The cannabis industry is developing at a blazing fast speed with new regulations, barriers, and successes popping up almost daily. U.S. cannabis legalization efforts have slowed down in 2019, but the rest of the world has seen a surge of interest in cannabis legalization. If you’re interested in the latest top stories in the world of cannabis, then here’s a brief rundown of what you need to know.
Luxembourg Considers Cannabis Legalization
Many European countries have already legalized medical marijuana and decriminalized possession of small amounts of marijuana, but none have yet legalized cannabis for recreational use. Luxembourg, known as one of the wealthiest and safest countries in Europe, is urging its neighbors to loosen their drug laws.
Luxembourg’s health minister has publicly stated his support for cannabis legalization. Health minister Etienne Schneider told Politico, “this drug policy we had over the last 50 years did not work.” “Forbidding everything made it just more interesting to young people. I’m hoping all of us will get a more open-minded attitude toward drugs,” he continued.
Under Luxembourg’s proposed plans for legalization, residents over 18 years old would be able to buy marijuana within a couple of years. While the details won’t be hammered out until later this year, Schneider indicated that foreign travelers would be restricted from buying cannabis in order to discourage cannabis tourism. Home cultivation would be banned.
Luxembourg’s justice minister, Félix Braz, joined Scheinder on a trip to Smith Falls, Canada to check out Canopy Growth’s massive greenhouse operations. Luxembourg would follow Canada’s possession limits of 30 grams and invest tax revenue into drug education and addiction treatment programs. Luxembourg also plans to allow public cannabis use in certain areas to avoid discriminating against those without a home.
Anesthesia and Cannabis
A new U.S. study suggests that patients that consumed cannabis were more likely to need higher doses of anesthesia for surgery. In fact, cannabis users may require more than twice the normal dose of anesthesia. The study included 250 patients who underwent minimally invasive procedures in Colorado. Only 25 patients indicated that they regularly consumed marijuana. Researchers uncovered a few key findings of cannabis users compared to other patients:
- Marijuana users needed twice as much of the anesthetic propofol
- Marijuana users needed 14 percent more of the pain-relieving fentanyl
- Marijuana users needed 20 percent more of the sedative midazolam
According to the study’s lead author, Dr. Mark Twardowski, “cannabis users cannot assume that their use will have no effects on their medical care.” “Clearly the fact that use affects the effectiveness of these three medicines certainly raises myriad questions about potential effects on other medications (pain medicines, anxiety medicines, etc.),” Twardowski said.
Cannabis compounds can stay in the body for an extended period of time, especially for frequent and heavy users. Researchers suggest that patients should inform their healthcare providers about their cannabis use before any surgery. The study is far from conclusive, but it’s a good indicator for further research across a variety of surgeries, not mainly colonoscopies, like the focus of this study. Cannabis use remains stigmatized, which researchers believe could prevent users from informing their doctors about their use.
Stiiizy Opens Flagship Store in Downtown Los Angeles
Stiiizy, a popular California vape brand, is ramping up expansion as it sets to stake its claim in the Michigan cannabis market. Stiiizy has already made its way into other adult-use states such as Nevada and Washington. On August 24, 2019, Stiiizy unveiled its 6,500-square-foot retail space in downtown Los Angeles in their concerted effort to bring marijuana and the Stiiizy brand into the mainstream with a clean and colorful space.
Stiiizy’s flagship store features a bright and white design, comfortable seating, and artwork by local artists including RISK and Mr. Cartoon. The store plans to regularly switch out artwork to feature other promising artists. Stiiizy’s store differentiates itself with interactive “Instagrammable moment” pods that can keep customers engaged. In their game-changing location, Stiiizy plans to sell its full product line as well as cannabis from more than 40 other premium brands.
Customers can buy vape products from its mainstay line or flower and edibles from their new product lines Liiit and Biiit, respectively. James Kim, the co-founder of Stiiizy, told Weedmaps News, “You can see the brand physically here, instead of digitally or through advertisements. You can actually feel the energy, feel the vibes. When they walk in, we want them to get that energy, so when they leave here, they’ll know exactly what Stiiizy is about.”
Hemp Businesses Allowed to Work with Credit Unions
Cannabis businesses have had a notoriously bad time getting help from banks who don’t want to work with federally illegal businesses. Ever since the 2018 Farm Bill passed, however, hemp businesses have been urging Congress to provide guidelines for banks to work with legal hemp companies. Recently, a federal finance agency provided updated guidelines on banking in the hemp industry.
The National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) clarified that banks were legally allowed to provide services to hemp businesses. NCUA Chairman Rodney Hood said in a press statement, “lawful hemp businesses provide exciting new opportunities for rural communities. I believe today’s interim guidance keeps with the mission of the nation’s cooperative credit system to serve people who have been overlooked and underserved.”
NCUA’s new guidelines are just enough to hold over eager hemp businesses and credit unions. Credit unions are able to set-up business accounts and provide loans for hemp businesses. NCUA awaits USDA’s hemp industry rules set to release in 2020 to provide additional guidance. Credit unions continue to be the only banking option for cannabis businesses, but that may change with renewed interest in banking reform in Congress.
Cannabis consumption and sales continues to become more normalized not only in the U.S., but also across the world. As the world’s attitudes shift toward a less harsh view of marijuana, new job opportunities are set to become available. If you’re interested in joining the ranks of the cannabis industry, a cannabis training program may be right for you. Sign up for Cannabis Training University’s certification program to learn all about cannabis cooking, extraction, laws, medicine, and starting a cannabis business.