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Volatility In Cannabis Land (Germany) – How will it affect prices for consumers? – by Marguerite Arnold

The debate about the price of cannabis as well as its imminent “collapse” or price hikes has been around since there has been a legal market.
In general, the conventional wisdom is a bit off the mark. For the most part, even when it is accurate, it is highly regional and at best temporal, subject to uncertain if short-lived winds. Why? Every cannabis market these days is a different animal thanks to regulations. Further, the American state focussed industry is very different from any other country right now. Canada, Germany, Israel and Australia are more alike to each other than any similarities they share with the U.S. state industry. In any state.

Then there are new wrinkles that so far have not been priced into any of these predictions. If anything, the price of cannabis is going to increase, dramatically, globally over the next 18 months.

U.S. State Markets Are Different
There is a body of evidence that shows that the price of cannabis, to the consumer, has dramatically fallen in places like Colorado. This is understandable for very easy to grasp economic concepts. Supply and demand. The market in Colorado has normalized. There is risk, but there is less of it and all of it is in-state. This all goes into cannabis pricing that is absolutely felt by the consumer. Not to mention all the way along the line until it gets to retail. There is also evidence that the California state cannabis market is going through a similar transition, along with Washington State.

In turn, this along with other pressures are pushing growers to cut costs. But those pressures include major issues, like water, land and energy conservation. None of the investment in such initiatives is tax deductible, either. In other words, this is a rich man’s game of high equity and razor thin margins that those who are well capitalized enough are now playing. Everyone else is being marginalized.

Further, the temporary ups and downs of state markets in the U.S. is by definition, limited to those state markets. It is illegal to transport anything cannabinoid over state lines. And while CBD may be the first to fall on this front, for now, what happens in Boulder, stays in Colorado.

Canadian Markets Will Be Stressed Next Year
There is ample evidence already, just based on the domestic situation in Canada, that there well might be a global medical marijuana shortage until 2020. This has a great to do with how the international as well as domestic Canadian markets are shaping up.

Right now, domestic licensed producers in Canada are expanding. They have great access to global equity markets. They are entering foreign territories. Plus they have large stockpiles of cannabis. The medical patient population is also growing at about 10% a month. In other words, it could double right at the time recreational takes off.

And there is already a rec market in Canada that is easily large enough to compete with even domestic patients.

On top of that, the entire German medical market could be sourced from Canada for the next 18 months to two years. Patient populations, even as estimated by the government (and they are conservative) will put a significant dent in Canadian supplies also.

Even though two new developments may in fact serve to help alleviate the supply of medical grade cannabis, that is already a huge demand that well may drive prices up even if over “just” the next two years.

And while Australia and Israel have just jumped into the cannabis export game, the former via its apparent intent to source most domestic cannabis from Tasmania, this is unlikely to have much of an effect. Yes, Tasmania supplies 40% of the world’s legal heroin. Medical cannabis, however, is a fish of an entirely different flavour.

There is zero chance that any national government at this point, will source the majority of their medical crops or even medication from down under. It is just too expensive. Importing cannabis into Australia (primarily from Canada) also just got very controversial.

For that very reason, all the pricing indicators and market pressures point to at minimum, ongoing upward price trends on the raw plant from growers all the way through to consumers.

German Patients Are In Trouble
If there is one place in the legalizing world right now where price has gone through the roof, it is Germany right now. In an effort to kill the home grow market, the German government passed a new law at the beginning of the year. It will be revolutionary, once they get the kinks out. For now, however, insurers are having to be widely sued to begin covering the drug. Doctors are reluctant to prescribe it. And patients are facing uncompensated costs at pharmacies that have risen dramatically even this year for reasons that have nothing to do with production or distribution, but a locally imposed “pharmacists processing fee.” A month’s supply to a German patient right now, is around $2,400.

It is the German situation, in fact, which dramatically underscores all of the discussions about price volatility and supply.The legal cannabis world is under licensed and way too small to even meet existing demand.

State markets in the U.S. are their own animal for right now. Outside of this very differently refracted local lens, however, the cannabis commodity market has a global footprint that is fairly easy to track, predict and understand when seen from this perspective.

[Featured image credit: commons.wikimedia.org]

Marguerite Arnold | September 11, 2017 at 5:29 am | Tags: Cannabis, cannabis prices, consumer cannabis proce, German cannabis, Israel cannabis, Medical Cannabis | Categories: Business, Opinion, Regulations | URL: http://wp.me/p8nEcz-Mg

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“My fellow conservatives should protect medical marijuana from the government” – U.S. CONGRESSMAN DANA ROHRABACHER

http://www.philly.com/philly/opinion/commentary/conservatives-medical-marijuana-veterans-ptsd-20170906.html?mc_cid=3df8db3886&mc_eid=cd290ff91e

by Dana Rohrabacher

Not long ago, a supporter of mine visiting from California dropped by my Capitol office. A retired military officer and staunch conservative, he and I spent much of our conversation discussing the Republican agenda.

Finally, I drew a breath and asked him about an issue I feared might divide us: the liberalization of our marijuana laws, specifically medical marijuana reform, on which for years I had been leading the charge. What did he think about that controversial position?

“Dana,” he replied, “there are some things about me you don’t know.” He told me about his three sons, all of whom enlisted after 9/11.

Two of his sons returned from the battlefield whole and healthy. The third, however, came home suffering multiple seizures each day. His prospects were bleak.

His medical care fell under the total guidance of the Department of Veterans Affairs, whose doctors came under federal restraints regarding the treatments they could prescribe. (Among the treatments allowed were opioids.) Nothing worked.

Finally, a sympathetic doctor advised our young hero to see him in his private office, where he could prescribe medication derived from cannabis. The prescription worked. The seizures, for the most part, ceased.

“Dana,” said my friend, “I could hug you right now for what you’ve been doing, unknowingly, for my son.”

What had I been doing? With my Democratic friend Sam Farr, the now-retired California congressman, I wrote an amendment to spending bills that prohibits the federal government from prosecuting medical marijuana cases in states where voters have legalized such treatment. The amendment passed two consecutive years, the second time with a wider margin than the first, and has been extended through continuing resolutions and an omnibus spending bill.

Surprisingly, given the Obama administration’s generally liberal approach to marijuana, its Justice Department tried to interpret the amendment in such a convoluted way as to allow counterproductive raids on marijuana dispensaries. The courts — most recently the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit — repeatedly ruled that our amendment meant exactly what it said.

Unfortunately, my longtime friend Jeff Sessions, the attorney general, has urged Congress to drop the amendment, now co-sponsored by Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D., Ore.). This despite President Trump’s belief, made clear in his campaign and as president, that states alone should decide medical marijuana policies.

I should not need to remind our chief law enforcement officer or my fellow Republicans that our system of federalism, also known as states’ rights, was designed to resolve just such a fractious issue. Our party still bears a blemish for wielding the “states’ rights” cudgel against civil rights. If we bury state autonomy in order to deny patients an alternative to opioids, and ominously federalize our police, our hypocrisy will deserve the American people’s contempt.

More than half the states have liberalized medical marijuana laws, some even decriminalizing recreational use. Some 80 percent of Americans favor legalization of medical marijuana. Only a benighted or mean-spirited mind-set would want to block such progress.

Despite federal efforts to restrict supply, studies continue to yield promising results. And mounting anecdotal evidence shows again and again that medical marijuana can dramatically improve the lives of people with epilepsy, post-traumatic stress disorder, arthritis, and many other ailments.

Most Americans know this. The political class, not surprisingly, lags behind them.

Part of the reason is the failure of too many conservatives to apply “public choice economics” to the war on marijuana. Common sense, as well as public choice theory, holds that the government’s interest is to grow, just as private-sector players seek profit and build market share.

The drug-war apparatus will not give ground without a fight, even if it deprives Americans of medical alternatives and inadvertently creates more dependency on opioids. When its existence depends on asset seizures and other affronts to our Constitution, why should anti-medical-marijuana forces care if they’ve contributed inadvertently to a vast market, both legal and illegal, for opioids?

I invite my colleagues to visit a medical marijuana research facility and see for themselves why their cultural distaste might be misplaced. One exists near my district office at the University of California, Irvine, another at the University of California, San Diego.

Better yet, they might travel to Israel — that political guiding light for religious conservatives — and learn how our closest ally in the Middle East has positioned itself on the cutting edge of cannabis research. The Israeli government recently decriminalized first use, so unworried is it about what marijuana might do to its conscript military.

My colleagues should then return to Washington and keep my amendment intact, declaring themselves firmly on the side of medical progress. Failing that, the government will keep trying to eradicate the burgeoning marijuana business, thereby fueling and enriching drug cartels. Trust me: Hugs from grateful supporters are infinitely better.

Republican U.S. Rep. Dana Rohrabacher represents California’s 48th District. He wrote this for the Washington Post.


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Quotes

“We do not want individuals prosecuted—we want the industry to be accountable. This industry—starting from the top — should be systematically shut down.”

– Kevin Sabet, president of Smart Approaches to Marijuana, during a phone conference discussing the Cole Memo

“The President has told me he is a strong supporter of medicinal marijuana. He has launched a just war on opioids which he has correctly said is the real drug abuse crisis today.”

– Roger Stone, in a prepared statement in which he also apologizes for referring to a number of black Americans as “negro”

“If I hadn’t begun self-medicating with [cannabis], I would have killed myself. The relief isn’t immediate. It doesn’t make the pain disappear. But it’s the only thing that takes the sharpest edges off my symptoms…But I live in fear that I will be arrested purchasing an illegal drug. I want safe, regulated medical cannabis to be a treatment option.”

– Thomas James Brennan, a former sergeant in the Marine Corps who wrote an op-ed for the New York Times, “Make Pot Legal for Veterans With Traumatic Brain Injury“

“People who use medical marijuana to treat arthritis are literally burning joints to soothe their burning joints.”

– a “shower thought” from reddit user furiouspasta

“The dumbest purchase I ever made…hmm…dumbest purchase I ever made…I think it was when I bought what was supposed to be five dollars worth of pot in the village, way, way, way back, and the guy who got it for me got oregano. And I bought myself an envelope full of oregano.”

– David Crosby, founding member of both The Byrds and Crosby, Stills & Nash, during an impromptu call into The Best Show after “these pruciferous [which isn’t a word] people on Twitter” kept asking him to call in

[The idea of legalized recreational marijuana] “makes the hair stand up on the back of my neck.”

– US Attorney General Jeff Sessions addressing an audience at the National Alliance For Drug Endangered Children in Wisconsin


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Kiffen on recipe? The cannabis doctor of Berlin

– by Thorsten Harmsen

Eva Milz (44) treats patients with medical cannabis. It means that the possibilities of the medium have not been fully developed.

Legal killing on prescription – critics see the meaning of the law, which the Bundestag decided in March. For the first time, doctors can prescribe cannabis. One of them is Eva Milz, psychiatrist with practice in Johannisthal.

The flowers of the hemp plant can relieve severe symptoms of the disease: – chronic pain, spastic paralysis, nausea, anxiety. But the plant can do more. This is my medical profession, who has dedicated himself to the development of the therapeutic potential of cannabis. There are only a few in Germany who believe that it is worth using cannabis as a therapy attempt .

Eva Milz knows about the restraint of many colleagues when dealing with the medicine. Because physicians are only allowed to prescribe medicinal cannabis if standard therapies do not help or have a “not very distant prospect of noticeable positive development on the course of the disease”. “Most doctors talk out and think you have to wear your head under your arm before you get cannabis,” says Eva Milz. But the fear of the means is unfounded.

Cannabis has already been used as a medicine in antiquity, including China and Egypt. This experience has been lost, says Eva Milz. For example, no medicine student learns that the body has many docking points for the substances from the hemp plant. These would be used to control messengers which ensure the functioning of nerve cells. “That’s part of every textbook,” says Eva Milz.

Nationwide it was about a thousand patients

She worked in many clinics, most recently as a psychiatrist at the Unfallkrankenhaus Berlin. She knows the spectrum of the means of modern medicine. It was addressed to cannabis as a therapy option for the first time in 2002. She then worked in patient advice for the medicine portal of a specialist publishing house. Multiple sclerosis patients, to whom she was talking, had discovered by accident – for example, when smoking a joint – that cannabis helps them as no other remedy.

Many asked if it was not legal. In working for the Federal Center for Health Education, Eva Milz again met people who were suffering from attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and reported that they were permanently in a state of decline after cannabis withdrawal.

When she founded her practice in 2015, she co-operated with the doctor, Franjo Grotenhermen, chairman of the Cannabis Consortium for Medicine (ACM). Eva Milz reviewed medical reports from patients from all over Germany and sent them to the Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices. At the time, this granted exemptions for patients who were allowed to use cannabis.

Nationwide, it was about a thousand – 20 percent of ADHD patients. Those affected can not concentrate, neither learn nor work. They often find themselves in an offside position because they have an outcrop. But after the consumption of cannabis, they were able to concentrate, were able to learn and work. Many got their impulses under control.

Cannabis plant
The flowers of the hemp plant can alleviate serious symptoms.
Photo: Imago / CTK Photo
In ADHD, the THC appears to promote the concentration and focus of patients

According to Eva Milz, this is due to the variety of the ingredients of the hemp plant, especially the cannabinoids. “The main player that most know is the THC,” she says, expelled tetrahydrocannabinol. It has a harsh, psychoactive effect. “Cannabidiol, CBD, is quite unknown,” says Eva Milz. It acts like an opponent to the THC: anxiety and cramping, relaxing and anti-inflammatory. In addition, there are other cannabinoids, essential oils and aromas.

The components worked together. In ADHD, for example, the THC appears to be mainly focussing on the concentration and focus of the patient, says Eva Milz. The CBD probably solve the fear. Because impulsiveness and austerity have much to do with fear.

Perplexed, the psychiatrist read in the doctor’s letters that it was always the parents of young ADHD patients who asked if one could not legalize cannabis. Those who were closest to those affected had noticed that conventional drugs such as Ritalin slowed the sufferers, but also slowed creativity and liveliness. Cannabis had been an alternative.

In multiple-sclerosis patients, the agent for pain and muscle cramps is also effective, because both parts – THC and CBD – are also present, says Eva Milz. A list of 14 varieties of medicinal cannabis blossoms with different dosages shows how diverse the remedy is.

“I have been waiting for the critical questions of cannabis opponents for two years”

Many people think of cannabis first drug, possible addiction and its consequences. But even these are well controlled by an experienced doctor, says Eva Milz. It is reminiscent of conventional drugs that trigger the most severe dependencies. Cannabis with its comparatively mild withdrawal symptoms could possibly serve as a substitute.

One missing Eva Milz: “I have been waiting for the critical questions of cannabis opponents for two years, but I do not get them.” Instead, desperate patients came to her, who had been thrown out by other doctors – as supposedly addicts who were on detours Material wanted to come.

The doctor is inter alia with researchers at a university in conversation. Studies are being conducted on the use of cannabis flowers in Tourette’s syndrome, ADHD and other diseases where the drug is already being used. “I would like to have 30 to 50 preparations, which I can use as necessary,” she says. It is used for inflammatory diseases, anxiety, sleep disorders, neurodermatitis, migraine and other ailments.

One problem is the cost. The health insurance funds approve only about half of the applications. But a treatment can cost up to 3000 euros a month. For one gram of cannabis, the pharmacies demand 22 euros. Many could not afford it.

– Quelle: http://www.berliner-kurier.de/28240224 ©2017


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Cannabis Shows Promise In Treating Schizophrenia And Tourette Syndrome

Cannabis Shows Promise In Treating Schizophrenia And Tourette Syndrome – by Janet Burns

Despite cannabis’ history in folk pharmacopoeias, clinical studies of its medicinal impact remain limited in many areas. Based on some promising early results, researchers are now calling for a closer look at its applications for certain mental health conditions for which more ‘traditional’ treatments have come up short.

According to recent studies, the cannabis-derived chemical cannabidiol (CBD) may offer meaningful relief with schizophrenia, a frequently chronic condition which can significantly interfere with how we think, feel, and behave.

At the University of Wollongong, researchers first discovered that CBD could provide new kinds of symptom relief for schizophrenic individuals by examining what science has uncovered about the chemical so far. To get a sense of CBD’s impact on cognitive function in relation to schizophrenia, Dr. Katrina Green, Professor Nadia Solowij, and Wollongong Ph.D. candidate Ashleigh Osborne conducted a detailed review of 27 extant studies on the chemical and uncovered some “fascinating insights” about its potential therapeutic value.

In a release, Green commented that CBD could provide direct neurological support for a range of conditions affecting the brain, from schizophrenia to dementia. “From this review, we found that CBD will not improve learning and memory in healthy brains, but may improve aspects of learning and memory in illnesses associated with cognitive impairment, including Alzheimer’s disease, as well as neurological and neuro-inflammatory disorders,” including hepatic encephalopathy, meningitis, sepsis, and cerebral malaria.

Green, who led the review, also noted that CBD may well be capable of reducing cognitive impairment that has been associated with THC, the main psychoactive component of cannabis, which has previously shown a potential to aggravate aspects of schizophrenia, anxiety, and other mental disorders.

Following the review, the researchers decided to put CBD’s potential for easing cognitive schizophrenia symptoms to the test with their own study using a rat model. With help from Senior Professor Xu-Feng Huang and Ph.D. candidate Ilijana Babic, what they found was that “chronic” administration of CBD seemed to attenuate the cognitive deficits and social withdrawal that often afflict persons with schizophrenia, which the team simulated in rats using prenatal poly I:C infection.

“We found that CBD was able to restore recognition and working memory, as well as social behavior, to normal levels,” Osborne said in a release. “These findings are interesting because they suggest that CBD may be able to treat some of the symptoms of schizophrenia that are seemingly resistant to existing medications. In addition, CBD treatment did not alter body weight or food intake, which are common side effects of antipsychotic drug treatment.”

Osborne also explained to ABC News Australia, “This is really important because current antipsychotic drugs don’t address the cognitive deficits, which approximately 80% of patients with schizophrenia experience.”

According to the Australian team, the results of their review and study indicate some promising possibilities for treating schizophrenia with CBD, but also that more scientific research is definitely in order.

“This is the first study to prove Cannabidiol can be used to treat symptoms of schizophrenia that aren’t addressed by current medications,” Osborne told ABC News. “These findings are really promising but further research is needed to see if these findings translate to people suffering from schizophrenia.”

She added, “Ultimately, we hope that these findings lead to new improved medications.”

According to a recent study on schizophrenia and cannabis use, people with a greater risk for schizophrenia are likelier than others to keep trying the plant for themselves in the meantime.

In recent years, cannabis has also shown promise as a treatment for Tourette Syndrome, characterized by involuntary physical or verbal tics that are often physically or socially painful to endure.

A preliminary study published this year provided a retrospective evaluation of cannabis’ effectiveness and tolerability in treating adults with Tourette Syndrome. Conducted by researchers at the University of Toronto with support from the Tourette Association of America, the study found that 18 of 19 participants were at least “much improved” after a regimen of inhaled cannabis, while tics scores for the whole group decreased by 60%.

As NORML reported, all of the study’s participants experienced “clinically significant symptom relief,” including reductions in irritability, impulsivity, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive symptoms, and rage outbursts. The drug was also well tolerated by the participants, with mostly minor side effects being reported.

Overall, the researchers wrote, “These study participants experienced substantial improvements in their symptoms, [which] is particularly striking given that almost all participants had failed at least one anti-tic medication trial. … In conclusion, cannabis seems to be a promising treatment option for tics and associated symptoms.”

As NORML pointed out, research has previously determined that oral doses of THC have helped to decrease tics and obsessive-compulsive behavior in patients with Tourette Syndrome by a hearty margin. Patients using inhaled cannabis, however, have “generally shown greater overall improvement.”

Given that cannabis and the chemicals it contains have demonstrated promise or proven effectiveness in treating such ailments as pain, nausea, mental illness, multiple sclerosis, neuropsychiatric disorders, epilepsy, and various symptoms thereof, many patients and practitioners are hoping that the Trump Administration will allow more research on the plant going forward.

In recent months, however, members of the administration have indicated a desire to rather crack down on the drug’s medicinal and recreational usage, at times due to the opinion–or, perhaps more accurately, the notion–that marijuana is not a medicine.

According to Merriam-Webster, a medicine is “a substance or preparation used in treating disease;” according to our own CDC, medicines are “used to treat diseases, manage conditions, and relieve symptoms.”

As the CDC points out, medicines can also contain a number of different drugs, and thereby pose different health risks depending on each patient. For example, over-the-counter (OTC) pain medicines like Tylenol and Excedrin contain the drug acetaminophen, which can easily be overdosed on (and/or do real liver damage) by doubling the dose once or twice, regardless of its interactions with other drugs, while over-dosing or incorrect use of OTC’s like Advil and Aleve, which contain drugs called NSAIDs, cause tens of thousands of hospitalizations each year, and thousands of deaths, though exact estimates vary.

Nevertheless, these drugs continue to be available as medicines because their perceived benefits are thought to outweigh the risks involved in taking them–an assessment which is critical for both doctors and drug manufacturers to perform, according to the FDA.

And since research and experts have consistently suggested that the potential benefits of cannabis would far outweigh the risks and side-effects involved–enough to warrant further study, in the very least–hopefully our elected officials and appointed administrators will realign their sense of the plant with science’s definition soon.

Janet Burns covers tech, culture, and other fun stuff from Brooklyn, NY. She also hosts the cannabis news podcast The Toke.


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CW Hemp, PlusCBD Oil, HempMeds (RHSO), Elixinol and CannazALL are the top 5 CBD brands online, according to a new report by Tampa, Florida-based Brightfield Group, a market research firm that specializes in the cannabis industry. The report (cost: $395) projects the hemp-derived CBD market will hit $1 billion by 2022, noting CBD sales hit $170 million in 2016 and suggesting 55% compound annual growth over the next five years will cause the market to crack the billion-dollar mark.


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Europe’s market potential for cannabidiol (CBD) is pegged at around €2 billion as a treatment for chronic diseases, according to a new report by nova-Institute and HempConsult (both of Germany), who probed the market for non-psychotropic CBD, increasingly in demand as a food supplement and pharmaceutical.