US Senate Candidate Gary Johnson Admits to Involvement in Cannabis Industry

Libertarian Senate candidate Gary Johnson recently disclosed a number of financial ties to the legal cannabis industry. Given Johnson’s pro-legalization platform, some have claimed these connections could be a conflict of interests. But Johnson insists that these claims are not true.

Gary Johnson’s Ties to Legal Weed

Johnson is currently running to represent New Mexico in the Senate. As part of the campaign process, he was required to submit a standard set of financial disclosures.

These disclosures revealed a number of connections to the legal weed industry. In particular, Johnson said that he owns more than $250,000 worth of stock in Kush, a cannabis company based in Las Vegas.

Similarly, Johnson reported that he is part of a profit-sharing arrangement with an investment fund called CB1 Capital. The fund invests exclusively in the cannabis space, and Johnson is reportedly serving as one of its key advisers.

Finally, Johnson’s financial disclosure revealed capital gains from stocks he holds in Cannabis Sativa, a marijuana holding company.

He said he earned at least $100,000 from these stocks. Johnson served as CEO of Cannabis Sativa in between his presidential runs in 2012 and 2016.

According to local news sources, Johnson’s financial ties to the cannabis industry have worried some folks in New Mexico. In particular, there are concerns that these connections could throw his pro-legalization platform into question.

As far as Johnson is concerned, there are no conflicts of interest. The politician said that there is nothing wrong with his financial interests in the industry because his political advocacy outdates his investments and work in the cannabis industry.

“This was a career-ending move on my part in 1999,” Johnson told the Albuquerque Journal. “The last thing that I ever dreamed of happening is that somehow I would make money off this.”

Johnson’s Pro-Legalization Politics

Johnson is one of the most well-known faces of Libertarian politics. Among many other things, he is known for being in favor of marijuana legalization.

He has run for president twice. Both times he ran on a Libertarian ticket. And both times, he said he supported legalization.

Now, he is running against Democrat Martin Heinrich and Republican Mick Rich to represent New Mexico in the Senate. While Johnson supports federal legalization, Heinrich advocates for decriminalization and Rich opposes legalization.

In New Mexico, medical marijuana is currently legal. The state has a relatively long and thorough list of qualifying health conditions. So far, the state has not legalized recreational cannabis.

According to studies, New Mexico consumes a relatively high amount of weed. For example, a 2016 report found that the state currently has at least 27,000 registered medical marijuana patients with an estimated 138,000 people who regularly consume illegal marijuana.

The study used these figures to estimate what a legal adult-use cannabis market would look like in New Mexico. Researchers estimated that such a market would consume more than 57 metric tons of cannabis annually. That, the report concluded, would be worth roughly $412 million with potential to grow to as much as $677 million.

Read More

Can Canadian Online Cannabis Retailer Namaste Technologies Become The Amazon Of Cannabis?

A ladybug crawls on the leaf of a hemp plant grown for medical research in Thailand. (Photograph: Taylor Weidman/Bloomberg)

As the Canadian market prepares for the anticipated rise in the demand for recreational cannabis post its legalization in October, Namaste Technologies, (CVE:N), a leading online retailer of ancillary hardware cannabis products, is busy spreading its roots in the online cannabis market. Just like the large cannabis producers, Namaste’s stock has surged, rising from $0.21 per share in November 2017 to $3.55 per share at present. However, the company hasn’t stopped growing, and aims to become the “Amazon of Cannabis” in the coming years. For this, the company announced the pre-launch of an artificial intelligence-driven medical cannabis marketplace – CannMart.com – which will enable it to procure and sell medical cannabis from both domestic and international cultivators. In this note, we discuss how this move will augment Namaste Technologies’ plans to become the “Amazon of the Cannabis Market.”

We currently have a price estimate of $7.00 per share for Namaste Technologies, which is higher than its market price. View our interactive dashboard – Namaste Technologies’ Price Estimate – and modify the key drivers to visualize the impact on its valuation.

Trefis

Global E-Commerce Company In Cannabis Space

Namaste Technologies is a Vancouver-based online retailer of medical cannabis vaporizers and smoking accessories. The company is one of the largest online retailers of cannabis delivery systems, operating through its 32 e-commerce sites in over 20 countries and distribution hubs located across the globe. The company’s websites have over 600,000 monthly visits with a database of approximately 1.5 million users. The company has a strong presence in the UK, Canada, and Germany and holds a large chunk of the online cannabis markets in Europe and Australia. With the growing demand for medical cannabis products, the company is catering to the emerging markets such as Brazil, Mexico, and Chile through a number of new supply channels.

CannMart.com Will Establish Namaste As A One-Stop-Shop For Cannabis

In 2017, Namaste Technologies had acquired CannMart Inc., a Canada-based late-stage applicant for a medical cannabis sales-only license under Health Canada’s Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations. The acquisition was a strategic decision, taken to strengthen Namaste’s e-commerce and logistics platform and enable it to become a leader in retail distribution of medical cannabis in Canada.

In the quest to achieve this objective, Namaste announced the pre-launch of a medical cannabis online marketplace – CannMart.com earlier this week. The company has launched this marketplace, given its expectations that its subsidiary, CannMart, will receive its sales-only license in the coming months. Once this milestone is achieved, Namaste will be able to procure and sell medical cannabis from both domestic and international Health Canada approved cultivators and offer them on an AI-driven e-commerce marketplace designed to provide a unique and personalized experience to each patient.

AI-driven Marketplace And Strong Network Of Suppliers Will Drive Sales

Namaste will incorporate the advance e-commerce AI from its existing technology platform – NamasteMD, Canada’s first fully integrated patient consultation portal, to create a personalized user experience for every patient ordering through CannMart.com. In addition, the company will further integrate the AI technology and expertise of Findify, a leading e-commerce AI company that Namaste had acquired in May 2018, into the new platform. Furthermore, the company plans to leverage the database of over 1.5 million customers to expand its presence in the online cannabis market in Canada and gradually across the globe. Apart from this, Namaste has secured a network of suppliers and holds an inventory of high-quality medical cannabis flower and oil, which will be immediately available for sale once CannMart receives its sales-only license.

Namaste’s existing platform is known for its safe and reliable distribution of cannabis and is in line with the current provincial and federal guidelines for sale of cannabis within Canada. The new marketplace will enable Namaste to become a one-stop-shop for medical cannabis consumers in Canada by offering both cannabis consumables as well as ancillary products on the same platform. Thus, we expect CannMart’s sales-only license, coupled with an AI-driven marketplace to sell cannabis products, to solidify Namaste’s position as the leader in the cannabis e-commerce market and establish it as the “Amazon of Cannabis” in the coming years.

What’s behind Trefis? See How It’s Powering New Collaboration and What-Ifs

For
CFOs and Finance Teams |
Product, R&D, and Marketing Teams

More Trefis Research

Like our charts? Explore example interactive dashboards and create your own.

Can Canadian Online Cannabis Retailer Namaste Technologies Become The Amazon Of Cannabis? ForbesFull coverag […]

94% of Medical Marijuana Users Get Relief From Cannabis, New Studies Find

Medical marijuana laws are on the books in over half of the United States, and the all-natural remedy is used by countless more Americans in spite of prohibition. Because marijuana is still a federally illicit narcotic, though, extrapolating the drug’s effects on specific ailments has been difficult to say the least.

In two new studies published in the journals Frontiers in Pharmacology and Medicines respectively, researchers in the University of New Mexico’s Department of Psychology sought out to fill that vacuum of data, combing through statistics from the Releaf App — a personal tracking tool for cannabis use — to gain insight into how viable the controversial plant is in treating different conditions.

Developed by a number of the University of New Mexico (UNM) researchers themselves, the Releaf App allows users to input the specific reason for their medical marijuana use, the type of cannabis they use — be it flower, concentrates, or topicals — and finally, any subsequent symptom relief, measured on a 1-10 improvement scale.

The first study, published in late August in Frontiers In Pharmacology, examined Releaf data covering a wide range of ailments, from anxiety and depression to nausea and muscle spasms, from 13,638 individual user entries. Digging through tens of thousands of smoke sessions and infused topical applications, UNM researchers found that cannabis use of any kind, for any condition, was met with an average symptom decrease of 3.7 points.

For the second study, made public in the July issue of the journal Medicines, the same authors looked specifically at the effects of smoking or vaping whole flower cannabis buds on insomnia, consulting data from 1,056 entries on the Releaf App. On average, those users reported a 4.5 point decrease in symptom severity, with pipes and vaporizers credited as the most effective sleep aid method.

By consulting low-pressure, user-generated data, the studies’ authors say that they were more effectively able to explore the way that marijuana is used in real world settings, instead of relying on often uncomfortable lab settings that could alter results.

“Observational studies are more appropriate than experimental research designs for measuring how patients choose to consume cannabis and the effects of those choices,” UNM Department of Psychology Associate Professor Jacob Miguel Vigil said in a press release announcing the research. “By collecting massive amounts of patient-entered information on actual cannabis used under real-life circumstances we are able to measure why patients consume cannabis, the types of products that patients use, and the immediate and longer-term effects of such use. In other words, many of the important and practical research questions that randomized controlled trials fail to address.”

In addition to effective treatment of 27 medical ailments, UNM researchers reported a lack of any significant negative side effects from cannabis, with Releaf users most frequently noting positive side effects like relaxation and peacefulness, as opposed to traditionally negative outcomes like foggy and forgetful.

As cannabis reform continues to be debated in state legislatures and by voters, with public polls consistently reporting overwhelming support for medical marijuana legalization, Vigil and his co-authors were confident that their data would push the cause further, especially considering the deadly nature of America’s current prescription pill epidemic.

“If the results found in our studies can be extrapolated to the general population, cannabis could systematically replace multi-billion dollar medication industries around the world,” Vigil said. “It is likely already beginning to do so.”

94% of Medical Marijuana Users Get Relief From Cannabis, New Studies Find MERRY JANE
US News churns out puff piece on medical marijuana app research HealthNewsReview.org

Patient-Reported Symptom Relief Following Medical Cannabis Consumption MedicalResearch.com (blog)
Full coverag […]

Marijuana industry donating to Lujan Grisham’s campaign

Campaign finance filings released Monday night show several contributions from the state’s burgeoning medical cannabis sector to the congresswoman and candidate for governor since July 1, totaling more than $20,000.

Contributors include the Verdes Foundation nonprofit dispensary, Reynold Greenleaf & Associates cannabis industry consultants and medical cannabis home deliverer MJ Express-O.

Lujan Grisham was in charge of the New Mexico Health Department when the state’s medical marijuana program began and has expressed support for approving recreational marijuana with adequate health and safety requirements.

Pearce has expressed reservations about recreational marijuana as New Mexico wrestles with poverty and addiction to other drugs.

Marijuana industry donating to Lujan Grisham’s campaign KOBFull coverag […]

New Mexico Secretary of Health Again Refuses to Add Opioid Use Disorder to Medical Cannabis Qualifying Conditions

SANTA FE, NM — On Friday, September 7th, the New Mexico Department of Health announced that Secretary Lynn Gallagher would not allow people suffering from opioid use disorder (OUD) to qualify for medical cannabis in New Mexico.

This is the second time the Medical Advisory Board’s (MAB) recommendation to add opioid use disorder was denied; the first time was in 2017. That year the NM Legislature also voted to approve adding opioid use disorder as a qualifying condition for medical cannabis, and sent a bill (HB 527) to Governor Martinez in 2017, but the bill was vetoed.

The Secretary also declined to add several other medical conditions that the Board recommended from the November 2017 meeting including muscular dystrophy, substance use disorder, eczema and psoriasis and Tourette’s syndrome.

Medical Advisory Board members are nationally board certified medical doctors who are appointed by the Governor and lend their service in a voluntary capacity.

Cannabis helps reduce opioid withdrawal symptoms, like nausea and insomnia; it promotes restful sleep and helps reduce the intensity of cravings. People receiving medication for OUD have been shown to have better treatment outcomes when they are also able to access medical cannabis. In New Mexico in 2017 more than 500 people died of an opioid drug overdose.

“We lose one or two New Mexicans to overdose every single day. The Secretary’s failure to add this condition is discriminatory and stigmatizing for people suffering from opioid and other substance use disorders” said Jessica Gelay, Policy Manager, with Drug Policy Alliance. “It’s well known that New Mexico needs more options to support people suffering from problematic opioid use. This decision means that medical cannabis, a legitimate option to support symptoms related to OUD and withdrawal from opioids continues to be out of reach. I am hopeful that under a new administration science and compassion will prevail.”

In 2018 both houses of the NM Legislature passed memorials urging the Secretary of Health to add OUD as a qualifying condition. Sponsors of the measures shared these comments:

“I’m extremely disappointed that the Administration has once again failed to listen to the experts to allow the use of medical cannabis to treat opioid use disorder. In the heart of the opioid abuse epidemic it’s critical we use every tool available to save lives,” said Senator Jeff Steinborn.

“I’m terribly disappointed in Secretary Gallagher’s recent decision. This means that more people will suffer and some will die, without this viable alternative to Opioid use. Her decision has real life consequences,” said Representative Joanne Ferrary.

Tags: , , , , , , New Mexico Secretary of Health Again Refuses to Add Opioid Use Disorder to Medical Cannabis Qualifying Conditions The Daily ChronicFull coverag […]

Medical cannabis effective in treating a wide range of health conditions

Utilizing new mobile application technology, researchers at The University of New Mexico found that medical cannabis provides immediate symptom relief across dozens of health symptoms with relatively minimal negative side effects.

In two recent studies titled, “Patient-Reported Symptom Relief Following Medical Cannabis Consumption,” and “Effectiveness of Raw, Natural Medical Cannabis Flower for Treating Insomnia under Naturalistic Conditions” published in the journals, Frontiers in Pharmacology and Medicines, respectively, UNM Department of Psychology Associate Professor Jacob Miguel Vigil and UNM Department of Economics Assistant Professor Sarah See Stith, document that patients experienced statistically and clinically significant therapeutic benefits when they used cannabis for symptoms ranging from chronic pain to insomnia.

These studies analyzed data collected with the Releaf App, developed by co-authors Franco Brockelman, Keenan Keeling and Branden Hall and currently, the largest repository of user-entered information on the consumption and effects of cannabis use in the United States with nearly 100,000 recorded user sessions.

Since its release in 2016, the commercially developed Releaf App has been the only publicly available, incentive-free patient educational software program designed for recording how individual cannabis usage sessions correspond to immediate changes in symptom intensity levels and experienced side effects.

“If the results found in our studies can be extrapolated to the general population, cannabis could systematically replace multi-billion dollar medication industries around the world. It is likely already beginning to do so.” — Jacob Vigil

This electronic assessment tool enables patients to monitor and manage their cannabis consumption decisions under naturalistic conditions while avoiding the limitations of retrospective survey collection methods (e.g., memory bias, social desirability effects) making it an ideal research tool for measuring real-world cannabis use.

In the first study, across 27 different health conditions with symptoms that ranged from seizure disorders to depression, users reported an average symptom reduction of nearly 4 points on a 1-10 scale following the consumption of cannabis in its various product forms, from concentrates to topicals.

The second study focused specifically on the use of raw natural cannabis flower, or ‘buds’ for treating insomnia, with similar degrees of effectiveness that varied according to characteristics of the flower and combustion methods. Both investigations were supported in part by the University of New Mexico Medical Cannabis Research Fund, which was designed to facilitate the types of biomedical cannabis-based research that historically have been difficult to fund through conventional governmental entities, such as the National Institutes of Health.

Most prescription medications carry a long list of unavoidable negative side effects and risks of serious health concerns and even death, allowing alternative forms of medication to compete for patient preferences and healthcare industry demands. Medical cannabis is rapidly gaining popularity with the largest expansions in use among older people and patients with significant health conditions.

“Observational studies are more appropriate than experimental research designs for measuring how patients choose to consume cannabis and the effects of those choices,” said Vigil. “By collecting massive amounts of patient-entered information on actual cannabis used under real-life circumstances we are able to measure why patients consume cannabis, the types of products that patients use, and the immediate and longer-term effects of such use. In other words, many of the important and practical research questions that randomized controlled trials fail to address.”

Cannabis has been investigated as a potential treatment for a wide range of medical conditions from post-traumatic stress disorder to cancer, with the most consistent support for the treatment of chronic pain, epilepsy and spasticity. These studies hint at just how wide cannabis’ therapeutic potential may be and are among the first to measure how characteristics of cannabis consumed by millions of people in the U.S. every day are likely to affect different types of health disturbances, both in symptom severity levels and experienced positive and negative side effects.

One of the most striking patterns in the current results was the breadth of symptoms that appeared to improve following cannabis consumption. More than 94 percent of cannabis users reported symptom intensity reductions following self-administered cannabis use across the various health conditions measured with the Releaf App. This may reflect the ability of the plant’s phytocannabinoids to influence the human endocannabinoid system, which regulates both mental and physical health and behavioral systems.

According to the endocannabinoid deficiency theory, many mental and physical health disturbances result from the dysregulation of the body’s innate endocannabinoid system (ECS), often described as a master network of chemical signals that promote physical and psychological homeostasis, or biological state-efficiency. The ECS consists of natural ligands (e.g., anandamide and 2-AG) and receptors (CB1 and CB2) that appear to play a major role in efficient regulation of a basic bodily systems including sleep, feeding (e.g., gut permeability and adipogenesis), libido and fertility, pain perception, motivation, happiness, anxiety, learning and memory, social functioning, autoimmune responses, cellular redox, and cancer pathophysiology.

“In other words and unlike conventional pharmaceutical approaches, which largely target specific neurotransmitter sites, cannabis may act to improve a broad spectrum of symptoms by regulating homeostatic functioning, perhaps best described as a system-modulating rather than symptom-modulating form of therapy,” said Vigil. “The medicinal potential of this concept and practical application for treating so many and seemingly diverse health conditions is unlike that of any other single medication currently known to exist.”

In addition to therapeutic benefits, these studies also showed that cannabis use is associated with frequent and numerous, yet generally non-serious side effects. Positive and context-specific side effects were far more commonly reported than negative side effects by the Releaf App users, with the most frequent reported side effects being positive (relaxed, peaceful, comfy) and the least frequent side effects being negative (paranoid, confused, headache).

Ultimately, cannabis could find a permanent place among our modern repertoire of medication options if it can treat users’ health conditions more effectively and more safely than conventional pharmaceutical remedies. As in the case of insomnia, prescription sleep aids such as antidepressants (e.g., trazodone, amitriptyline, and doxepin), benzodiazepines (e.g., diazepam and lorazepam), gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) medications (zolpidem and eszopiclone), and anti-psychotics (aripiprazole, olanzapine, quetiapine and risperidone) are associated with significant clinical drawbacks and heightened risk of morbidity.

The widespread apparent use of cannabis as a sleep aid and for treating myriad other health symptoms underscores the importance of further medical research regarding its risk-benefit profile and the effectiveness of cannabis as a substitute for other substances, including alcohol, over-the-counter and prescription sleep aids, and scheduled medications (e.g., opioids and sedatives).

According to Stith, “The economic impact of cannabis treatment should also be considered given the current burden of opioid and other high-risk prescriptions on healthcare systems, which have been forced to implement costly modifications to general patient care practices, including prescription monitoring programs, drug screening, and more frequent doctor-patient interactions.

“In addition, if the short-term risk-benefit profile of cannabis found in our studies reflects its longer-term therapeutic potential, substitution of cannabis for traditional pharmaceuticals could reduce the risk of dangerous drug interactions and the costs associated with taking multiple medications by allowing patients to treat a constellation of comorbidities with a single treatment modality. “

“If the results found in our studies can be extrapolated to the general population, cannabis could systematically replace multi-billion dollar medication industries around the world. It is likely already beginning to do so,” Vigil added.

Medical cannabis effective in treating a wide range of health conditions Science DailyFull coverag […]

New Mexico’s Health Chief Says Opioid Addicts Still Can’t Use Medical Marijuana

Last week, New Mexico’s top health official rejected the use of medical marijuana as a treatment for opioid addiction for the second year in a row, angering supporters who have been looking to find new ways to mitigate the opioid crisis currently plaguing the state. The state Medical Cannabis Advisory Board recommended that the Department of Health adopt opioid use disorder, as well as several other new qualifying conditions, for medical cannabis this year, but Health Secretary Lynn Gallagher shot down almost all of these proposed conditions.

Gallagher rejected the board’s recommendations to allow medical marijuana as a treatment for opioid abuse, muscular dystrophy, Tourette’s syndrome, eczema, and psoriasis, but did approve its use for obstructive sleep apnea. “I cannot say with any degree of confidence that the use of cannabis for treatment of opioid dependence and its symptoms would be either safe or effective,” she wrote, the Santa Fe New Mexican reports. Despite the cannabis board’s recommendation, Gallagher asserted that there was not enough medical evidence to support the inclusion of opioid abuse as a qualifying condition.

But there is a large and growing body of research that does confirm that medical marijuana can effectively reduce patients’ dependence on opioids, however. One study has even found that New Mexico’s own medical marijuana program has already been effectively reducing opioid use. The study, published in the journal PLOS One last year, tracked chronic pain patients enrolled in the state’s medical marijuana program for nearly two years, and found that 80% of them were able to reduce their opioid intake with the assistance of cannabis.

Numerous other researchers have drawn similar conclusions. A study from Illinois found that 67% of patients were able to cease all opioid use after enrolling in the state’s medical marijuana program. This April, two more new studies found that Medicaid and Medicare patients were filling fewer opioid prescriptions in states with legal medical cannabis. In July, another found that doctors in states with legal medical cannabis prescribed 30% fewer opioids than their counterparts in prohibition states, while also concluding that replacing pharmaceutical painkillers with legal weed could save Medicaid millions of dollars annually.

This is the second time that New Mexico health department officials have declined the Medical Cannabis Advisory Board’s recommendation to add opioid abuse to the list of conditions. State lawmakers attempted to sidestep the health department by passing a bill that would have added opioid use disorder as a qualifying condition last year, but it was vetoed by Gov. Susana Martinez, who argued that the state’s medical marijuana program was not equipped to supply the large number of patients that the bill would make eligible.

“I’m extremely disappointed that the Administration has once again failed to listen to the experts to allow the use of medical cannabis to treat opioid use disorder,” state Sen. Jeff Steinborn, who sponsored the 2017 bill, said in a statement, the Drug Policy Alliance reports. “In the heart of the opioid abuse epidemic it’s critical we use every tool available to save lives.”

“We lose one or two New Mexicans to overdose every single day. The Secretary’s failure to add this condition is discriminatory and stigmatizing for people suffering from opioid and other substance use disorders,” Jessica Gelay, Policy Manager with the Drug Policy Alliance, said in a statement. “It’s well known that New Mexico needs more options to support people suffering from problematic opioid use. This decision means that medical cannabis, a legitimate option to support symptoms related to OUD and withdrawal from opioids continues to be out of reach. I am hopeful that under a new administration science and compassion will prevail.”

New Mexico’s Health Chief Says Opioid Addicts Still Can’t Use Medical Marijuana MERRY JANE
Availability of Medical Insurance Coverage for Medical Cannabis Patients The National Law Review

Marijuana Bill Scheduled For Congressional Vote This Week Forbes
Full coverag […]

This is a demo store for testing purposes — no orders shall be fulfilled. Dismiss