These days not a week goes by that there isn’t significant cannabis news. This last week was no exception.
Keeping up with it all can be difficult, and the Green Flower team is here to hit the highlights to make it easier for you!
Here’s the latest news:
CBD could worsen glaucoma symptoms, according to study
What happened: Researchers out of Indiana University published findings that CBD increases eye pressure in mice, a side-effect that could negatively impact people struggling with glaucoma.
Why it matters: THC-rich cannabis has long been valued as a helpful treatment for glaucoma because it helps ease the pressure in the eye. Finding that CBD could have the opposite results is a crucial reminder that both THC and CBD have different, sometimes opposite medical effects and neither should be excluded. The recent study also marked the first time scientists have identified the neuroreceptors in the eye that bind with cannabis compounds, paving the way for further understanding of cannabis and eye health.
Legalization could be on its way to New York in 2019
What happened: This week New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that he would be making cannabis legalization a priority in 2019. As recently as last year Governor Cuomo described cannabis as a ‘gateway drug.’
Why it matters: Governor Cuomo’s evolution on cannabis reform is likely due to various factors, but one of the biggest is the traction he witnessed his opponent Cynthia Nixon get on the campaign trail this year. Cuomo’s evolution is proof that lawmakers can change their opinion on the issue. New York is a huge state. If it legalizes in 2019, it’s going to be a massive domino in the effort to end prohibition nationwide.
New Zealand to vote on cannabis legalization in 2020
What happened: New Zealand is going to vote on cannabis legalization in its next general election. A binding cannabis legalization referendum will be put before voters in New Zealand in 2020.
Why it matters: To date, there have only been two countries that have passed cannabis legalization measures. If New Zealand did it, and no other country does in between, it would be the first country to legalize cannabis via a vote versus the legislative process. That would be truly historic.
Budweiser’s maker teams up with Tilray
What happened: AB InBev, which makes Budweiser and other popular beers, signed a $100 million agreement with Canadian cannabis producer Tilray. The two companies will spend that money on researching ‘cannabis-infused beverages.’
Why it matters: The way things are looking, Canada is going to be the first country to have prominent nationally-legal, cannabis-infused alcohol beverages that contain THC. Some companies already infuse beer with CBD, but the legality of it is a gray area at best. The first entity to get a fully federally-legal THC beer is going to crush it in the marketplace, whether that’s in Canada or beyond.
Senator Gardner’s efforts were thwarted
What happened: Senator Cory Gardner (R-CO) made a serious push to try to get significant cannabis reform measures into the recently Senate-passed criminal justice reform legislation. Unfortunately, longtime cannabis opponent Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA) blocked the measure.
Why it matters: Senator Grassley has blocked over three dozen pro-cannabis measures during his tenure as Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman. He is being replaced by Senator Lindsey Graham, who is exponentially more likely to at least allow a vote, compared to Grassley who was unwilling.
Miss Universe weighs in on cannabis legalization
What happened: Prior to being crowned, this year’s Miss Universe Champion Catriona Gray was asked about her views on cannabis. Gray, who is from the Philippines where cannabis is currently illegal, stated that she was for medical use but against adult-use. She also added that ‘everything is good in moderation’ when comparing cannabis to cigarettes and alcohol.
Why it Matters: The Miss Universe competition has a loyal following all around the world. Medical cannabis reform is being considered in the Philippines but the country has been waging a war on drugs that has seen significant lives lost. The nation needs all the support for cannabis reform that it can get. In that context, Ms. Gray’s words are very progressive and her courage is inspiring.