Vol. 7, Number 1
January 2015
cheryl riley, James Freire,
Dr. David Bearman,
Gradi Jordan, Ed Glick,
Paul Armentano,
Sunil K Aggarwal,
Al Byrne, Amanda Reiman,
Jim Greig, Joan Bello,
Arthur Livermore
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What's New
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Study: Long Term Cannabis Exposure “Not Associated With Significant Effects On Lung Function” - Paul Armentano

The inhalation of one marijuana cigarette per day over a 20-year period is not associated with adverse changes in lung health, according to data published online ahead of print in the journal Annals of the American Thoracic Society.

Investigators at Emory University in Atlanta assessed marijuana smoke exposure and lung health in a large representative sample of US adults age 18 to 59. Researchers reported that cannabis exposure was not associated with FEV1 (forced expiratory volume) decline or deleterious change in spirometric values of small airways disease.

Authors further reported that marijuana smoke exposure may even be associated with some protective lung effects among long-term smokers of tobacco. Investigators acknowledged, “[T]he pattern of marijuana’s effects seems to be distinctly different when compared to that of tobacco use.”

Researchers also acknowledged that habitual cannabis consumers were more likely to self-report increased symptoms of bronchitis, a finding that is consistent with previous literature. Separate studies indicate that subjects who vaporize cannabis report fewer adverse respiratory symptoms than do those who inhale combustive marijuana smoke.

Authors concluded, “[I]n a large representative sample of US adults, ongoing use of marijuana is associated with increased respiratory symptoms of bronchitis without a significant functional abnormality in spirometry, and cumulative marijuana use under 20 joint-years is not associated with significant effects on lung function.”

This study is the largest cross-sectional analysis to date examining the relationship between marijuana use and spirometric parameters of lung health.

A separate study published in 2012 in The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) similarly reported that cumulative marijuana smoke exposure over a period of up to 7 joint-years (the equivalent of up to one marijuana cigarette per day for seven years) was not associated with adverse effects on pulmonary function.

A 2013 review also published in the Annals of the American Thoracic Society acknowledged that marijuana smoke exposure was not positively associated with the development of lung cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), emphysema, or bullous lung disease. It concluded: “[H]abitual use of marijuana alone does not appear to lead to significant abnormalities in lung function. Findings from a limited number of well-designed epidemiological studies do not suggest an increased risk of either lung or upper airway cancer from light or moderate use. … Overall, the risks of pulmonary complications of regular use of marijuana appear to be relatively small and far lower than those of tobacco smoking.”

You may view an abstract of the study, “Effects of marijuana exposure on expiratory airflow: A study of adults who participated in the US National Health and Nutrition Examination Study,” here.

Original article is here.

Financial challenges arise in cannabis businesses - Gradi Jordan

Defining how marijuana dispensaries will be allowed to work with financial institutions is quickly becoming a reality as the Department of Justice is "actively considering" how to regulate interactions between banks and marijuana shops that operate within state laws and don't violate other federal law enforcement priorities.

United States Attorney General Eric Holder held a joint conference call with the governors of Washington and Colorado in which Holder laid out eight priorities that would be the aim of federal marijuana policy.

Financial institutions and other enterprises that do business with marijuana shops that are in compliance with state laws are unlikely to be prosecuted for money laundering or other federal crimes that could be brought under existing federal drug laws, as long as those cannabis businesses don't otherwise violate the priorities, according to a DOJ authority.

The eight priorities of federal prosecutors enforcing marijuana laws are, according to the DOJ, are to prosecute individuals or entities to prevent:

  1. The distribution of marijuana to minors.
  2. Revenue from the sale of marijuana from going to criminal enterprises, gangs and cartels.
  3. The diversion of marijuana from states where it is legal under state law in some form to other states.
  4. State-authorized marijuana activity from being used as a cover or pretext for the trafficking of other illegal drugs or other illegal activity.
  5. Violence and the use of firearms in the cultivation and distribution of marijuana.
  6. Drugged driving and the exacerbation of other adverse public health consequences associated with marijuana use.
  7. The growing of marijuana on public lands and the attendant public safety and environmental dangers posed by marijuana production on public lands.
  8. Preventing marijuana possession or use on federal property.

This new approach is a reversal of a DEA policy which had warned banks not to work with marijuana businesses. The DEA recognized that forcing the establishments to operate on a cash basis put them at greater risk of robbery and violence.

It is difficult to argue that any system that operates only in cash could be a "tightly regulated market in which revenues are tracked and account for.

Representative Ed Perlmutter (D-Colo.), a senior member of the House Financial Services Committee, said that the banking issues needed to be addressed.

"We need to address the public safety, crime and lost tax revenue associated when these legal and regulated businesses are operating in a cash-only system".

“We need to provide financial institutions certainty they can make their own business decisions related to legal, financial transactions without fear of regulatory penalties," he continued.

"Currently, under federal banking laws, many legal, regulated legitimate marijuana businesses operating legally according to state law are prevented from maintaining bank accounts and accessing financial products like any other business such as accepting credit cards, depositing revenues, or writing checks to meet payroll or pay taxes. They are forced to operate as cash-only enterprises, inviting crime such as robbery and tax evasion, only adding to the burden of setting up a legitimate small business".

Clearly, progress is being made in the cannabis business, and by allowing dispensaries to work closely with banks and other financial institutions, these business’ are being recognized as true business entities and will continue to grow strong.

Original article is here.

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What's New

Alabama: Considering a medical marijuana law.
   HB642 - The Michael Phillips Compassionate Care Act of Alabama

Arkansas: Considering a medical marijuana law.

Florida: Medical marijuana did not pass with 58% support

Idaho: Considering a medical marijuana law.

Indiana: Considering a medical marijuana law.

Iowa: Considering a medical marijuana law.

Kansas: Medical marijuana petition drive underway.
   Marijuana Bill Reaches House
   Cannabis Compassion and Care Act

Missouri: Considering a medical marijuana law.
   HOUSE BILL NO. 1670 - An Act relating to the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes
   Cottleville Mayor Don Yarber hopes Missouri legislature passes medical marijuana law

North Carolina: Considering a medical marijuana law.
   North Carolina Medical Cannabis Act

Ohio: Considering a medical marijuana law.
   HB 214

Pennsylvania: Considering a medical marijuana law.
   HB 1393

South Carolina: Considering a medical marijuana law.

South Dakota: Medical marijuana petition drive underway.

Tennessee: Considering a medical marijuana law.

Texas: Considering a medical marijuana law.

Wisconsin: Considering a medical marijuana law.
   The Jacki Rickert Medical Marijuana Act

Featured Recipe - Basic Bud Brownies by Jay R. Cavanaugh, PhD

The brownie has to go down in history as the classic Cannabis yummy. Anyone remember "I Love You Alice B. Toklas"? Yikes, we’re showing our age again.

During my student days at Berkeley in the 60’s, I was introduced to brownies and chocolate chip cookies that frankly were dreadful. These were the days when one simply dropped half a bag of the local leaf into the brownie mix. Ugh! I know some readers like the taste of Cannabis and while there are some strains that are a bit tasty most Cannabis tastes pretty rotten in an unprocessed state. Patients who require Cannabis food products are often already having a tough time keeping things down so the food should be appetizing, tasty, and go easy on the stomach. Here’s a powerful basic brownie recipe where you won’t be picking stems from your teeth. Proceed with caution. Diabetics beware!


3 ounces unsweetened chocolate
4 tablespoons unsweetened dairy butter-flaked into pieces
4 tablespoons better bud butter (or kief butter)-flaked into pieces
1\2 teaspoon double acting baking powder
3\4 cup regular flour-sifted
A pinch of salt
2 large eggs
1 cup of sugar (plain white granulated)
1-teaspoon vanilla extract (the real deal not the "flavor")
1 cup chopped pecans (you may substitute walnuts, hazelnuts, almonds, or macadamias)

Optional- 1 tablespoon Grand Marnier or if you’re using almonds, Amaretto


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter and lightly flour dust an eight-inch baking pan. Melt the chocolate and butters together in a saucepan using low heat and constant stirring. Once smooth set the chocolate aside to completely cool.

Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt into a mixing bowl. In a separate bowl beat the eggs with a mixer while slowly adding the sugar. Mix until clear and pale in color. Pour in the chocolate/butter and vanilla with constant stirring. Slowly blend in the flour and the liquor. Last, but not least, add the nuts. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes (less time is chewier and more time is drier). Heck, some of us just eat the mix. After baking, cool the brownies and cut into 12-16 squares (personally, I like triangles).

Each brownie is going to contain approximately 1\4 to 1\3 tablespoon of better bud butter. This is potent. It’s also very delicious. Do not operate heavy machinery or drive.

Recommended beverage: Morning time tea or coffee is a great accompaniment. I prefer Earl Grey tea or Guatemalan Antigua coffee. If the brownies are served after dinner, then once again coffee can be served or a desert wine like a good tawny Port. Be careful mixing alcohol with these potent brownies though, it can make ones stomach a bit upset.

From this basic recipe you can create literally hundreds of variations. Try glazing the brownies or sprinkling powdered sugar and raspberries on top.

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