The Advocate: Weekly Cannabis News

Illinois expands medical cannabis program

In Illinois, Gov. Bruce Rauner has signed the Alternative to Opioids Act – giving residents prescribed opioid-based medication access to medicinal cannabis.

The bill will allow doctors to authorize medical cannabis for patients who qualify for opioids, and will also eliminate finger printing and criminal background checks for future applicants.

SB336 was crafted by State Sen. Don Harmon, in direct response to the states growing opioid crisis, which took the lives of nearly 2,000 residents in 2016.

“This creates an option to save lives, prevent pain, treat pain but in a way that does not lead to a destructive addiction of opioids,” stated Gov. Rauner.

Nevada’s adult-use program exceeds market expectations

Adult-use cannabis sales have surpassed expectation in Nevada, reaching nearly $425 million in its first fiscal year of a recreational marijuana market.

The state will use a large percentage of the wholesale-tax placed on all products to help fund K-12 public education; Bill Anderson, Executive Director of the Dept. of Taxation, believes the state’s public education fund will receive somewhere between $25-$35 million from taxes placed on cannabis.

“We still have one more month to go and we’re already about 25% higher than what was anticipated,” said Anderson to KTNV.

The surge in recent growth could more than double the total number of dispensaries in the next 1-2 years, leaving representatives eager to push policies that expedite current licensing processes.

Virginia begins reviewing cannabis business licenses

51 different cannabis processing and dispensing applications are up for review in the state of Virginia.

By the end of 2018, all current applications will be processed and reviewed by the VA Board of Pharmacy, who is expected to reward a minimum of 5 licenses to hopeful cultivators.

“I think it’s really exciting, it’s about time,” said Katie Clifton to WDBJS. Clifton is a NORML chapter representative & local advocate who recently helped push policies expanding the states medical marijuana program.

Study shows cannabidiol could help reduce symptoms of psychosis

King’s College London recently researched the effects of CBD on patients diagnosed with psychosis.

Early results are promising – according to the study, one single dose of cannabidiol was found to decrease brain abnormalities in people suffering from psychotic symptoms.

Researches used “healthy” volunteers, comparing them to patients suffering from commonly diagnosed psychosis disorders, like bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. Comparing results found, researchers noticed CBD had a greater impact on those suffering from psychosis disorders.

The study is one of the first of its kind, helping pave the way for future researchers hoping to better understand the effects of CBD.

Oregon-based advocacy group hopes to expand cannabis consumption policies

New Revenue Coalition is hoping to facilitate a ballot measure that would expand cannabis consumption policies; currently, Oregonians are restricted to using cannabis in their individual residencies.

The advocacy group is pushing for a measure that would legalize and regulate lounges dedicated to cannabis consumption – providing residents with a social, and safe environment to medicate.

“Cannabis consumers deserve a place to use their cannabis safely and legally. This is a social justice issue that disproportionately affects the poor, patients, and communities of color,” says Madeline Martinez of NORML.

John Kuster

As Social Media Coordinator, John oversees all things related to getting Revolution Enterprises' unique message out. An Iowa native, John joined the Revolution team to help educate, and inform the public on cannabis and all it has to offer. Prior to joining Revolution, John helped multiple companies grow and expand their reach, ranging from the tech industry to the world of international football. He is thrilled to be working in a rapidly expanding market, and is proud to represent Illinois patients and cannabis advocates across the globe.