017.

  1. Los Angeles Will Become The Marijuana Capital

Move over Denver, Adam Bierman Chief Executive Officer of cannabis investment firm MedMen Capital believes that the City of Angels will steal the spotlight from the Mile High City. Bierman said that by some estimates, Los Angeles’s medical marijuana market alone is already close to $1 billion, easily overshadowing Colorado’s entire market. The city is expected to pass an ordinance in 2017 that will clear the path for a proper licensing program and open up the recreational market. Bierman said that capital is flowing into the area for local ventures as investors begin to smell money in the emerging market.

  1. A Sports League Will Green Light Marijuana
Bierman believes that in 2017 a major sports league will approve the use of cannabis for medical purposes. Many professional athletes have turned to using cannabis to treat pain and head injuries and are rejecting prescribed opiates. With medical marijuana legal in 29 states, the players are pushing to be treated just like other patients.
  1. A Primetime Network Show With A Marijuana Theme

With many polls showing that most Americans approve of legalizing marijuana, it won’t be long before a major network will use marijuana as a backdrop. It’s been over a decade since Showtime had a hit with Weeds. That series focused on a suburban mom that sold pot to make ends meet. It was considered ground breaking at the time with its taboo topic. Now HBO has High Maintenance and MTV’s got Mary + Jane. Adam Scott from Parks and Recreation got a green light from NBC to develop a show called Buds about a dispensary in Denver. There isn’t any timeline yet as to when the comedy could hit the air waves.

  1. An Increase In Interest For Synthetic CBD

With the Hemp Industries Association and the DEA battling over the legality of cannabis extracts like cannabinoids or CBD, there is an expectation for increased interest in synthetic cannabinoids. Seth Yakatan, the chief executive officer of biotech company Kalytera, said, “With AG Sessions and the DEA’s clarification that plant derived CBD isn’t legal federally, there will likely be interest in synthetic forms of CBD, which is what Kalytera has been testing the efficacy of for a few years.” Aside from the debate over whether CBD is legal or not, Yakatan is right that synthetic products do not have the legal limitations of other products. However, the synthetic products are not believed to be as effective as the natural products according to some patients. Fear over legal issues could create more demand for the synthetics.

  1. The Growth of Craft Marijuana

Sasha Kadey, Chief Marketing Officer of vaporizer distributor Greenlane, said he expects that as market supplies grow, prices will fall, causing a commoditizing effect. “This is leading to premiumization,” he said. “Much like the alcohol industry experienced during its maturation, with producers now seeking to differentiate with premium packaging, brand building, so called “seed to sale” storytelling, and other value adds.” Other growers will stress their organic features, while some will push celebrity endorsements. It will be the year of the craft bud.

6. Recycling Marijuana Failures

The Cannabis Business Alliance is hoping to work with lawmakers to create options for marijuana that fails pesticide testing. Currently marijuana producers have to destroy crops that fail testing. The CBA is working towards a new rule to allow for these harvests to be turned into solvent-based concentrates that would be considered safe.

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ASA Members Move International Rescheduling Process Forward


Major International Victory for Medical Cannabis!ASA Members Move International Rescheduling Process Forward

December 26, 2016 | Steph Sherer

Major Victory graphicAmericans for Safe Access (ASA) has just learned that the World Health Organization’s Expert Committee on Drug Dependence (ECDD) decided to move forward with a process that may reclassify medical cannabis under international law. The debate about medical cannabis at the ECDD has been stalled for years, but persistent pressure by ASA members, staff and international allies has resulted in historic movement towards rescheduling. The influential committee will hold a special session to discuss medical cannabis in eighteen months.

ECDD recommendations are instrumental in changing the classification of medical cannabis under the United Nations (UN) Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs of 1961, as amended by the 1972 Protocol (the “UN Single Convention”). 185 nations have signed the UN Single Convention, which many politicians consider to be an obstacle to federal medical cannabis reform in the United States, could mean fundamental changes in the way the United States and other nations treat medical cannabis patients, research and regulations – changes that cannot be undone by one country or the new US Presidential Administration.

We learned about the ECDD decision from a report that was disseminated at the Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) meeting convened in Vienna November 30 through December 2, 2016, that was recently posted online. The report, entitled “Extract from the Report of the 38th Expert Committee on Drug Dependence, convened from 14 to 18 November 2016,” said in part:

“The committee recognized:

The emergence of new cannabis-related pharmaceutical preparations for therapeutic use Cannabis has never been subject to a formal pre-review or critical review by the ECDD. The Committee requested that the Secretariat prepare relevant documentation in accordance with the Guidance on the WHO review of psychoactive substances for international control to conduct pre-reviews for the following substances:

  • Cannabis plant and cannabis resin
  • Extracts and tinctures of cannabis
  • Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)
  • Cannabidiol (CBD)
  • Stereoisomers of THC

The Committee recommended that these pre-reviews be evaluated at a specific ECDD meeting dedicated to cannabis and its component substances to be held within the next eighteen months from the 38th meeting.

The purpose of the pre-review is to determine whether current information justifies an Expert Committee critical review. The categories of information for evaluating substances in pre-reviews are identical to those used in critical reviews. The pre-review is a preliminary analysis, and findings at this stage should not determine whether the control status of a substance should be changed.”

ECDD decision disclosed in the CND memo will start a process that may ultimately lead to a fundamental change in international law. Committee staff will now prepare a series of pre-critical review documents for a special session meeting to be held on cannabis in eighteen months. Following that session, the ECDD may provide the first new scientific guidance on cannabis policy for the UN since 1935.

Changing the UN Single Convention

Cannabis, including medical cannabis, is currently classified as Schedule I and IV in UN Single Convention. This classification means it is a drug of abuse – not a medicine. This scheduling was determined based on a report created by the Health Committee of the League of Nations in 1935. The UN General Assembly must have a recommendation from the UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) to change the Scheduling of cannabis. The CND makes decisions on scheduling of substances based on recommendations from the ECDD.

The CND adopted Resolution 52/5 requesting an updated review of medical cannabis from the ECDD in 2009. The International Narcotics Control Board’s annual report likewise called on the WHO (including the committee) to uphold its obligation under the UN Single Convention to evaluate “the potential medical utility of cannabis and the extent to which cannabis poses dangers to human health…” in 2013. Despite these official requests, the ECDD has still not updated its information on medical cannabis, looked at the emerging science or considered evolving laws and policies in dozens of nations that have signed the UN Single Convention.

ASA Members Act

Steph Sherer at UN MeetingIn 2015, ASA co-founded the International Medical Cannabis Patient Coalition (IMCPC) bringing together patient advocates from over 42 countries untied to change international cannabis policies. At the ECDD’s 37th Meeting that same year, ASA and IMCPC members addressed the committee in Geneva,  calling for the members to act on the recommendations of CND and INCB by moving forwarded with the needed critical review document. Through ASA and IMCPC, patients have had international representation at the WHO and the United Nations and generated thousands of letters from over 75 countries to UN Ambassadors calling for reconsiderations of Cannabis’ scheduling.

An important part of the reclassification of a substance under the UN Single Convention is a document called a “critical review.” A critical review is prepared by experts in the field and critiqued for content and accuracy in a process called “peer review.” At ASA’s International Conference on Harmonization of Global Cannabis Policy March 18-23, 2016, in Washington DC, participants peer-reviewed Cannabis and Cannabis Resin Critical Review Preparation Document. This important paper was created by an international who’s who of cannabis experts including Jahan Marcu Ph.D., Tjaling Erkelens, Maria de los Angeles Lobos, Ph.D., Ethan Russo, MD, Roy Upton, Mahmoud Elsohly, Ph.D., Pavel Kubu, MD, Ethan Russo, MD, Pavel Patcha, Jason Schechter, Ph.D., and Phil Robson, Ph.D. to name a few.

Using over 300 references, the document thoroughly examines the vast research on the therapeutic value of cannabis, accurate accounts of toxicology and related public health concerns. The report also includes a summary of the variety of ways cannabis is controlled nationally and internationally, and the policies that are needed to make safe and legal access to medical cannabis available to all patients who would benefit from it.  ASA presented the paper and cover letter to the CND, the US State Department, and ECDD in on the last day of our national conference.

Despite our efforts, the agenda for the ECDD meeting in November of this year contained a brief “update” on cannabis:

WHO has provided updates on Cannabis in 2014, 2015 and will again share updated evidence in 2016 at the Expert Committee on Drug Dependence meeting on 14-18 November. So far, material to formally review the status of cannabis as a scheduled substance is either insufficient or inconclusive. WHO will continue to review all available scientific evidence to determine whether the current scheduling status should change.

We held this response to be completely inadequate, given the scope of the new information provided to the committee. ASA and our allies at the International Medical Cannabis Patients Coalition (IMCPC) immediately sent a letter responding to the ECDD agenda, which read in part:

“I am writing to express my concern and disappointment about the provisional agenda for the 38th meeting of the Expert Committee on Drug Dependence (ECDD).  The only reference of cannabis and cannabis resin is an “update”.  In April, I reached out to you due to the role the World Health Organization (WHO), and its ECDD, have in the medical, scientific and public health evaluation of psychoactive substances under the international drug control treaties and requested the urgent need for a critical review of cannabis by this Committee.

For the ECDD to advise on the future control status of cannabis, the Committee will need to create a critical review of cannabis. We trust that the ECDD will be able to recommend to the CND, as a minimum, to exclude cannabis from Schedule IV of the 1961 Convention.

However, to move forward, the ECDD must include a pre-review of cannabis on the agenda of the 38th meeting trust that the members of the ECDD will modify the agenda of their 38th meeting accordingly.”

And that is what they did…

Progress, Finally

Our persistence paid off. In response to ASA’s critical review and the IMCPC letter of protest, the ECDD has agreed to begin the pre-review process and discuss science and policies related to medical cannabis at a special session in eighteen months. The committee staff will consider new information related to the cannabis plant, resin, extracts and tinctures. Staff will also consider the emerging science related to THC and CBD. The pre-review is a first step towards the formal critical review that will prompt a recommendation that the CND reclassify medical cannabis under the UN Single Convention.

This is a long process, and ASA is committed to seeing it through. International law may seem remote to patients struggling to achieve or defend safe and legal access to medical cannabis in the United States. It is not. US politicians often cite international treaties as a reason Congress and the Administration cannot move forward. This process may ultimately remove that barrier and point to a pathway towards a more rational and compassionate federal policy.

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