January 2021 News

UN Removes Cannabis from Dangerous Drug List 

 

The United Nations Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) in December accepted a World Health Organization (WHO) recommendation to remove cannabis and cannabis resin from Schedule IV of the 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs. 

The passage of Recommendation 5.1 carries symbolic significance for medical cannabis, as it could help boost medical cannabis legalization efforts around the globe now that the CND tacitly acknowledges the medical utility of the drug. 

The vote could encourage countries to reevaluate how cannabis is classified on their own lists of narcotics, potentially paving the way for more research into the uses and effectiveness of medical marijuana. 

Meanwhile, the United States voted retain Schedule I status of cannabis, saying is “consistent with the science demonstrating that while a safe and effective cannabis-derived therapeutic has been developed, cannabis itself continues to pose significant risks to public health and should continue to be controlled under the international drug control conventions”.  

 

Doctors Push for CBD Education 

 

There may be less stigma associated with using hemp CBD than cannabis, but most consumers still worry about a lack of regulation because of mislabeled and potentially unsafe products. Shari Berman, owner of Canna Healing Consulting in Boston, told the FDA that, “patients are driving this, not doctors” as most product labels direct consumers to consult with their doctors, but medical professionals are not trained or allowed to advise patients on how to use CBD. 

“Patients want to know how to use (CBD) and want to be able to have conversations with their doctors, but most of the time, doctors shut people down and it makes people nervous about using it,” Berman said. 

 

Is Your Xbox Smoking? It’s Not a Game 

 

If you got an Xbox for Christmas, don’t blow smoke into it. That’s the tongue-in-cheek response from Microsoft to videos supposedly showing brand-new Series X consoles spouting clouds of smoke — some of which they tech team says may have been faked by vaping internet hucksters. 

“We take all product safety reports seriously and our products meet or exceed industry standards,” a Microsoft spokesperson said in a statement. “Findings from our initial investigations do not align with some of the claims being broadly reported, however we are in the process of investigating further.” 

 

Dental Association Asks for Ban on Menthol Flavors 

 

A coalition of over 60 US organizations, including the American Dental Association and Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, are urging the Food and Drug Administration to ban menthol-flavored tobacco products. 

“There is a growing body of evidence that the elimination of menthol cigarettes would lead a substantial number of current menthol smokers to quit smoking rather than switch to non-menthol cigarettes in response to a prohibition on menthol cigarettes,” the coalition wrote in their letter fo the FDA. 

 

Will Biden Legalize Marijuana? 

 

Prior to being named President elect, Biden and Harris made voters believe that there would be significant changes to the criminal justice system. Biden’s campaign website includes a section where he promises to “decriminalize the use of cannabis and automatically expunge all prior cannabis use convictions.” 

It’s an ironic promise since Biden, the author of the 1994 Crime Bill, a core component of the War on Drugs, has never been a supporter of the cannabis industry.  

But Biden should listen to his new constituency. One-third of the American population — have chosen to legalize adult use of marijuana. Thirty-six states, with nearly 70% of the population, have legalized medical marijuana. From deep red states to deep blue ones, there’s widespread support for ending cannabis prohibition. 

 

Unique Products, Value, Key to CBD Success 

 

For the CBD industry to have staying power, products need to be dosed effectively or consumers will become cynical about the much-hyped commodity, said John Mackey, the co-founder and CEO of Whole Foods Market. 

Mackey, the keynote speaker for MJBizCon 2020, said CBD is “the in, hot product” but it needs to be dosed appropriately for people to feel its effects. Mackey predicted that over the next 10 to 15 years, many businesses will fail but “there’ll be lots of winners” as well – and he added that it’s not too late to get in the CBD game. 

“The biggest winners will be those who create special products that create value for people that they are able to scale and get their brands out there,” he said. 

 

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