martedì 21 febbraio 2017

Ministers endorse bill to export medicinal cannabis

Ministers on Sunday endorse a draft bill to legalize export of cannabis for approved medical use, Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked’s office says, without elaborating.

Adoption by the Ministerial Committee on Legislation, which meets outside the full cabinet, means that the draft will now move forward as a government bill.

Shaked’s office says a scheduled debate on decriminalizing marijuana use in favor of fines and treatment was put back until next Sunday.

Although the recreational use of cannabis is currently illegal in the Jewish state, for the past 10 years its therapeutic use has not only been permitted but encouraged.

In 2015, doctors prescribed the herb to about 25,000 patients suffering from cancer, epilepsy, post-traumatic stress and degenerative diseases.

Last month, Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan announced his support for decriminalizing recreational use.

Shaked has reportedly indicated she will support it.

Ministers endorse bill to export medicinal cannabis

sabato 18 febbraio 2017

Largest U.S. Banks Host Accounts for Marijuana Businesses, Says American Banker


Jan 31, 2017, 08:30 ET

CORAL SPRINGS, Florida, January 31, 2017 /PRNewswire/ --

A recent study[1] commissioned by industry journal American Banker reveals that the nation's four largest banks have opened accounts for pot shops and marijuana-related businesses. This is good news for companies like Cannabis Science Inc. (OTC: CBIS), Eco Science Solutions, Inc. (OTC: ESSI), Medical Marijuana, Inc. (OTC: MJNA), Marijuana Company of America Inc. (OTC: MCOA), mCig, Inc. (OTCQB: MCIG) and YiLoLife, Inc. - all of which provide a variety of services or interest to the marijuana community and would benefit from commercial banking services.

Conducted by MRB Monitor, a firm that helps financial institutions identify the risks associated with the marijuana industry, the study examined public records in the state of Massachusetts and found that 34 percent of businesses that filed to operate medical marijuana dispensaries in Massachusetts between June 2015 and September 2016 had one or more accounts at Bank of America, Citigroup, Wells Fargo, or JPMorgan Chase.

If a similar pattern of working with the marijuana industry takes hold in Washington D.C. and the U.S. states that have legalized marijuana, the prospect of financial services for cannabis outfits may not be as dire as it at first appears.

Bank of America seems to have been the most accommodating. Over half of the marijuana businesses included in the survey had accounts at the bank, though it previously told the Statesman Journal[2] that, "As a federally regulated financial institution, we abide by federal law and do not bank marijuana-related businesses."

Guidelines issued by federal authorities in 2014 appeared to have offered financial institutions a legal avenue to provide their services to marijuana-related businesses (MRBs). Back then, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), part of the U.S. Treasury Department, provided guidance[3] it said was meant to enhance the availability of financial services for, and the financial transparency of, marijuana-related businesses.

Yet, under the Controlled Substances Act (CSA), it is illegal to manufacture, distribute, or dispense marijuana, and marijuana - like heroin, LSD and ecstasy - remains a Schedule 1 substance under the statute.

In December 2016, U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass, a member of the Senate Banking Committee, along with nine other senators sent a letter to FinCEN requesting guidance on how banking services might be offered to 'indirect businesses' that provide services to the state-sanctioned marijuana industry.

Hopefully, after nomination season comes to a close, a response to that letter will be forthcoming; there's a lot at stake. As ArcView Market Research wrote, "Cannabis is arguably the fastest growing industry in the world. Regulated marijuana sales in North America totaled $6.9 billion in 2016, a 30 percent increase from 2015. Sales are projected to increase to $21.6 billion by the year 2021 representing a 26 percent compound annual growth rate."

YiLoLife is gearing up to reap this burgeoning marijuana harvest. The company recently offered up to 5 million shares of its Class A common stock, at a price of $3.28 per share, under a Regulation A+ filing. YiLoLife plans to use some $12 million from this share offering in adding capital assets, as well as toward the acquisition and development of cultivation, food processing and distribution facilities. A further $1.5 million will be expended on equipment, furniture and fixtures and $1.0 million will go to improve security. The remaining $1.9 million will be allocated toward bolstering working capital.

Other industry players are also positioning themselves. Cannabis Science (CBIS) is a biotech company that discovers and develops novel cannabinoid-based therapies to those critically in need of new treatments for life threatening and debilitating conditions. Eco Science Solutions, Inc. (ESSI) is a Hawaii-based technology company targeting the multi-billion dollar health and wellness industry.

Marijuana Company of America (MCOA) is a marketing and distribution company that plans to deliver all the benefits of cannabis by providing a wide range of services for cannabis businesses and entrepreneurs. The company focuses on leisure, wellness, health, and beauty-specific cannabis products.

Medical Marijuana, Inc. (MJNA), the first publicly traded cannabis company in the United States, announced this week that its subsidiary HempMeds® Mexico has launched its new website, featuring a fresh interface, educational info, and online services for medical marijuana customers.

And last but not least is mCig (MCIG). Driven by a management team with over 75 years of combined experience, this is a company that provides turnkey, durable, modular, ISO clean, high-yielding cultivation rooms to marijuana growers.


1. American Banker

2. Statesman Journal

3. FinCEN

For more information on YiLo please visit the company's crowd-funding page at

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domenica 12 febbraio 2017

Marijuana Advocates Are Celebrating This Small Victory

Bloomberg report revealed President-elect Donald Trump's likely pick for Food and Drug Administration (FDA) commissioner, on Wednesday — and it is giving marijuana legalization advocates a glimmer of hope.

Jim O'Neill — an associate at Peter Thiel's Mithril Capital Management and legalization activist, who served as a founding member of the Coalition for Cannabis Policy Reform — could potentially head the federal agency, which plays a central role in shaping the government's cannabis policy.
"Jim O’Neill, the Thiel associate, hasn’t been officially selected, according to the people, who asked to remain anonymous because the decision process is private, and the Trump team could still go in another direction," Bloomberg reported.
The FDA is responsible for determining the medical value of drugs and conducting scientific research that informs the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) drug scheduling decisions. Earlier this year, the FDA concluded that marijuana has a "high potential for abuse" and "no currently accepted medical use in treatment," as reported. That determination led the DEA to maintain its current classification of cannabis as a Schedule 1 drug, the most restrictive category under federal law.
A public records request submitted by ATTN: revealed that FDA leadership has raised questions about the DEA's scheduling system and recommended revising the regulatory framework in order to "encourage appropriate scientific research into the potential therapeutic benefits of marijuana and its constituents."
If O'Neill is nominated and confirmed, the position would presumably allow him to push for these reform measures and order a reevaluation of marijuana's medical value, according to cannabis policy experts.
"If O'Neill were to be confirmed as head of the FDA it would, at the very least, provide a voice of support in favor of marijuana law reform within an administration that is appearing to largely be made up of anti-marijuana appointments," Danielle Keane, communications associate at the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML), told ATTN:. But Keane also noted that the FDA "is just one small part of the puzzle when it comes to federal action on marijuana law reform."

The marijuana community has responded to the potential nomination of O'Neill with tepid optimism in light of the fact that Trump has also nominated several anti-legalization cabinet members.

Reform advocates have voiced concern about Trump's Attorney General pick, Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Al.), due to his staunch anti-legalization position, for example.
"Seeing Jim’s name floated gives us reason for a little optimism in the midst of so many old school drug warriors being tapped for other key posts," Marijuana Majority founder Tom Angell told ATTN:. "I feel confident that if he becomes the next FDA commissioner, we will be in very good position to finally reschedule marijuana."
Mike Liszewski, the director of government affairs at Americans for Safe Access, agreed. He told ATTN: that O'Neill's prospective nomination "could bring about significant changes to medical cannabis policy" and "potentially address the regulations that have prevented medical cannabis research."
"Such reforms could ultimately lead to cannabis being removed from Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act," Liszewski said. "However, whatever progress on cannabis at FDA under the Trump Administration should not be used as justification for cracking down on state medical cannabis programs, as there are more than 2 million patients who rely on these programs for safe and legal access to their medicine."
That said, O'Neill's prospective appointment as FDA commission has raised some concern among health care experts. He lacks a "strong scientific background" and has "proposed that the FDA only require companies to prove drugs are safe before they are sold — not that they actually work," STAT News reported.
O'Neill has also worked alongside Trump advisor Peter Thiel for "over a decade," according to Bloomberg, serving on the board of a controversial ventures such as the Seasteading Institute, which is designed to establish new societies in the ocean, beyond government reach. Before joining Thiel at Mithril Capital Management, O'Neill worked as the principal associated deputy secretary at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services under former President George W. Bush. Marijuana Advocates Are Celebrating This Small Victory

venerdì 3 febbraio 2017

Pot Industry Exhales (a Little) After Trump’s Attorney General Pick Testifies

One cannabis investor called Jeff Sessions’ confirmation hearing a “huge victory.” Others were more measured.


Polly Mosendz
12 gennaio 2017, 12:00 CET

When Donald Trump appointed Jeff Sessions as attorney general, the cannabis industry let out a collective groan. This week the industry, which is expected to balloon to $50 billion by 2026, got a hint of reprieve after Sessions was questioned about marijuana policy during his confirmation hearing.

One cannabis investor went so far as to call the hearing a "huge victory." Others in the industry expressed cautious optimism.

Sessions has called pot "a danger" and has long opposed legalization. "Good people don't smoke marijuana," he said last year at a Senate hearing. In an infamous quoteattributed to Sessions in the 1980s, while he was being considered for a federal district judge position, he said he thought the Ku Klux Klan "were OK until I found out they smoked pot." He later apologized and said he was joking.

But the conservative Republican senator from Alabama is also a proponent of states' rights, and more than half of the states in the U.S. have legalized some form of cannabis, despite federal laws prohibiting its sale and consumption.

In his hearing, Sessions said he wouldn't "commit to never enforcing federal law" but added that "absolutely it's a problem of resources for the federal government." Recently, a spokesman for the Drug Enforcement Administration told Bloomberg that, given the growing opioid crisis, agents can't dedicate resources to monitor or curtail the distribution and use of cannabidiol products, which are technically controlled substances.

"It is notable that Sen. Sessions chose not to commit to vigorously enforcing federal prohibition laws in states that have reformed their marijuana laws," Robert Capecchi, director of federal policies for the Marijuana Policy Project, a cannabis legalization lobbying organization, said in an emailed statement. "He also recognized that enforcing federal marijuana laws would be dependent upon the availability of resources, the scarcity of which poses a problem. He was given the opportunity to take an extreme prohibitionist approach, and he passed on it."

Troy Dayton, co-founder of the Arcview Group, an Oakland, Calif.-based cannabis industry investment firm, went further, saying by email that the senator "left the door open but indicated it would be a low priority. That's a huge victory considering [Sessions'] previous inflammatory statements about this topic."

Dayton said Sessions "may be against marijuana policy reform, but he is not stupid. He knows that these cannabis laws are hugely popular, not just among Americans in red and blue states, but with his boss who campaigned in favor of these laws."

While his responses, on their face, were hardly a coup for the cannabis industry, Sessions didn't morally condemn pot smokers either.

"The United States Congress has made the possession of marijuana in every state, and distribution of it, an illegal act," he testified. "If that ... is not desired any longer, Congress should pass a law to change the rule."

The Drug Policy Alliance, an organization opposed to the war on drugs, called the testimony "wishy-washy at best." The group's senior director of national affairs, Bill Piper, added: "It is clear that he was too afraid to say the ‘reefer madness’ things he said just a year ago, and that’s progress. But he made it clear throughout the hearing that he will enforce federal law."

The National Cannabis Industry Association supported Sessions' deferral to Congress. "It's time for federal lawmakers to represent the clear choices of their constituents," Executive Director Aaron Smith said in an emailed statement. "The responsible cannabis industry has helped countless critically ill patients, contributed billions of dollars to the economy and to tax coffers, taken marijuana out of the criminal market and put it behind a regulated counter, and dealt a significant blow to international cartels and traffickers."

Sessions' remarks on pot aren't far off from what Attorney General Loretta Lynch—who hasn't pursued litigation against states that legalized cannabis consumption—said during her confirmation hearing in 2015.

"It certainly would be my policy, if confirmed as attorney general, to continue enforcing the marijuana laws, particularly with respect to the money laundering aspect of it," she said when questioned by Republican Senator Lindsey Graham. "Where we see the evidence that marijuana, as I've noticed in cases in my own district, brings with it not only organized crime activity but great levels of violence."

Pot Industry Exhales (a Little) After Trump’s Attorney General Pick Testifies

giovedì 2 febbraio 2017




È stato presentato oggi in conferenza stampa alla Camera l’appello in materia di politiche sulle droghe promosso da A Buon Diritto, Antigone, Associazione Luca Coscioni, CGIL, CILD (Coalizione Italiana Libertà e Diritti Civili), CNCA (Coordinamento Nazionale Comunità di Accoglienza), Comunità di San Benedetto al Porto (Genova), Forum Droghe, FP CGIL, ITARDD (Rete italiana per la Riduzione del Danno), La Società della Ragione, LegacoopSociali, LILA, Possibile, Radicali Italiani.
I promotori chiedono al governo di assumere finalmente un ruolo nel governo delle politiche sulle droghe nel nostro paese. Da anni non viene assegnata la delega in materia di dipendenze, mentre viene disatteso almeno dal 2009 l’obbligo di convocazione della conferenza nazionale prevista dalla legge. Nel testo si chiede anche, all’interno dei nuovi Livelli Essenziali di Assistenza (LEA), di avviare un ripensamento dei servizi per le dipendenze coinvolgendo l’utenza e la società civile e puntando a promuovere la riduzione del danno come uno dei pilastri per gli interventi socio-sanitari in tema di droghe.
Sul versante della cannabis terapeutica si chiede invece di adeguare la produzione dello Stabilimento farmaceutico di Firenze alle reali esigenze dei malati del nostro paese e di dare impulso alla prescrivibilità della cannabis utile, secondo la più recente letteratura scientifica, per la cura di un numero di patologie sempre più ampio.
Per quel che riguarda il dibattito sulla cannabis le associazioni invitano il governo a facilitare il percorso di discussione parlamentare delle numerose proposte di legge sulla cannabis, a partire da quella dell’intergruppo per la cannabis legale e da quella di iniziativa popolare depositata a novembre scorso, e di discutere una revisione generale del Testo Unico sugli stupefacenti che ormai risale a 27 anni fa.
Infine i promotori chiedono a Governo e Parlamento di dare piena attuazione agli impegni assunti ad aprile scorso all’Assemblea generale dell’ONU sulle droghe (UNGASS), anche in vista della prossima sessione prevista per il 2019.
Il testo dell’appello è disponibile per l’adesione on line su