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Endexx Commends United Nations Landmark Vote to Remove Cannabis from Schedule IV – GlobeNewswire

Endexx Global Operations in Jamaica Ready to Launch  

CAVE CREEK, AZ, Dec. 03, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — via NewMediaWireEndexx Corporation, (OTC: EDXC) (the “Company” or a/k/a “CBD Unlimited”), a lifestyle company focused on the intersection of science, compliance, and formulation of innovative phytonutrient-based food and nutritional products is pleased to update shareholders on our global expansion plans. 

In a historic vote in Vienna today, “The United Nations Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) accepted a World Health Organization (WHO) recommendation to remove cannabis and cannabis resin from Schedule IV of the 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs.”

This World Health Organization recommendation and vote by the UN is the second critical stage to advancing legal changes on cannabis and hemp in all the Industrialized Nations that strictly comply with UN Law. This precedent allows countries like the US, Japan, and Korea to advance new guidelines and laws towards making medicinal cannabis and hemp fully compliant and legal both domestically and globally. As previously mentioned, this ruling opens the potential for banking, insurance, and commodity trading industries to build infrastructure for long-term industry success. Endexx has positioned itself to capitalize directly on this global growth opportunity.

CEO of Endexx, Todd Davis, a known pioneer in the industry, had previously predicted this would occur and recently added, “Domino number two, will change the cannabis industry forever. Cannabis, including Hemp, is no longer illegal and considered a dangerous narcotic and worldwide cannabis and CBD markets will exponentially expand the previously predicted market potential by 1000 fold. This promotes the advancement of Hemp and CBD products to become a worldwide accepted commodity and the potential for Endexx brands such as CBD Unlimited, to become a world leader in the marketplace.” 

“Jamaica Is Endexx’s Global Market Gateway”

Endexx through its subsidiary, Go Green Global, has recently received two provisional licenses in Jamaica allowing for the sale, cultivation, processing, and distribution of cannabis upon final approval. Jamaica’s established history with Ganja, now fully legalized, offers a premium agricultural crop and export to unlock the value of its natural resources and globally positioned ports as the gateway for cannabis to the world markets. The UN vote allows Jamaican officials to expedite exportation compliance standards and open the Jamaican cannabis market to the world.  

With these new law changes and the massive new market potential, Endexx via Go Green Global can now position itself to quickly move inventory into the European and worldwide markets with a significant lead over potential competitors. 

Endexx has long been a company known for “Science and Compliance”, with premium quality, and has received strong critical praise.  In addition, CBD Unlimited made significant headway in the industry by showing distribution success establishing real estate in over 6,000 retail stores in the last two years.  

Todd Davis added, “This is the big legal “Green Flag” that we have been waiting for and positioned ourselves to take full advantage.  Now, with our Jamaican position, we will further target resources towards both Cannabis and CBD distribution worldwide.”

The company has recently positioned itself to expand distribution featuring a new high-quality, lower-price point CBD Unlimited product line. This new initiative accelerates expansion efforts with a value product line to attract a wider consumer base to drive strong international growth.

 Reference(s):

https://news.un.org/en/story/2020/12/1079132

https://mjbizdaily.com/united-nations-approves-who-recommendation-to-reschedule-cannabis-in-historic-vote/

https://curia.europa.eu/jcms/upload/docs/application/pdf/2020-11/cp200141en.pdf

https://www.cov.com/en/news-and-insights/insights/2020/11/cjeu-confirms-that-cbd-is-not-a-narcotic-drug

https://www.globenewswire.com/news-release/2020/10/14/2108011/0/en/Endexx-s-International-Division-Go-Green-Global-Announces-Provisional-Approval-for-Two-Licenses-in-Jamaica.html

About Endexx Corporation and CBD Unlimited

Endexx Corporation, through its operating subsidiary CBD Unlimited, Inc., develops and distributes all-natural CBD products derived from the Cannabis Sativa plant (Hemp), containing less than 0.01% THC. Its products range from oils, capsules, topicals, and pet products, all with the shared purpose of therapeutic and pain relief for humans and pets. Phyto-Bites are CBD soft chews for animal use that are formulated to promote health and support the reduction of separation anxiety, pain, and inflammation. The science behind these products involves over half a decade of clinical research in the field and lab work in order to protect the accuracy in dosage and delivery of absorption per each serving.

Safe Harbor Notice

This press release may contain “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, such as statements relating to financial results and plans for future development activities and are thus prospective. Forward-looking statements include all statements that are not statements of historical fact regarding intent, belief, or current expectations of the company, its directors, or its officers. Investors are cautioned that any such forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and involve risks and uncertainties, many of which are beyond the company’s ability to control. Actual results may differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements. Among the factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those indicated in the forward-looking statements are risks and uncertainties associated with the company’s business and finances in general, including the ability to continue and manage its growth, competition, global economic conditions, and other factors discussed in detail in the Company’s periodic filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The company undertakes no obligation to update any forward-looking statements.

Contact:
For further investor and media information, please contact:
Endexx Corporation
Todd Davis, Chairman, and CEO
endexx@endexx.com
480-595-6900

John Mackey Says The Cannabis Industry Is ‘Changing The World’ – Forbes


John Mackey, the cofounder and CEO of Whole Foods, gave a virtual keynote speech and fireside chat at MJBizCon, the cannabis industry’s largest business conference, on Wednesday.

It might seem like an odd pairing, especially for an entrepreneur who’s fought against labor unions and Obamacare, but Mackey said that he decided to give a speech at the cannabis event, which was held virtually due to the pandemic, because “the world has changed.” Cannabis, especially after five more states legalized cannabis on Election Day, is no longer “seen as a radical thing,” Mackey said.

Also, Whole Foods, which was slow to sell CBD products due to fear of a federal crackdown, now cannot keep enough of the stuff on its shelves.

“It’s been explosive,” said Mackey, who admits to using CBD capsules to relax and infused salves during massages. “When I’m in our stores and I ask what’s hot, I’ll hear collagen and CBD.”

Mackey said that the cannabis industry is about to transform from its entrepreneurial roots into a corporate industry and urged business owners to take advantage of the opportunity.

“We are at the entrepreneurial stage for this particular business right now,” said Mackey. “But the entrepreneurial phase only has 10 to 15 years left, then it’ll move to become more professionalized.”

Once the entrepreneurial phase is over, it’ll be hard to start a company from scratch due to high competition from corporations awash in liquidity. He predicts that alcohol and tobacco companies will be the first industry outsiders to enter the market and start executing aggressive industry rollups. (Altria, the maker of Marlboro, and Constellation Brands, which makes Corona, have already made billion-dollar investments in the industry.)

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Until then, Mackey says entrepreneurs are building the next great American industry, which has been hampered by federal law since 1938.

“There is little doubt in my mind that the cannabis industry is changing the world,” says Mackey. “The people, the entrepreneurs are doing it, they’re living it. The most creative and imaginative ones will create products, they will create retail experiences that we’ve never seen before. The world will be a different place 10 years from now. No doubt about it.”

Mackey likened where the cannabis industry is currently to where the natural foods industry was when he started Whole Foods. In 1978 in Austin, Texas, Mackey, a college dropout, and his girlfriend at the time Renee Lawson Hardy borrowed $45,000 from family and friends to open a natural foods store called SaferWay. Two years later, they merged with a competing market, the Clarksville Natural Grocery, and opened the first Whole Foods. By 2017, Whole Foods had grown into the largest organic food grocery chain in the U.S. with over 500 locations and Amazon bought them for more than $13 billion.

Eventually, like natural foods, the cannabis industry will evolve from a retail-based market to a “product-dominated industry,” Mackey said.

In the early 1980s, if a customer wanted organic produce, they had to find a natural food store. Now, Walmart and Amazon (thanks to its Whole Food acquisition) sell organic food.

“The retailers are almost secondary because the products are being sold everywhere,” says Mackey. Right now, cannabis can only legally be sold in licensed dispensaries. But eventually, cannabis products might be sold through more mainstream outlets. (This has already happened with CBD.)

As Mackey sees it, the path to entrepreneurial success is to create brands.

“If you can create categories and get your brand out there and dominate that category, be the category king, I think you can create a lot of value for investors and a lot of value for all your stakeholders,” he said.

The best example of a brand that has dominated and reinvented its category in the natural foods space is Beyond Meat, the plant-based meat alternative, said Mackey.

Mackey also promoted his newest book, “Conscious Leadership: Elevating Humanity Through Business” (Penguin Random House, 2020), which explores the strategies he used to build Whole Foods. His keynote was also a defense of capitalism, which he says has been wrongly demonized. “The myth of capitalism is that it creates income inequality,” he said. “That is fundamentally not true.”

“Wealth isn’t the problem, poverty is,” he continued. “Capitalism is creating wealth for billions of people—it’s not a zero-sum game.”

For anyone who follows Mackey’s brand of capitalism and business strategy, it seems to be less inspired by The Art of War than by “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.”

“Can you build a business on love? I think you can,” Mackey said during the keynote. (In a 1988 Forbes profile, Mackey said: “We’re trying to build a company based on trust and love.”)

Mackey said that competition in the natural food space is nearly too great for scrappy entrepreneurs to find success, but the cannabis industry is still all horizon.

“The time of the small mom-and-pop shops in natural foods has passed,” Mackey said, “but for cannabis, it’s not too late.”

Proposed cannabis store in Wheeling clears procedural hurdle – Chicago Daily Herald

A plan to open Wheeling’s first cannabis dispensary cleared a significant bureaucratic hurdle Wednesday.

A company called Mindful Illinois wants to open a store called Hatch in the former TGI Fridays restaurant at 1500 E. Lake-Cook Road. The 5,800-square-foot, free-standing building is in the Schwind Crossings shopping center.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       

The village’s plan commission on Wednesday approved requests to change Wheeling’s zoning rules to allow a cannabis dispensary in the shopping center. The commission also said the village board should grant the business a special-use permit.

The board will consider both measures when it meets at 6:30 p.m. Monday.

Mindful Illinois operates the Mindful pot shop in Addison. The company is changing that store’s name to Hatch, so both shops would have the same name, partner Gary Leff told the plan commission.

The company already is licensed to operate a second dispensary, Leff said.

At one point, a letter from a Buffalo Grove resident worried about traffic and crime was read into the record.

Leff said current available parking spots are „ample.” The store wouldn’t attract more customers than the restaurant did, he said.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       

Leff also described proposed security conditions at the shop, including a locked entrance and a 21-and-over admission policy. Additionally, Village Planner Marcy Knysz said Wheeling police have raised no crime-related concerns.

Leff said he and his partners are „very excited to become part of the Wheeling business community.”

Cannabis dispensaries operate in Arlington Heights, Buffalo Grove, Mount Prospect, Schaumburg, Mundelein and other suburbs. Some, such as the ones in Buffalo Grove and Mount Prospect, serve only customers with medical prescriptions.

In October, the Wheeling village board approved a special-use permit for a proposed cannabis growing facility at 1480 S. Wolf Road. But that proposed business still needs a state craft growing license, and none have been issued yet.

Say Goodbye to Aurora Cannabis and Hello to These Hot Pot Stocks – The Motley Fool

Aurora Cannabis (NYSE:ACB) ranked by far as the best-performing marijuana stock in November. Shares of the Canadian cannabis producer skyrocketed nearly 160%. Even with this huge gain, though, Aurora stock is down more than 50% year to date.

It’s a much different story for Curaleaf Holdings (OTC:CURLF) and GrowGeneration (NASDAQ:GRWG). Curaleaf’s shares have jumped more than 70% so far this year, while GrowGeneration stock has skyrocketed more than 770%. Aurora remains one of the most popular marijuana stocks on the market, but it’s time to say goodbye to Aurora Cannabis and hello to these two hot pot stocks. 

Cannabis growing in an indoor facility under lights

Image source: Getty Images.

Why they’re hot

Curaleaf and GrowGeneration have achieved tremendous success for similar reasons. The continued growth of the U.S. cannabis market has served as a big tailwind for both companies.

Multistate cannabis operators have enjoyed tremendous momentum in large states that have legalized marijuana in some form. Curaleaf, the biggest MSO, is certainly no exception. The company currently operates in 23 states, including the fast-growing recreational market in Illinois and Florida’s booming medical cannabis market. 

Acquisitions have partly fueled Curaleaf’s growth. The biggest of these deals — acquiring privately held multistate operator Grassroots in July 2020 — made Curaleaf the largest cannabis company in the world based on revenue. It also made Curaleaf the most diversified vertically integrated cannabis operator in the U.S.

Meanwhile, GrowGeneration has emerged as one of the top pick-and-shovel cannabis stocks. The company ranks as the largest retail chain of specialty hydroponic and organic garden centers. GrowGeneration now has 36 stores that are go-to sources for U.S. cannabis producers.

As with Curaleaf, GrowGeneration’s acquisitions have been key to its growth. Most recently, GrowGeneration completed the acquisition of The GrowBiz, the third-largest chain of hydroponic garden centers in the U.S. 

Huge opportunities ahead

There were a couple of big cannabis stories during the U.S. elections last month that bode well for both Curaleaf and GrowGeneration. Four states voted to legalize recreational pot. Two states voted to legalize medical cannabis. 

Curaleaf CEO Joseph Lusardi cited the upcoming launches of the recreational marijuana markets in Arizona and New Jersey as top growth drivers for his company. GrowGeneration CEO Darren Lampert also said that the Election Day results presented a growth opportunity. 

The vote by New Jersey residents to legalize recreational marijuana in particular could have a ripple effect. It’s more likely now that New York, Pennsylvania, and Connecticut could also legalize recreational pot in the not-too-distant future.

Neither Curaleaf nor GrowGeneration has to rely on new markets to continue generating strong growth. Curaleaf should have great prospects in the states where it currently operates, especially in Ohio, Illinois, Pennsylvania, and Florida. GrowGeneration can keep up its momentum simply by consolidating the highly fragmented hydroponic retail market.

Much better than Aurora

Are Curaleaf and GrowGeneration really better picks than Aurora Cannabis? Absolutely.

For one thing, both companies are in much stronger financial shape than Aurora. While Aurora’s revenue increased by a minuscule amount in its latest quarter, Curaleaf and GrowGeneration delivered year-over-year revenue growth of 164% and 152%, respectively, in their most recent quarterly updates.

Aurora hopes to achieve positive adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) in its next quarter. Curaleaf and GrowGeneration both already consistently generate positive adjusted EBITDA. GrowGeneration is profitable, while Curaleaf is close to turning a profit.

Perhaps most importantly, Curaleaf and GrowGeneration operate in the U.S. — the biggest cannabis market in the world. At this point, Aurora can only dream of a day when it will be able to enter the lucrative U.S. market. 

If you’re looking for the most talked-about pot stock, buy Aurora. If you want the best chance to make money, Curaleaf and GrowGeneration are much better picks.

Summit Common Council on Cannabis – TAPinto.net

Earlier this week, the Common Council voted to pass an ordinance to ban the sale of cannabis in Summit. This ordinance was met with a lot of public disapproval, and I was so taken aback that I devoted a large portion of time during my busy finals week to raise awareness and promote a petition on this ordinance which surpassed 600 signatures in two days. I have had multiple conversations with members of our community and it is clear to me that citizens from both sides of the political aisle disapprove of this DRO ordinance. Both the signatures and the emails sent reflect that much of the community is not in favor of this ordinance. 

Councilman David Naidu, who introduced this ordinance, emphasized that the goal was to allow “breathing room” for the Council to decide which regulations they seek to impose. He placed emphasis on the uncertainty on how a dispensary in town would affect home values. He warned, “We cannot tell you definitively if having a marijuana store on, for example Springfield Avenue, would increase or decrease value. No one can, but we are not willing to take the risk on the value of our or our neighbors’ homes without thoughtful or extensive dialogue with the community which we have not had to date”. Despite these claims, the council did not seek to reach out to the community and engage in the aforementioned dialogue. It seems disingenuous to bring up housing values when there are no clear facts on how the ordinance will affect housing. Later in the meeting a member of the community cites a study that shows housing value rise in areas with dispensaries. Naidu expanded on the idea that they are unsure if they are forgoing revenue. Due to the uncertainty of the State bill, it is still not decided if the 2% municipal tax on the sale of marijuana will be part of the bill, or how that 2% tax would be allocated. It can be said however, the Common Council was willing to forego the potential of that revenue, especially during the fiscal hardships of the COVID-19 pandemic. Naidu also mentioned that Summit should be united as a town saying, “If we are one town, we should not burden one section of the town with any particular business”. It seems that Naidu sees dispensaries as a burden for communities despite the fact that much good could come from them including: access to recreational marijuana for health purposes, creation of jobs, and helping fight the stigma against cannabis. The potential municipal tax revenue could help our community, especially marginalized groups. Common Council we elected you to represent us, not the interest of property values. 

Patrick Duff, owner of dispensaries across the country, sees dispensaries as a benefit to the community. He equates it to a local brewery that helps spur business. Duff also emphasizes that it would help reverse the stigma that has contributed to racial inequality. He urged the Council to wait to see until the regulations are proposed by the state legislature. 

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Annette Dwyer, a concerned citizen of Summit, also expressed her support for the ordinance. Despite saying that her support is not fully researched, she goes on to explain some of her worries. She mentions that there “could be exponential risks of propagation of cannabis … product, device, and usage by persons, including persons at a developmentally young age”. While concerns about the developmental effects of cannabis on young people are important, part of the justification for legalization is that the illegality of marijuana fuels the illegal sale of the product on unregulated black markets. Such sales mean that the young people of our community are consuming an unregulated product which has been shown to have far more detrimental effects than its recreational usage. While underage use of cannabis may continue to be a problem, the risk of consumption of laced cannabis goes down significantly, as does the crime that comes along with its sale. Dwyer’s last point is an echo of the first one, speaking on the potential of increased use in community gatherings, homes, and neighborhoods. Again, this would still exist within the framework of legalization. In the same article Dwyer referred to, The Risks of Another Epidemic: Teenage Vaping, Jane Brody highlights many of the issues of black market THC devices and an outright ban. Brody links the black market THC devices to the “outbreak of severe lung injuries, which were subsequently linked to vitamin E acetate”. Brody also cites a health economist who believes that “bans can push people into the black market looking for something that can be acutely dangerous”. As a first responder, I think that black market cannabis presents a real medical danger to high school students, and we must try to combat the creation of that black market. 

Many medical marijuana patients from neighboring towns expressed their concern with the ordinance. One member in particular was at a loss for words with the council’s lack of empathy towards its citizens who might reap the medical benefits of legalized marijuana. They explained that patients must go to extreme lengths to find their medicine and finding out that their neighboring town is proposing to ban dispensaries makes them feel as though their representatives are not working towards their best interests. . 

Giovanni Sce pointed out a couple of hypocritical points related to the ordinance. Due to a large majority of Summit citizens voting in favor, he believes that the city shouldn’t prohibit the implementation of the outcome of the referendum. Furthermore, Sce called the approach of „let’s see first what happens in other towns” hypocritical to the tone of „Summit is special/better”. If every town takes Summit’s approach, no sales will ever happen.

Representing recreational and medical marijuana workers, Hugo Giordano spoke on the labor side of a dispensary. He asserts that veterans and ex-police will receive jobs through opening a dispensary in Summit. Other workers will benefit from earning a livable wage and receiving medical coverage through employment. Giordano mentions that this is an anti-worker ordinance and the council should gather more information on the community’s perspective before passing an ordinance as harsh as the proposed. 

City Clerk Rosemary Licatese stated that 28 emails were received with only one in favor and all other 27 opposed the ordinance. Representing all 27 other emails, Jozi Coates asked in her email if Summit will accept state funding from the state tax on recreational marijuana. She also expressed her concerns of public transportation as a means to obtain recreational marijuna especially during the COVID-19 epidemic. 

According to the City Clerk, the following people wrote expressing similar sentiments:

Eduardo Henrique Chassot Agostinho, Bella Anidjar, Freddy A., Pat Bauman, James Bowe, Yuliza Brenes, Sam Carlinar, Laura Coates, Alexa Diaz, Iria Diaz, Sarai Diaz, Ryan Felmet, Christina Guo, Christopher Helmer, Jenna Kolvenic, Kathleen Landis, Jeffrey Alexander Lopez, Sophia Lusardi, Matthew Nicolini, Reid Phillips, Diego Pinzon, Cameron Regner, Ben Schacter, Victor Torres and Ally Westdyk.

Jo Anne Zito, an advocate for medical cannabis, spoke about the many factors in which the legal sale of cannabis can benefit communities. She specifically highlighted cannabis’ use as an alternative to opioids and alcohol. Zito also revealed a Cato institute study that showed an 8.4% increase in property values when the property is located near a dispensary. 

I spoke on the idea that despite this ordinance not officially limiting medical marijuana, it limits access to recreational marijuana for medical reasons. Members of our community should have access to cannabis in order to help with minor aches, muscle pains, and anxiety while not having a medical marijuana license. These licenses are expensive and are usually not covered by insurance. I have seen this outright as a volunteer first responder here in Summit for over 5 years. 

After the public comments, Mayor Nora Radest wished to address a concern she had. She expressed that the members who do not live in Summit do not “know Summit”. They however had stated that they are often in Summit or have worked in Summit. She felt personally offended by alleged accusations by aforementioned members. Due to their frustrations, some members pleaded with the council to do more research. Radest also mentioned that this is a “wait and see” vote in which we will wait for the state. The mayor was glad to have 40 people voice their opinions but wants to see the community have an open dialogue. Personally, I think that passing this ordinance would directly contradict the councilman’s notion that postponing the installation of this dispensary is justified by the council’s „finding out about what the rest of the community feels.” Will most of New Jersey not be in the same regulatory boat as we are? 

Later in the night, Naidu shifted some of the blame onto Trenton and advocated for the community to reach out to their representative in Trenton to ask them what they have been doing. Naidu proposes to wait for the parameters to come from Trenton before moving forward, still advocating for banning dispensaries in our town. Naidu seeks a highly engaged community, yet he still introduced and voted on the issue within just two weeks of voter approval of NJ Ballot Public Question 1 Marijuana Legalization Amendment.

Council President Marjorie Fox gave examples of some of the other businesses not allowed like adult entertainment, fast food, strip malls, and other things that are not “consistent with the character of our community”. Councilmember Susan Hairston agreed with Fox’s comments. Fox clarified that this is to “preserve the zoning of our community until we have enough information”. Fox mentions that a decision cannot be made rationally until we have more information, but still voted to ban dispensaries outright. 

All members of the Common Council besides Greg Vartan voted in favor. 

I was very disappointed to see the Common Council voting for this measure while making attempts to advocate for community discussion. If we do not repeal this ordnance, no dispensary or business will be interested in setting up shop in our town. By choosing to take an absolute approach, potential dispensaries will see Summit as an unwelcoming community to their business and stunt the potential growth of the market. 

Jeffrey Alexander Lopez

*Attached below are a few of the many letters NOT read out loud during the meeting.

1)

Hello, my name is Fredy and I live on Springfield Ave. in Summit. I am emailing to submit a public comment on the DRO ordinance. I do not support this ordinance because I strongly believe that having a dispensary in Summit could benefit our town. It is too early to put this limiting ordinance on our town and I believe that the people should have a say in it. We the people voted for legalization and should be able to decide if we want this ordinance. It is a lot harder to overturn an ordinance than it is to prevent it from being passed. The language in the ordinance also limits personal freedoms by not allowing growth of cannabis. It also places a limit on personal recreational usage by limiting sale of smoking devices like pipes etc. By making citizens have to go to another town to obtain cannabis, we are disenfranchising people who may not be able to afford a car or are unable to take the day off in order to obtain what they voted for. This ordinance also opens up the potential of a black market for cannabis and paraphernalia. Black market cannabis and paraphernalia can be very dangerous without regulation and will hurt our community more than a dispensary would. The proposed 2% tax municipal tax could go to a fund to help communities in Summit affected by drugs and addiction. I urge the Common Council not to pass this ordinance.

2)

Hello there,     

Hope you are doing well and had a great Thanksgiving.

I’m reaching out to submit comment regarding the proposed ban on the sale of marijuana in Summit. I have been a proud resident of Summit since ’07 and was a Summit HS graduate in 2018!

I believe the sale of marijuana in Summit should not be banned for the following reasons: 

  1. Marijuana usage is going to happen regardless, and legal marijuana sale in Summit would allow regulation of „safe” marijuana. In the same way that many unsafe abortions were performed in dark basements before Roe v. Wade, banning the sale of marijuana in Summit would essentially throw oversight out the window; it’s turning a blind eye to what’s happening already and has been happening for years under the radar instead of stepping up to best accommodate for it.

  2. Tax revenue and ripple effect. When asked if tax revenue was a factor in this decision, Mayor Radest said it was not but rather a community policy decision. I don’t believe these are mutually exclusive. Particularly after COVID-19, Summit businesses need any foot traffic they can get. The absolute worst possible scenario is to be surrounded by other municipalities that have legalized the sale of marijuana and lose out on the additional spending they would’ve done in Summit – while still letting adults drive 15 minutes to another city to purchase marijuana and drive back to use it in Summit? New Jersey has voted overwhelmingly for this measure, and if Summit is the odd city out there will inevitably be severe economic implications. 

Proponents of the ban will likely use a lot of rhetoric involving morality or ethics. I’d invite them to take a look at the wealth of studies regarding the states that have already legalized the sale of marijuana before making such stipulations and consider the morality of putting Summit small businesses in a more precarious position than COVID-19 already has just so that residents can simply drive to Berkeley Heights to buy their marijuana instead.

Thanks for your time.

Christina Guo

3)

My name is Diego Pinzon and I live on Ascot Way in Summit. I am emailing to submit a public comment on the DRO ordinance.

It has long been known that Black and brown communities in our country have been disproportionately affected by the war on drugs, including enforcement of laws prohibiting the use of Marijuana. Simply put, the DRO ordinance looks to uphold negative stigma surrounding the use of Marijuana, which would only continue to perpetuate this issue. It ignores the unfortunate truth that with excess regulation and enforcement, non-white communities will be the ones most impacted, and given that the DRO ordinance simply adds additional barriers for the LEGAL consumption of Marijuana, it’s only true impact would be to uphold the negative stigma previously mentioned. Additionally, the proposed 2% tax municipal tax could go to a fund to help communities in Summit affected by drugs and addiction.

I urge the Common Council not to pass this ordinance.

Thanks,

Diego Pinzon

4)

Hi,

I’m emailing to voice my concern about Summit’s proposal to ban the sale of marijuana. New Jersey has a great opportunity to uplift its economy now that marijuana has been made legal, and I believe fighting this new policy rather than embracing it is unnecessary and counterproductive to the interests of the NJ community. I trust that my concern will be taken into consideration.

Best,

Sam Carliner

5)

Hello, my name is Yuliza Brenes and I live on Orchard Street in Summit. I am emailing to submit a public comment on the DRO ordinance.

I do not support this ordinance and It is too early to put this limiting ordinance on our town. We the people voted for legalization and should be able to decide if we want this ordinance. It is a lot harder to overturn an ordinance than it is to prevent it from being passed.

Passing an ordinance to prohibit the sale and distribution of marijuanna Summit will be a tremendous loss at a great opportunity to expand potential and necessary business we need within our community and neighboring cities. (Very important in these times!!) 

We can use this great opportunity to help fix our marginalized communities in summit!

Considering that 70% of the citizens in the city of summit have agreed with legalization, passing the ordinance will be ignoring the needs and the voice of the people in this community. 

The people of New Jersey HAVE VOTED for legalization and it is NOW YOUR DUTY to make it locally and safely accessible. Do not discriminate against dispensaries and the needs of your people!! 

I, Yuliza Brenes, as a resident of Summit for 17 years have watched the same kind of stores take over town’s market. (Pizzerias nail/hair salons and liquor stores.)

It’s time for a change that meets our current time and the majority of the people’s needs/demands. 

I urge the summit council not to pass this ordinance. 

6)

Reject this foolishness. Marijuana, whether it can be sold legally in the city of Summit, will be sold and consumed by many people of many walks of life. Banning a storefront will only draw customers and tax dollars to neighboring towns without such laws and increase dependence on black market providers.

Ben Schachter 

7)

Hi, my name is Sarai Diaz and I live on Broad Street. As a Summit resident, I am against the proposed ban on the distribution of marijuana because I believe it should be as easily accessible as other legal substances in our town.

8)

1. Ordinance 20-3225, Introduced on 11/16 for direct hearing on 12/1.

I strongly urge the Common Council to abstain, delay, or vote no to this ordinance which bans the sale, growth, and distribution of recreational mairjuanna for several reasons.

Public Opinion -has already decided YES: the residents of the City of Summit have already voted in favor of the Constitutional Amendment on the New Jersey State ballot.

State Law – Regulation of the entire Constitutional Amendment has not even been approved in the NJ State Legislature on ANY level. 

Other Municipalities – The majority of other municipalities that already have ordinances banning recreational marijuanna were put in more than two years ago, when there was much less know about the positive impacts that cannabis has and the dispelled rumors of potential negative impacts on the drugs

Black Market – In my opinion and widely noted is that Marijuanna is highly accessible already for almost any group of people.  It is a matter of selling it at the right cost, regulating soundly, and setting appropriate boundaries that will avoid any conflicts of a distribution centers location in proximity to places such as schools or houses of worship.  If our kids or neighbors can get it regardless of the legal market, it is counterproductive to avoid the sale in our City

Decriminalization „Only” is not what we voted for, and if that’s what the City leaders want, re-poll the City – Decriminalization of marijuanna possession is a significant benefit to the referendum but is only half of what the voters decided.  The referendum did not say to only vote for decriminalization and it is a hypocritical and narrow view to look at the widespread use and distribution of cannabis in this country.  For example, those who do not want to engage with recreational cannabis regularly will not all of a sudden feel the necessity just by walking by a dispensary, similarly to those that do not drink and do not do the same when walking by a liquor store or a bar which are prevalent in NJ and surrounding areas

Safety, Home Values, Law – Summit has the opportunity to contribute in leading the state and how to do it the right way, andin a safe and smart environment with a seamless transition.  Aspen Colorado is not known for its dispensaries or it’s crime and Summit New Jersey does not have to be either.  This is business as usual and accepting a change in a thoughtful manner.  It will bake into the society without significant notice if it done right.

Conclusion – Executing an ordinance to ban the growth and sale of cannabis without even taking further input from residents is not the job of a public servant which is instead to represent all its constituents.  The „not in my backyard” stance sends a message that Summit is acting on old data, incorrect fact patterns, avoiding public opinion, and doing absolutely nothing to engage in the full spirit of the referendum to endure recreational marijuanna in a smart and safe way in New Jersey.  To put it another way, if you are voting against portions of recreational use such s banning the sale and growth in Summit, and you believe Summit is the best community for families to reside in across the state of New Jersey, you are would also vote NO for ALL other municipalities, who may be at different socioeconomic places within their status in the state.  „Rules for thee, but not for me”, is not the way to go and will not save the City of Summit anything if this ordinance is passed, especially right now, when legislation is not even close to final in the NJ State legislature.  Please instead, take a step back and listen to the residents who voted and do more due diligence on the subject.

Ryan Felmet

9)

Dear Summit Common Council,

I am writing to voice my concern on the proposed ordinance to ban the future opening of recreational cannabis dispensaries in the city of Summit. As a former student at oratory and a member of the Summit community I must say that this proposed ordinance is not only a classist attempt to disenfranchise Summit residents who can’t afford to leave town for a legal substance but is also knowingly losing out on possible thousands of dollars in the form of a 2% tax. Make the right choice and vote to support a future for dispensaries in Summit.

From,

James Bowe

10)

Hello, my name is Dulce and I live in Summit. I am emailing to submit a public comment on the DRO ordinance. I do not support this ordinance because I strongly believe that having a dispensary in Summit could benefit our town. It is too early to put this limiting ordinance on our town and I believe that the people should have a say in it. We the people voted for legalization and should be able to decide if we want this ordinance. It is a lot harder to overturn an ordinance than it is to prevent it from being passed. The language in the ordinance also limits personal freedoms by not allowing growth of cannabis. It also places a limit on personal recreational usage by limiting sale of smoking devices like pipes etc. By making citizens have to go to another town to obtain cannabis, we are disenfranchising people who may not be able to afford a car or are unable to take the day off in order to obtain what they voted for. This ordinance also opens up the potential of a black market for cannabis and paraphernalia. Black market cannabis and paraphernalia can be very dangerous without regulation and will hurt our community more than a dispensary would. The proposed 2% tax municipal tax could go to a fund to help communities in Summit affected by drugs and addiction. I urge the Common Council not to pass this ordinance. 

11)

Hello. I am writing this email as a comment for the Common Council Meeting tomorrow night (Dec. 1)

My message is as follows: I think the proposed ban on the sale of marijuana in Summit is not in the best interest of the public. I believe that it should not be passed. My reasoning is that if other surrounding towns pass similar legislature, than the  tax revenue made from selling marijuana in Summit will be much higher due to external traffic. The revenue made will far surpass anyone concerned about „undesirables” and unpleasant smells.

If this bill is passed, Summit residents will merely continue purchasing weed in the illegal manner that already takes place within our community. Having dispensaries in Summit is one thing, but denying one is something else.

Regards,

Summit Resident,

Pat Bauman

12) 

Hello, my name is ■■■■ and I live on/at ■■■■ in Summit. I am emailing to submit a public comment on the DRO ordinance. I do not support this ordinance because I strongly believe that having a dispensary in Summit could benefit our town. It is too early to put this limiting ordinance on our town and I believe that the people should have a say in it. We the people voted for legalization and should be able to decide if we want this ordinance. It is a lot harder to overturn an ordinance than it is to prevent it from being passed. The language in the ordinance also limits personal freedoms by not allowing growth of cannabis. It also places a limit on personal recreational usage by limiting sale of smoking devices like pipes etc. By making citizens have to go to another town to obtain cannabis, we are disenfranchising people who may not be able to afford a car or are unable to take the day off in order to obtain what they voted for. This ordinance also opens up the potential of a black market for cannabis and paraphernalia. Black market cannabis and paraphernalia can be very dangerous without regulation and will hurt our community more than a dispensary would. The proposed 2% tax municipal tax could go to a fund to help communities in Summit affected by drugs and addiction. I urge the Common Council not to pass this ordinance.

(This citizen asked me not to include their name or address)

13)

Earlier this month, the citizens of New Jersey voted in favor of the legalization of marijuana. An approximate 70% of Summit voters agreed with legalization. The Summit Common Council is seeking to pass an ordinance to prohibit the sale and distribution of marijuana. This ordinance seeks to not allow any dispensaries in the town of Summit. By doing so, Summit would forego the opportunity to gain a 2% tax on what is sold. This tax, while seeming small, could fund many programs, especially one that helps the marginalized communities in Summit. Additionally, it would lose the potential business that would come from neighboring towns visiting Summit. There are many empty windows and buildings throughout our community. This could be a solution to bring about a new market and new life into our town. 

The idea that people can just „go to another town” or „drive to Rt.22” disenfranchises the people who do not have access to a car or cannot afford to go out of their way. Summit’s community should serve its citizens and give access to what they voted for. The Summit Common Council should not put an ordinance that limits the market and prevents the growth of a potential new industry. 

As a first responder here in town, I have seen first hand the dangers of black market cannabis and the debilitating nature of addiction. Having a dispensary in town would allow regulated cannabis in our community that will be safer than the black market cannabis that is already in our community. We are still in an opioid crisis and cannabis seems to cushion the reliance on opioids. 

This ordinance also plans to ban the right to “home-grow” your own cannabis which is not unlike home-brewing your own beer. If recreational cannabis is legal, should citizens not have the right to grow their own? Why is this ordinance pushing to encroach on our personal rights as well.

This ordnance seeks to kill an idea that has not even had a chance to grow. It is true there are many things that need to be planned out before opening a dispensary in Summit, but to pass an ordinance banning the idea is not the correct route. As a community we should see the legislation passed before taking such an absolute turn. 

Common Council, I urge you not to pass this ordinance.

Common Council, we urge you not to pass this ordinance.

Thanks,

Jeffrey Alexander 

14)

Hello, my name is Iria Diaz and I live on Broad street in Summit. I am emailing to submit a public comment on the DRO ordinance. I do not support this ordinance because I strongly believe that having a dispensary in Summit could benefit our town. It is too early to put this limiting ordinance on our town and I believe that the people should have a say in it. We the people voted for legalization and should be able to decide if we want this ordinance. It is a lot harder to overturn an ordinance than it is to prevent it from being passed. The language in the ordinance also limits personal freedoms by not allowing growth of cannabis. It also places a limit on personal recreational usage by limiting sale of smoking devices like pipes etc. By making citizens have to go to another town to obtain cannabis, we are disenfranchising people who may not be able to afford a car or are unable to take the day off in order to obtain what they voted for. This ordinance also opens up the potential of a black market for cannabis and paraphernalia. Black market cannabis and paraphernalia can be very dangerous without regulation and will hurt our community more than a dispensary would. The proposed 2% tax municipal tax could go to a fund to help communities in Summit affected by drugs and addiction. I urge the Common Council not to pass this ordinance.

15)

Hello,

My name is Jozi Coates and I live on Elm St, in Summit. I’m writing to you today to submit a public comment on the amendment to the Development Regulations Ordinance pertaining to sale, growth, and distribution of recreational marijuana. I fervently believe having a dispensary in our town would benefit its residents. New Jersey residents from this town voted Yes on the first ballot proposition, and voting on the ban on sale, growth, and distribution of marijuana at this time is too early.

Given that there will be state taxes on the sale of recreational marijuana, if Summit decides to ban any business in that industry, will the City of Summit also refuse to accept any funding from the state that comes from recreational marijuana sales?

People who wish to purchase marijuana from dispensaries (and there are people in Summit who will) will have to go to a nearby town to purchase it, and those local taxes will go to help support the other town. Not everyone has a car, and with COVID-19, public transportation is not as safe as it used to be. This is disenfranchising people who voted for safe and legal access to recreational marijuana.

In addition, by not allowing growth of cannabis, this is making excessive demands upon people who are in pain or have other chronic ailments, such as glaucoma, to have to buy marijuana from dispensaries, which is a financial burden.

For those who are concerned about the moral aspect of drugs in this community, make sure to acknowledge Merck and Celgene and Bristol-Myers-Squibb, who have been operating in this town for decades, synthesizing drugs and delivering them to the public.

The City of Summit could be greatly improved by opening up a dispensary. Jobs would be created during this recession, and the town would have more diverse businesses than just the vast collection of liquor stores, nail salons, and pizza joints.

Without a safe and legal way to access recreational marijuana by residents 21 years and older, a black market could develop and be extremely dangerous to the health of this community. The local tax on dispensary purchases could go towards drug education and addiction rehabilitation, and help keep our communities safe from overdose and drug abuse.

I urge the Common Council to not pass this ordinance.

Thank you,

Jozi Coates

Summit, NJ

16)

Hello, my name is Julia Pestalozzi. I am emailing to submit a public comment on the DRO ordinance. I do not support this ordinance because I strongly believe that having a dispensary in Summit could benefit our town. It is too early to put this limiting ordinance on our town and I believe that the people should have a say in it. We the people voted for legalization and should be able to decide if we want this ordinance. It is a lot harder to overturn an ordinance than it is to prevent it from being passed. The language in the ordinance also limits personal freedoms by not allowing growth of cannabis. It also places a limit on personal recreational usage by limiting sale of smoking devices like pipes etc. By making citizens have to go to another town to obtain cannabis, we are disenfranchising people who may not be able to afford a car or are unable to take the day off in order to obtain what they voted for. This ordinance also opens up the potential of a black market for cannabis and paraphernalia. Black market cannabis and paraphernalia can be very dangerous without regulation and will hurt our community more than a dispensary would. The proposed 2% tax municipal tax could go to a fund to help communities in Summit affected by drugs and addiction. I urge the Common Council not to pass this ordinance. 

17)

Hello, my name is Matthew Nicolini and I live on Montrose Ave in Summit. I am emailing to submit a public comment on the DRO ordinance. I do not support this ordinance because I strongly believe that having a dispensary in Summit could benefit our town. It is too early to put this limiting ordinance on our town and I believe that the people should have a say in it. We the people voted for legalization and should be able to decide if we want this ordinance. It is a lot harder to overturn an ordinance than it is to prevent it from being passed. The language in the ordinance also limits personal freedoms by not allowing growth of cannabis. It also places a limit on personal recreational usage by limiting sale of smoking devices like pipes etc. By making citizens have to go to another town to obtain cannabis, we are disenfranchising people who may not be able to afford a car or are unable to take the day off in order to obtain what they voted for. This ordinance also opens up the potential of a black market for cannabis and paraphernalia. Black market cannabis and paraphernalia can be very dangerous without regulation and will hurt our community more than a dispensary would. The proposed 2% tax municipal tax could go to a fund to help communities in Summit affected by drugs and addiction. I urge the Common Council not to pass this ordinance.

18)

My name is Allie Westdyk and I am writing concerning the ban on the sale of marijuana in Summit. As a Summit resident, I am very opposed to this ban. This ordinance seeks to eliminate the opportunity for the town to gain a 2% tax on what is sold. This tax, while seeming small, could fund many programs, especially one that helps the marginalized communities in Summit. This could be a solution to bring about a new market and new life into our town. The sale of marijuana should be managed in the same way that the sale of liquor is. The city of Summit should reflect the voice of the people of New Jersey that has voted to decriminalize marijuana. Your help on this issue will be greatly appreciated by the voters affected by the sale of marijuana. 

Sincerely,

Allie Westdyk

19)

I am writing as a citizen of Summit, NJ urging you to say NO to the proposed ban on sale of marijuana in Summit. 

This past election cycle, New Jerseyans voted overwhelmingly to legalize the sale of marijuana. Banning the sale of marijuana in Summit, therefore, seems to go against the wishes (and the votes) of the people. 

Further, Summit has always been, and should continue to strive to be, a forward-thinking town which does not cower from change, but embraces it. A dispensary in Summit, then, is the logical next step. It would bring business into the town, and the tax collected from sales of marijuana is money that will be funnelled back into the community. 

This proposed ban is nothing but a thinly veiled attempt to further demonize a substance which has helped and will continue to help many people suffering from ailments such as anxiety, PTSD, and chronic pain. 

It is for these reasons that I once again urge you to say NO to this proposed ban.

Best,

Bella Anidjar (she/her/hers)

20) 

Hello, my name is Daniel Merritt and I live in Summit. I am emailing to submit a public comment on the DRO ordinance. I do not support this ordinance because I strongly believe that having a dispensary in Summit could benefit our town. It is too early to put this limiting ordinance on our town and I believe that the people should have a say in it. We the people voted for legalization and should be able to decide if we want this ordinance. It is a lot harder to overturn an ordinance than it is to prevent it from being passed. The language in the ordinance also limits personal freedoms by not allowing growth of cannabis. It also places a limit on personal recreational usage by limiting sale of smoking devices like pipes etc. By making citizens have to go to another town to obtain cannabis, we are disenfranchising people who may not be able to afford a car or are unable to take the day off in order to obtain what they voted for. This ordinance also opens up the potential of a black market for cannabis and paraphernalia. Black market cannabis and paraphernalia can be very dangerous without regulation and will hurt our community more than a dispensary would. The proposed 2% tax municipal tax could go to a fund to help communities in Summit affected by drugs and addiction. I urge the Common Council not to pass this ordinance.

21)

Hello, 

My name is Reid Phillips and I live on Norwood Avenue in Summit. 

I am reaching out in regards to the DRO ordinance. I do not support this ordinance because I strongly believe that having a dispensary in Summit could highly benefit our town. I also believe that we the people, who passed the ballot measure legalizing marijuana, should have a say in how it is implemented. 

The language in the ordinance limits personal freedoms by not allowing growth of cannabis. It also places a limit on personal recreational usage by limiting sale of smoking devices like pipes etc. By making citizens have to go to another town to obtain cannabis, we are disenfranchising people who may not be able to afford a car or are unable to take the day off in order to obtain what they voted for. 

Additionally, proposed 2% tax municipal tax could go to a fund to help communities in Summit affected by drugs and addiction. I urge the moon Common Council not to pass this ordinance.

Best Regards,

Reid Phillips 

22)

Hello, my name is Sylas Yarad and I live in Summit. I am emailing to submit a public comment on the DRO ordinance. I do not support this ordinance because I strongly believe that having a dispensary in Summit could benefit our town. It is too early to put this limiting ordinance on our town and I believe that the people should have a say in it. We the people voted for legalization and should be able to decide if we want this ordinance. It is a lot harder to overturn an ordinance than it is to prevent it from being passed. The language in the ordinance also limits personal freedoms by not allowing growth of cannabis. It also places a limit on personal recreational usage by limiting sale of smoking devices like pipes etc. By making citizens have to go to another town to obtain cannabis, we are disenfranchising people who may not be able to afford a car or are unable to take the day off in order to obtain what they voted for. This ordinance also opens up the potential of a black market for cannabis and paraphernalia. Black market cannabis and paraphernalia can be very dangerous without regulation and will hurt our community more than a dispensary would. The proposed 2% tax municipal tax could go to a fund to help communities in Summit affected by drugs and addiction. I urge the Common Council not to pass this ordinance. 

23) 

Hello,

Hope you are well and safe. I’m writing this comment on behalf of my household in Summit.

I do not support this ordinance and would like to see the votes of making Marijuana and its use (recreational and medicinal), as manifested in the last public manifestation, available anywhere in the state. 

The ordinance’s goals are not objective, discriminatory and completely biased. Without any data ou solid arguments, it tries to create a shield to a long debunked issue and maintain the hypocrite puritanism status quo stopped in time.

As with any substance where their abuse may be dangerous for the users and others, the only (tried and tested) efficient way to safely manage its sales and consumption is through knowledge and transparency. Discrimination and prejudice must not be the norm and dictate rules for this great community. 

I urge the common council not to pass this ordinance. 

Best regards, 

Eduardo

24)

Hello, my name is Jenna Kolenovic and I live on New England Avenue in Summit. I am emailing to submit a public comment on the DRO ordinance. I do not support this ordinance because I strongly believe that having a dispensary in Summit could benefit our town. It is too early to put this limiting ordinance on our town and I believe that the people should have a say in it. We the people voted for legalization and should be able to decide if we want this ordinance. It is a lot harder to overturn an ordinance than it is to prevent it from being passed. The language in the ordinance also limits personal freedoms by not allowing growth of cannabis. It also places a limit on personal recreational usage by limiting sale of smoking devices like pipes etc. By making citizens have to go to another town to obtain cannabis, we are disenfranchising people who may not be able to afford a car or are unable to take the day off in order to obtain what they voted for. This ordinance also opens up the potential of a black market for cannabis and paraphernalia. Black market cannabis and paraphernalia can be very dangerous without regulation and will hurt our community more than a dispensary would. The proposed 2% tax municipal tax could go to a fund to help communities in Summit affected by drugs and addiction. I urge the Common Council not to pass this ordinance.

Ozone breaks down THC deposited on surfaces from thirdhand cannabis smoke – Science Daily

Second- and thirdhand tobacco smoke have received lots of attention, but much less is known about the compounds deposited on surfaces from cannabis smoke. Now, researchers reporting in ACS’ Environmental Science & Technology have discovered that ozone — a component of outdoor and indoor air — can react with tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive component of cannabis, on glass or cotton surfaces to produce new compounds, which they characterized for the first time.

Smoking emits reactive chemicals that remain in the air (so-called secondhand smoke) or deposit onto surfaces, including walls, windows, clothing and upholstery (thirdhand smoke). Unlike the secondhand variety, thirdhand smoke lingers long after a person stops smoking. Nicotine is semi-volatile and reacts with other chemicals on surfaces, producing new compounds that, if volatile, can also become airborne. Because cannabis smoke is chemically distinct from tobacco smoke, Aaron Wylie and Jonathan Abbatt wanted to characterize the compounds formed when THC, by itself or in cannabis smoke, on surfaces reacts with ozone in the air.

The researchers coated glass and cotton cloth, to simulate windows and clothing, with a THC solution. Then, they exposed the surfaces to concentrations of ozone that could exist in indoor air. In their analysis, they found that over time, the amount of THC on glass and cotton decreased, while the quantities of three THC oxidation products increased. In other experiments, the team used a smoking machine to deposit cannabis smoke onto cotton. Upon exposure to ozone, the same three compounds formed at roughly the same rate as observed for the THC-coated cloth. Because of the low volatility of THC and its oxidation products, the compounds are unlikely to be emitted to the air where they could be inhaled in as large amounts as nicotine, the researchers say. They say that somebody could still be exposed to THC and its derivatives, whose health effects are unknown, if they, for example, lick their fingers after touching a surface contaminated by cannabis smoke.

The authors acknowledge funding from the Chemistry of Indoor Environments program at the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.

Story Source:

Materials provided by American Chemical Society. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.

Vaping CBD May Not Impair Your Driving Ability, Latest Research Confirms – ScienceAlert

The dangers of drunk driving are manifold, but what about drugged driving? As cannabis products grow ever more popular and accessible, it’s about time we knew the risks.

The main psychoactive ingredient in cannabis, delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), is known to impact many of the same motor and cognitive skills needed to operate a vehicle. But medical forms of cannabis are typically free of this chemical, relying on cannabidiol (CBD) for therapeutic effects.

Without the inebriating effects of THC, there might be no real risk at all. A small new study has now found that vaping CBD on its own isn’t all that different to vaping a placebo when it comes to being able to drive safely.

„These findings indicate for the first time that CBD, when given without THC, does not affect a subject’s ability to drive,” says Thomas Arkell who researches cannabinoid therapeutics at the University of Sydney.

„That’s great news for those using or considering treatment using CBD-based products.”

The experiment involved 26 volunteers who were provided with one of four different combinations of cannabis types, giving them either a dose dominated by THC, or mostly containing CBD, or a combined dose, or a placebo low in both.

They then waited 40 minutes before driving for around an hour, covering 100 kilometres (about 60 miles) down a stretch of highway. Four hours later they took a second drive. At various points they were given a few other tests to study their cognition.

In cases where THC was inhaled, whether by itself or with CBD, drivers experienced mild to strong intoxication, which appeared to fade after four hours.

„While some previous studies have looked at the effects of cannabis on driving, most have focused on smoked cannabis containing only THC (not CBD) and have not precisely quantified the duration of impairment,” says Iain McGregor, who also studies cannabinoid therapeutics at USYD.

„This is the first study to illustrate the lack of CBD effects on driving and to also provide a clear indication of the duration of THC impairment.”

Recently, some public health experts have worried that CBD products might make drivers feel more lethargic, which could impair their driving abilities. 

If you’re certain that what you’re vaping is CBD-only, this study confirms it’s unlikely to impede your driving. Unfortunately, there is always a small risk that what you think is pure CBD contains some traces of THC, creating both a legal risk and a safety concern.

The dangers of driving under the influence of THC are far less consistent and pronounced than drunk driving, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t real risks, and many places around the world have a zero-tolerance approach to this practice.

That’s because cannabis intoxication can mildly impair psychomotor skills, although it’s still not clear at what dosage that occurs, or how long the effect lasts for.

While some research has shown heavy recreational cannabis users are worse at driving even when they’re sober, it’s unclear if that has to do more with common traits held by frequent cannabis users or an effect of the drug itself.

Most research to date suggests impairment brought on by cannabis is short-lived, and that’s just for smoking. Virtually no study exists for eating cannabis, though with research showing a similar, if delayed, influence, it’s safer to assume that the risks of edibles are likely to be similar, too.

More research needs to be done so that governments can implement evidence-based laws and regulations that best protect the public. Formulating these policies is going to be difficult however, especially without an accurate roadside test for THC.

Even if scientists do come up with an accurate way to measure THC in the blood, that might not tell us much in practical terms. Cannabis affects everyone’s psychomotor skills slightly differently, and THC blood levels don’t always correlate with acute usage or intoxication, making it hard for the law to be fairly enforced.

Even THC products that are ‚undercut’ by CBD do not make drugged drivers any more safe, although it might make them feel more confident. In the study, a mixed dose of THC and CBD produced the same amount of driving impairment, even as participants felt less stressed and more assured in their ability to drive.

But the study is limited in that it did not examine chronic cannabis users, who might have different responses to the drug, and the CBD dosage used was lower than what is often clinically prescribed.

„While symmetry analysis suggested no difference in the proportion of impaired vs improved drivers in the CBD condition, these findings are exploratory and based on a small number of drivers and a single CBD dose,” the authors admit.

Until we know more, people should not be driving under the influence of THC for many hours after getting high, and even then, it’s questionable. Given that CBD products can contain higher doses than marketed and sneaky amounts of THC, those relying on non-psychoactive forms of the drug should also beware.

Ultimately, regulation and research needs to catch up with the popularity of these products so we can better inform the public and keep people safe on the roads.

For now, if you’re not sure, it’s always safer to wait.

The study was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

FDA, Researchers Still in the Weeds on Cannabis, CBD, and Gender – Medscape

The results of the election still remain murky, but with an additional five states legalizing medicinal or recreational cannabis use last month voters have sent a clear message to the medical, research, and regulatory communities: It’s time to step up.

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is trying to take a step in the right direction, as demonstrated by a day-long virtual symposium held recently by the Office of Women’s Health. The session focused on gender differences in the use of cannabidiol (CBD) and cannabis-based products, potential sex and gender interactions with regard to anxiety, pain, and pregnancy, and other outcomes.

In a keynote delivered to more than 600 healthcare practitioners, policymakers, patients, and other stakeholders, Douglas Throckmorton, MD, deputy director for regulatory programs at the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, underscored the complexities of cannabinoid therapeutics and the logistical and regulatory challenges the agency faces.

„Not only does the category involve a broad spectrum of cannabinoid compounds well beyond CBD and [tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)], but FDA is charged to regulate all of the products potentially containing these compounds in a setting where federal and state legislation might be at odds,” said Amy Abernethy, MD, PhD, Principal Deputy Commissioner of Food and Drugs at the FDA.

CBD Research Lacking

A number of panelists at the symposium highlighted that while women comprise the majority of patients using CBD or THC to treat conditions such as anxiety, pain, and sleep, they’ve been historically underrepresented in research. „Women are not sharing the risks, nor are they sharing the benefits of research equally,” said Betty Jo Salmeron, MD, staff clinician in the Neuroimaging Research Branch at the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

Not only are these differences exemplified in sex-specific differential rates of/therapeutic response to these conditions, but also in the dearth of data available to guide clinical practice. Researchers know that women are driving use of CBD across the nation, but regulatory obstruction means that available data mostly derive from animal or observational studies.

Take anxiety, for example. Cinnamon Bidwell, PhD, assistant professor and director of the Center for Research and Education Addressing Cannabis and Health at the University of Colorado at Boulder, has been evaluating the effect of THC and CBD use on anxiety in an ongoing cohort study.

„Preliminary data show that relative to THC, CBD users had a significantly greater trend toward reductions in self-reported anxiety,” Bidwell said, noting that the differences were even greater in women. „Women who started at higher levels of anxiety had larger declines after 4 weeks of self-directed use.”

„These sex differences are also observed [with] cannabinoid analgesic effects, but so far, the data (mostly from meta-analyses) are quite a mess,” said Daniel Clauw, MD, professor of anesthesiology, medicine, and psychiatry at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.

„When we look at THC and CBD in animal models of pain, it seems that CBD might be more effective for pain states that are nociceptive, whereas THC might be more effective [for] neuropathic pain,” he explained. Combined, they might activate cannabinoid receptors in both the brain and the periphery to address a third category: central sensitization.

This is where their utility — or lack thereof — comes into play: „We know that women are more pain- and sensory-sensitive in the central nervous system, and that this pain responds to an entirely different set of treatments,” Clauw said.

Increasing Use, Sex-based Tolerance

„Cannabis use is increasing in women (especially in ages 26 and older), but there are also profound differences in male and female responses,” said Ziva Cooper, PhD, associate professor and director of the UCLA Cannabis Research Initiative.

Animal studies have correlated circulating sex hormones to THC pharmacokinetics and the need for acute vs chronic dosing. This is borne out in human data that demonstrate increased tolerance and greater abuse liability in women using THC to treat pain. Conversely, while THC use appears to increase pain threshold levels in men, the same is not true for women.

In part, the differential effects of THC and CBD on reward and intoxication might explain the tolerance. „Cannabis use disorder (CUD) rates are around 30%, which is similar to rates seen in heroin and cocaine addiction,” said Yasmin Hurd, PhD, Ward-Coleman Chair of Translational Neuroscience and director of the Addiction Institute at Mount Sinai Behavioral Health System. „But CUD escalates faster and more severely in women.”

Still, data have shown that CBD might have a role for treatment of addiction disorders. For example, both animal and human data have shown that oral CBD reduced cue-induced heroin-seeking behavior, including anxiety. Data have likewise demonstrated a reduction in binge drinking in men. Dosing also matters, but „we still don’t have those specific data,” Hurd said.

A Pregnant Pause

Like other conditions, there are limited data on the effects of CBD use in pregnancy, in part because pregnant women have by and large been excluded from clinical studies.

Researchers have older data that demonstrate that „the endocannabinoid system (ECS) is present in the placenta. Because CBD is lipophilic, it can cross the placenta, and inhibit fetal liver enzymes, disrupt synaptogenesis, and the developing neurotransmitters system” (all of which are regulated by the ECS and CB1, CB2 receptors), explained Mark Zakowski, MD, professor of anesthesiology at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, California.

The dearth of clinical data means that practitioners often have to rely on pregnant women to report usage or use prenatal appointments for those dialogues. But it is not happening. Zakowski said that one reason is that „health practitioners have to contend with the fact that pregnant women report using cannabis and CBD for pain, nausea, and anxiety, but 20% won’t tell their physicians.”

The National Survey on Drug Use and Health shows that the percentage of pregnant women reporting cannabis use has more than doubled over the past 15 years but that the majority cut back after the first trimester, said Katrina Mark, MD, associate professor of obstetrics, gynecology and reproductive sciences at the University of Maryland School Medicine in Baltimore. „Women who continue to use cannabis do so because they have tried to quit and can’t, or more likely, because they qualify use as medicinal.”

Anecdotally, women say that they often seek concrete information from practitioners, but in half of these encounters they are either met with silence or are informed about cannabis/CBD legal issues.

The irony could not be greater. „We find ourselves today with a situation where there’s two substances that we have the best data for being harmful to the user and to the fetus, i.e. legal alcohol and cigarettes,” Salmeron said. „And then we’ve got research on potentially valuable therapeutics that’s been totally thwarted.”

Several of the panelists agreed that what is needed is a shift in practitioner attitudes.

„When it comes to clinical interaction, explanation and counseling really can get to more accurate answers,” said Nathaniel DeNicola, MD, environmental health expert at the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. It’s akin to asking about tobacco use during pregnancy; if you explain the link between smoking and fetal development outcomes, you get a different answer. 

The Path Forward

Throughout the seminar, agency participants emphasized that they’re „all in” and working across various institutes at the National Institutes of Health to coordinate research and data dissemination.

„The science of CBD and other cannabinoids has become an FDA priority,” Abernethy said.

The FDA’s Office of Women’s Health Cannabis Working Group Docket will remain open indefinitely for scientific and public comment.

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San Francisco may ban smoking in apartments and condos — but not cannabis – Los Angeles Times

San Francisco is poised to become the largest U.S. city to ban smoking in apartments and condominiums, with one notable exception to the rule: cannabis.

During a Board of Supervisors meeting Tuesday, city administrators voted to amend the proposed ban to exclude marijuana.

Supervisor Rafael Mandelman introduced the amendment after community members and industry groups lobbied against the original draft of the proposal, which drew no distinction between secondhand smoke from tobacco and that of marijuana.

“Nonsmokers have no adequate means to protect themselves from the damage inflicted by secondhand smoke,” the proposal said, adding that regulation of smoking in multi-unit housing is “necessary to protect the health, safety, welfare, comfort and environment of nonsmokers.”

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Advocates of California Proposition 64, which legalized recreational marijuana in the state in 2016, called the original proposal a de facto ban on cannabis use for most residents of the city.

“Unlike tobacco, which can be smoked outside on public streets, cannabis consumption is illegal in all public spaces under state law,” several residents wrote in a letter to the Board of Supervisors. “The proposed ordinance would thus leave apartment dwellers with no legal place to enjoy marijuana.”

Others said a ban on cannabis in multi-unit buildings amounted to a form of racism or classism in a city where the median price for a single-family home is $1.4 million.

“The proposed ban … effectively disenfranchises our rights to consume cannabis and discriminates against those who can’t afford to live in a single-family residence,” resident Mikki Norris wrote.

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In a telephone interview, Supervisor Norman Yee, who drafted the original proposal, said he saw it differently.

“There’s some people saying, ‘You’ll need to be rich to smoke,’” he said, “but I think it’s the other way around. You’ve got to be a homeowner to breathe clean air? Why do poor people that rent not get to breathe clean air?”

Yee said he began looking into the issue last year after receiving an email from a mother who had run out of options for protecting her infant child from smoke from the unit below hers.

“It dawned on me that we don’t actually have protections for people living in multi-unit buildings,” he said.

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Smoking is already banned in common areas such as elevators and hallways, Yee said, but is still allowed inside units, although landlords may set their own rules.

“It didn’t make any sense,” he said.

The new ordinance will apply to all buildings with three or more units, and will be enforced by the Department of Public Health, which may issue fines of up to $1,000 for repeat offenders. Violations will not be grounds for eviction, the ordinance says.

During the lengthy and at times heated meeting, several supervisors said they were conflicted about a broad cannabis exemption and motioned for the proposal to be returned to the Public Safety Committee for further discussion, although that motion did not pass.

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“The science, the information and the data is incontrovertible,” said Supervisor Ahsha Safaí, who co-sponsored the original proposal. “When you listen to the experts … secondhand smoke, regardless of where it originates from, is extremely impactful, particularly on the lives of low-income families of color that are living in multi-unit properties.”

While the harmful effects of secondhand tobacco smoke are well documented, the effects of cannabis smoke are much more hazy.

Yee said that cannabis smoke contains carcinogens and other toxins, a statement backed up by the American Lung Assn., and that children exposed to it can present with elevated levels of THC in their bloodstream.

But Dr. Donald Abrams, an oncologist and cancer researcher at UC San Francisco’s Osher Center for Integrative Medicine, said evidence does not support the conclusion that cannabis smoke is a health risk for someone in an entirely different housing unit.

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“Cannabis smoke has never been linked to increased mortality, even in firsthand users,” he wrote in a letter to the Board of Supervisors. “Nor has firsthand cannabis smoke been shown to cause lung cancer, COPD or other serious health effects.”

Reached by phone, Abrams — who was one of 16 scientists behind the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine’s sweeping 2017 study on the health effects of cannabis — said he thought including cannabis in the ban would do more harm than good.

“I’m an oncologist, I take care of cancer patients,” he said. “My concern is if my cancer patients can’t utilize cannabis in their own multi-unit places that they spend $3,000 to $5,000 a month to live in.”

With Tuesday’s amendment, the ordinance will be limited to smoke from tobacco, which includes cigarettes, e-cigarettes and vaporizer products, the board said.

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It will move to a formal vote during the board’s meeting on Dec. 8, then will go to the mayor for signing. Once signed, the legislation will go into effect 30 days later.

In August, the city of West Hollywood rejected a similar proposal to ban cannabis and tobacco smoking for existing tenants of multi-unit dwellings, although new tenants will be subject to a tobacco ban.

Other cities, such as Berkeley and Alameda, already ban smoking in multi-unit buildings, although their bans were passed before 2016 and do not account for cannabis in their language. Santa Clara, which passed its ordinance in 2019, bans both cannabis and tobacco smoking in multi-unit residences.

While San Francisco’s pot enthusiasts may celebrate the exclusion of cannabis from the ban, not everyone will see it as a victory.

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“We currently live in a building with eight units, and one of our neighbors smokes cannabis and cigarettes frequently throughout the day,” residents Lucila Pereyra Murray and Langdon Quin wrote in a letter to the board.

The couple is thinking of starting a family, they said, but is worried about the effect of smoke both during pregnancy and beyond.

“We believe that nobody should have to unnecessarily worry about factors such as someone’s else’s idea of ‘fun’ affecting their health inside their own homes,” they wrote.

Supervisor Dean Preston said that he spent many years advocating for tenant protection policies before joining the board, and that the issue of smoking in apartments came up again and again with little-to-no consensus.

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“This is a very complex issue,” he said. “I cannot think of another issue that has so divided folks that really have good intentions on both sides.”