Cannabulletin: Australia Legalizes Medical Marijuana Cultivation 👍🌱

Cannabulletin: Your source for Aggregated Cannabis News View this email in your browser (http://us12.campaign-archive1.com/?u=6f95bb3d20482a8e9e013f802&id=68428ea870&e=d756ab8267) 10/31/2016

** Welcome to Cannabulletin

Cannabis News that Informs, Intrigues & Captivates.

** Australia legalizes medical marijuana cultivation (https://www.rt.com/news/364779-australia-medical-marijuana-cultivation/?utm_source=General+List&utm_campaign=68428ea870-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2016_10_31&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_12d0feba2a-68428ea870-110906985)

Australia has allowed “fit and proper” individuals and entities to cultivate medicinal cannabis crops under strict government license and guidelines in an effort to substitute imports with “domestic supply.”

The commencement of the Narcotic Drugs Amendment Act 2016 on October 30, 2016, marks a milestone for Australia's medicinal cannabis prospects. The new regulations (https://www.odc.gov.au/medicinal-cannabis-cultivation-and-production-licences-and-permits?utmsource=General+List&utmcampaign=68428ea870-EMAILCAMPAIGN20161031&utmmedium=email&utmterm=0_12d0feba2a-68428ea870-110906985) allow for the licensing of cannabis cultivation and the production of cannabis and cannabis resins for medicinal and scientific purposes.

Until now, it has been difficult for patients to access medicinal cannabis products from overseas sources,” Federal Health Minister Sussan Ley said in a statement released on Sunday.

“These new laws change that situation by providing for a domestic supply of medicinal cannabis products that are not readily available for import.”

However, while pharmaceuticals will gain an advantage from the new law, recreational pot smokers are left disappointed, as consuming marijuana still remains a criminal activity.

“I want to emphasize that the changes to the Narcotic Drugs Act do not decriminalize cannabis for recreational use,” Ley said.

Under the act, those companies ready to grow their weed plants must comply with state and territory drug legislations which would allow companies to classify their harvest in accordance with the Therapeutic Goods Administration.

READ MORE: People pot power: Aussie state gives go-ahead to medicinal cannabis trial (http://www.rt.com/news/207663-australia-nsw-medical-marijuana/?utmsource=General+List&utmcampaign=68428ea870-EMAILCAMPAIGN20161031&utmmedium=email&utmterm=0_12d0feba2a-68428ea870-110906985)

To hold a license for cannabis production, business will need to pass “strict fit and proper persons requirements and other legislative tests relating to security.” It is left up to individual states and territories to award licenses and outline the types of cannabis plants that can be cultivated and the quantities that can be produced.

** Will Seattle cannabis tourism take a hit if other states legalize weed? (http://mynorthwest.com/440000/cannabis-tourism-in-seattle/?utm_source=General+List&utm_campaign=68428ea870-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2016_10_31&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_12d0feba2a-68428ea870-110906985)

Logan Bowers, owner of Seattle’s #Hashtag (http://www.seattlehashtag.com/?utmsource=General+List&utmcampaign=68428ea870-EMAILCAMPAIGN20161031&utmmedium=email&utmterm=0_12d0feba2a-68428ea870-110906985) pot store, is as adamant about pot legalization as a person can be. Since pot became legal in Washington state in 2014, he’s enjoyed the societal — and financial – benefits of legal weed.

But he admits feeling a tad conflicted when he sees the growing number of marijuana legalization initiatives in the country. His heart soars but his wallet trembles.

How do we know marijuana isn’t helpful if we can’t test it? (http://mynorthwest.com/368819/testing-marijuana-benefits-medical-industry/?utmsource=General+List&utmcampaign=68428ea870-EMAILCAMPAIGN20161031&utmmedium=email&utmterm=0_12d0feba2a-68428ea870-110906985)

“All of us in the legal and regulated industry recognize that the war on drugs has failed and that legalization nationwide is the right thing,” Bowers said. “If it is legal in every state, tourism won’t be quite the draw.”

On this November’s ballot are nine legalization efforts (https://ballotpedia.org/Marijuanaontheballot?utmsource=General+List&utmcampaign=68428ea870-EMAILCAMPAIGN20161031&utmmedium=email&utmterm=012d0feba2a-68428ea870-110906985#tab=Byyear) in other states including California’s Proposition 64 (https://ballotpedia.org/CaliforniaProposition64,MarijuanaLegalization?utmsource=General+List&utmcampaign=68428ea870-EMAILCAMPAIGN20161031&utmmedium=email&utmterm=0_12d0feba2a-68428ea870-110906985(2016)) . Four more states have legalization measures for 2017 followed by another three in 2018.

Cannabis store owners across Seattle agree that pot tourism has become a big business in many of the city’s 56 cannabis stores, from tourists visiting Bower’s store on Stone Way to the cruise ship passengers congregating at Herban Legends (http://www.herbanlegends.com/home/?utmsource=General+List&utmcampaign=68428ea870-EMAILCAMPAIGN20161031&utmmedium=email&utmterm=0_12d0feba2a-68428ea870-110906985) on Bell Street.

Since July 1 of this year, the state has seen $500 million in pot sales with $95 million in taxes paid. In the two years that pot has been legal, the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board (http://lcb.wa.gov/?utmsource=General+List&utmcampaign=68428ea870-EMAILCAMPAIGN20161031&utmmedium=email&utmterm=0_12d0feba2a-68428ea870-110906985) has tracked $1.23 billion in marijuana sales with $345 million in state taxes — although officials say it is impossible to know how much of that revenue was tourist-based.

Pot store owners suspect the windfall is substantial.

“We definitely see tourists, especially in the summertime when the cruise ships are in port,” said Bowers, who is president of the Cannabis Organization of Retail Establishments (CORE). “At Hashtag in Fremont, we might see folks from 35 different states and 10 different countries in one night.”

Marijuana is getting Canadians banned from the US for life (http://mynorthwest.com/393697/marijuana-border-control/?utmsource=General+List&utmcampaign=68428ea870-EMAILCAMPAIGN20161031&utmmedium=email&utmterm=0_12d0feba2a-68428ea870-110906985)

To Bowers and other retailers, the solution to a potential drop in tourism is two-fold: Keep Washington’s weed at a “destination” quality that is as respected as local beer, wine, and seafood. And secondly, push to change state law to allow Amsterdam-style smoking cafés (http://www.thestranger.com/slog/2016/10/26/24630041/guest-editorial-its-time-to-move-forward-on-pot-tourism-in-washington-state?utmsource=General+List&utmcampaign=68428ea870-EMAILCAMPAIGN20161031&utmmedium=email&utmterm=0_12d0feba2a-68428ea870-110906985) as part of the retail industry.

He said the current law presents a quandary when an out-of-towner comes into his shop.

“They’ll buy a joint or buy a vape cartridge and they’ll say, ‘Oh where can I go to try this product?’ And we’ll say, ‘Well, nowhere.’”

This is what legalization 2.0 should look like, he said: A system of limited-use cafes to keep tourism strong and the neighborhoods happy. He said Colorado, for example, has “pot friendly” hotels so tourists are not smoking in parks and alleys.

“I think it makes the most sense for Seattle and Washington to have an Amsterdam model,” he said. “A place where people can go and purchase a small amount and consume on site.”

** Cannabis might give you superior night vision (http://www.mnn.com/health/fitness-well-being/stories/cannabis-might-give-you-superior-night-vision?utm_source=General+List&utm_campaign=68428ea870-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2016_10_31&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_12d0feba2a-68428ea870-110906985)

Conventional wisdom suggests that eating carrots, or other vegetables rich in vitamin A, can improve your night vision. While it's true that vitamin A is important for healthy eyesight, the idea that devouring carrots can actually improve your vision is anunsubstantiated myth (http://www.snopes.com/food/ingredient/carrots.asp?utmsource=General+List&utmcampaign=68428ea870-EMAILCAMPAIGN20161031&utmmedium=email&utmterm=0_12d0feba2a-68428ea870-110906985) .

But researchers have discovered another plant that might actually improve your night vision: cannabis. That's right, your bloodshot eyes might not look very healthy, but there's now evidence that getting stoned might enhance your sight in the dark, according to a new study published in the journal eLife (https://elifesciences.org/content/5/e15932?utmsource=General+List&utmcampaign=68428ea870-EMAILCAMPAIGN20161031&utmmedium=email&utmterm=0_12d0feba2a-68428ea870-110906985#fig2) .

The principal psychoactive constituent in marijuana, THC, produces the sensation of being stoned by binding to receptors in the brain. One of these receptors is known as CB1, and it just so happens that the human retina contains a high concentration of CB1 receptors. Scientists have therefore suspected that cannabis has an effect on the eyes, but this connection has not been well researched.

To study it, a team of researchers applied synthetic cannabinoids to the eye tissue of tadpoles of the African clawed toad. Tadpoles might seem like an unusual choice for this research, but like humans, their eyes also contain CB1 receptors. Readings of the tadpoles' light-sensitive retinal ganglion cells — captured thanks to attached electrodes — revealed heightened activity in the presence of the cannabinoids.

Researchers then placed the tadpoles in a petri dish that was dotted with black marks on the outside that were shaped to look like the shadows of predators. When the lights were turned down, tadpoles that were given the cannabinoids were far more effective at avoiding the fearsome marks.

The study's authors guessed that the improved vision had something to do with the fact that the preoccupied CB1 receptors caused a decrease in the number of negatively charged chloride ions that traveled inside the neurons. This should cause the membranes to become hyperpolarized, which means more electrical activity.

Of course, before you toke up expecting to reap the potential night vision benefits, it might be best to wait until this research can be duplicated in animals closer related to humans than tadpoles. Certainly, as the medicinal properties of cannabis continue to be researched, those studies will come.

** HOW DID CANNABIS BECOME SO POTENT? (https://www.greenrushdaily.com/2016/10/31/cannabis-become-potent/?utm_source=General+List&utm_campaign=68428ea870-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2016_10_31&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_12d0feba2a-68428ea870-110906985)

The evolution of marijuana over the past few decades is undeniable. Today, there are more super-strains available for medical and recreational consumers than ever before. So how did cannabis become so potent? It turns out; there’s a few sides to the story.

Once upon a time, cannabis typically weighed in with a THC content of about 10-12 percent. Now, designer strains (https://www.greenrushdaily.com/news/strains?utmsource=General+List&utmcampaign=68428ea870-EMAILCAMPAIGN20161031&utmmedium=email&utmterm=0_12d0feba2a-68428ea870-110906985) regularly top 20 percent, with some reaching as high as 28-30 percent THC.

But even though the tale is that cannabis is stronger now than it was in, say, the 1970s (http://www.greenrushdaily.com/2016/10/28/weed-stronger-now-1970s/?utmsource=General+List&utmcampaign=68428ea870-EMAILCAMPAIGN20161031&utmmedium=email&utmterm=012d0feba2a-68428ea870-110906985) , few know exactly how strains of cannabis have been developed (http://www.greenrushdaily.com/2016/03/21/breeding-new-cannabis-strains/?utmsource=General+List&utmcampaign=68428ea870-EMAILCAMPAIGN20161031&utmmedium=email&utmterm=012d0feba2a-68428ea870-110906985) that are stronger than ever before.

** Cannabis Science

Thanks to states that have legalized adult use of cannabis, barriers to researching (http://www.greenrushdaily.com/2016/09/07/dea-looking-candidates-grow-marijuana-research/?utmsource=General+List&utmcampaign=68428ea870-EMAILCAMPAIGN20161031&utmmedium=email&utmterm=0_12d0feba2a-68428ea870-110906985) the plant are crumbling left and right. And that’s a good thing because it allows growers, consumers, and regulatory agencies alike to know more about how cannabis works and what it’s potency is.

For example, in 2015 a lab in Colorado analyzed some 600 samples of medical and recreationally sold marijuana. Their tests found (http://www.forbes.com/sites/alicegwalton/2015/03/23/pot-evolution-how-the-makeup-of-marijuana-has-changed-over-time/?utmsource=General+List&utmcampaign=68428ea870-EMAILCAMPAIGN20161031&utmmedium=email&utmterm=0_12d0feba2a-68428ea870-110906985#73d9be435579) that potency has risen three times what it was 25 years ago.

That’s because as pot becomes an increasingly legal and professional operation, growers can access the resources they need to engineer strains of marijuana that are far more potent.

When it’s illegal to grow and sell cannabis, you have to take extreme measures to keep a grow house hidden and discrete.

Legalization has brought growing out of the basement and into the public eye. And for the first time, growers can lawfully and openly create the optimal conditions for growing super-strong herb.

Also, when it’s legal to study, grow, and sell cannabis, locally bred strains tend to thrive. Those locally bred strains are optimized for local growing conditions. This makes them stronger than plants that were produced internationally.

Cannabis Technology

But remember, the growth in potency (http://www.greenrushdaily.com/2016/10/28/weed-stronger-now-1970s/?utmsource=General+List&utmcampaign=68428ea870-EMAILCAMPAIGN20161031&utmmedium=email&utmterm=0_12d0feba2a-68428ea870-110906985) has been happening for a few decades. By contrast, wide-scale legalization is only a recent phenomenon. Colorado has the oldest legal pot policy, and it’s only four years old.

That’s why there’s another side to the story of how cannabis became so potent.

As technology advances, it becomes more affordable and accessible. More people can take advantage of it than ever before. The same goes for cannabis growers.

Advancements in hydroponics (http://www.greenrushdaily.com/2016/06/21/hydroponics/?utmsource=General+List&utmcampaign=68428ea870-EMAILCAMPAIGN20161031&utmmedium=email&utmterm=012d0feba2a-68428ea870-110906985) systems and artificial lighting technologies, even small things like the humble compact fluorescent light bulb (http://www.greenrushdaily.com/2016/01/30/how-to-choose-the-best-lights-for-growing-weed/?utmsource=General+List&utmcampaign=68428ea870-EMAILCAMPAIGN20161031&utmmedium=email&utmterm=012d0feba2a-68428ea870-110906985) , make growing potent pot easier than ever. You don’t need an industrial grow operation to cultivate killer cannabis these days.

** It’s The Cannabis Market

Still, there’s one undeniable factor (http://www.cbc.ca/radio/day6/episode-208-potent-pot-s-preeminence-befriending-racists-sean-michaels-love-of-theremin-and-more-1.2905476/potent-pot-how-marijuana-got-so-strong-and-what-it-means-for-legalization-1.2905483?utmsource=General+List&utmcampaign=68428ea870-EMAILCAMPAIGN20161031&utmmedium=email&utmterm=0_12d0feba2a-68428ea870-110906985) that has fueled the explosion in potent cannabis strains. Consumer demand. On both the legal and illegal side of things, consumer demand ultimately leads to more potent cannabis.

Cannabis prohibition encourages producers to increase profit by reducing the size and volume of their shipments. Concentrating THC (http://www.greenrushdaily.com/2016/08/22/tetrahydrocannabinol-thc/?utmsource=General+List&utmcampaign=68428ea870-EMAILCAMPAIGN20161031&utmmedium=email&utmterm=0_12d0feba2a-68428ea870-110906985) in plants makes sense.

On the legal side, however, consumers are looking for products that pack in more of the desired effects. In this case, edibles (http://www.greenrushdaily.com/2016/10/05/thc-branding-edibles-colorado/?utmsource=General+List&utmcampaign=68428ea870-EMAILCAMPAIGN20161031&utmmedium=email&utmterm=0_12d0feba2a-68428ea870-110906985) and other concentrates that mean a consumer has to buy and smoke less cannabis to get the same results are sought after.

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