Miesiąc: grudzień 2022

Three New Studies on Cannabis and PTSD – Project CBD

In recent years, psilocybin and MDMA have been explored as potential treatments for post-traumatic stress disorder, but somewhat more quietly so has cannabis. In fact, according to a few quick searches of PubMed, cannabis has a longer and richer association with PTSD in the scientific literature than any psychedelic. Though you wouldn’t know that by reading the headlines.

Setting aside for a minute how effective psychedelics may or may not be as breakthrough treatments for PTSD, there’s no doubt that cannabis is still much easier for most patients to access.

Recent research – including three new studies (from three different countries) – suggests that growing numbers of PTSD sufferers are medicating with cannabis, and truly finding it helpful.

Depression Drives Cannabis Use

First, a paper in the journal BMC Psychiatry1 from researchers based in Ontario, Canada, provides some insight into cannabis use among PTSD patients during the first wave of the coronavirus pandemic. Between April 3 and June 24 of 2020, 462 individuals with self-reported PTSD completed an online questionnaire that assessed mental health symptoms and cannabis intake both before the pandemic and in the seven days prior to filling out the survey.

Stress, anxiety, and depression worsened across the board, but by categorizing participants according to cannabis use patterns – not using, using less, using the same, or using more – the researchers discovered something interesting. PTSD sufferers who increased their cannabis use during the pandemic were more likely to also experience “meaningful perceived worsening of depression symptoms,” the authors write.

Does this mean that cannabis exacerbated depression? It’s theoretically possible, given that the study does not address causality. However, much more likely given what previous research has shown about the relationship between cannabis and depression2 is that it went the other way: worsening depression led to greater cannabis use. In other words, these individuals were likely suffering during the pandemic and using cannabis to make themselves feel better.

The extent to which cannabis actually helped, if at all, is beyond the scope of this research – but another recent study with a slightly different design tackles that question more directly.

Cannabis May Improve Quality of Life in PTSD Patients

In the UK, individuals diagnosed with PTSD can be prescribed medical cannabis. Yet a paucity of clinical evidence limits its use, write the London-based authors of a December 2022 paper in the journal Expert Review of Neurotherapeutics.3 So they designed a study that would use patient responses to validated questionnaires to measure changes in sleep quality, anxiety, and PTSD-specific symptoms (intrusions, avoidance, and hyperarousal) over time.

By comparing scores from 144 PTSD patients at baseline and one, three, and six months after initiating medical cannabis use, the researchers observed significant improvements in all three categories across all follow-up periods. Adverse events related to cannabis use were predominately mild or moderate, with insomnia and fatigue being most common at 20 incidents each.

This study also has numerous limitations. It is observational in nature, leaving many variables uncontrolled and others, including dose size and frequency, reliant on participant reporting. In addition, all outcome measures are subjective.

“Nevertheless, this study can serve to inform future randomized placebo-controlled trials with the aim of confirming these promising effects, whilst informing current clinical practice,” the authors write. “Future work should also focus on including objective measures, determining optimal dosages, and conducting comparisons to existing treatments to better inform prescribing of add-on or sole [medical cannabis] therapy.”

Cannabis Helps PTSD Patients Sleep Better

Improved sleep quality may be an important mechanism through which cannabis reduces PTSD symptoms during daytime and nighttime alike, posit the Israel-based authors of a paper published in the December 2022 issue of the Journal of Anxiety Disorders.4 To learn more about how cannabis use affects sleep, they asked 77 licensed medical cannabis patients suffering from PTSD to report each morning on the timing of cannabis use the previous evening and subsequent sleep disturbances during the night.

Interestingly, the closer to bedtime an individual used cannabis, the less likely they were to experience nightmares – which may in turn translate to reduced daytime stress.

The authors’ analysis also revealed that those who used products with higher CBD concentrations (primarily smoked flower, but not exclusively) reported fewer early awakenings, and thus longer sleep. Number of nightly awakenings, the third outcome variable measured, was not associated with any aspect of cannabis use – though the researchers did find that those who went to bed later reported fewer awakenings.

This is a small study that again lacks controls and relies on self-reporting, yet it adds to a growing body of clinical and preclinical research suggesting beneficial effects of cannabis for post-traumatic stress disorder – in this case via improved sleep. As the authors put it in concluding their own paper, “Given the high comorbidity of PTSD symptoms and sleep disturbances and the potential for medical cannabis to have effects on both, a greater understanding of how patients experience the effects of medical cannabis on overall PTSD symptoms and sleep disturbances is warranted.”

Nate Seltenrich, an independent science journalist based in the San Francisco Bay Area, covers a wide range of subjects including environmental health, neuroscience, and pharmacology. Copyright, Project CBD. May not be reprinted without permission.


2 Cannabis Stocks to Buy for the Long Haul – The Motley Fool

This has not been the year of marijuana stocks. Although that’s not too surprising, as equity markets have been southbound, the industry has substantially lagged the broader market. Thankfully, there is hope for cannabis investors. While estimates vary, analysts have predicted that the pot industry will grow like a weed in the coming decade.

According to market research company Grand View Research, it will register a compound annual growth rate of 25.3% through 2030. Let’s consider two stocks that could help investors profit from this opportunity: Jazz Pharmaceuticals (JAZZ 0.73%) and Innovative Industrial Properties (IIPR -0.42%).

HMMJ Chart
Data by YCharts.

1. Jazz Pharmaceuticals

Jazz Pharmaceuticals is a biotech that develops medicines that primarily target cancer and neurological disdeveloping medicines targetingex, a cannabidiol (CBD)-based therapy that treats seizures associated with a pair of severe forms of epilepsy: Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome. Epidiolex became the first CBD-based drug to be approved in the U.S. in 2018.

Jazz Pharmaceuticals’ portfolio also includes Xyrem and Xywav — two medicines used to treat daytime sleepiness in narcolepsy patients — and cancer drugs Zepzelca and Rylaze. Jazz Pharmaceuticals’ revenue increased by 12% year over year in the third quarter to $940.7 million. The company’s adjusted earnings per share (EPS) jumped to $5.17, up from $4.20.

The good thing about Jazz Pharmaceuticals’ lineup is that some of its key products are relatively new approvals. Xywav first earned the nod in 2020. It is on the verge of becoming Jazz’s top-selling product, knocking the company’s longtime leading therapy, Xyrem, off its pedestal. Many of Xyrem’s narcolepsy patients are switching to Xywav since the latter contains a lot less sodium.

Xywav allows narcolepsy patients to stay well within the recommended amount of sodium per day while still being effective at treating daytime sleepiness associated with the condition. Zepzelca also made its debut in 2020 and Rylaze got the nod in 2021. Patent cliffs won’t disrupt these therapies’ growth anytime soon. 

Expect new approvals and label expansions for the company, too. Jazz Pharmaceuticals’ programs include a phase 3 clinical trial for Epidiolex in treating epilepsy with myoclonic-atonic seizures. The biotech’s pipeline includes well over a dozen other CBD and non-CBD programs. Jazz Pharmaceuticals has outperformed the market this year, likely thanks to solid results and exciting prospects. 

The company is well-positioned for market-beating returns over the long run. 

2. Innovative Industrial Properties

Innovative Industrial Properties has encountered a series of headwinds this year. The cannabis-focused real estate investment trust (REIT) had to deal with a short-seller report alleging, among other things, that the company was a „marijuana bank masquerading as a REIT” and that many of its largest tenants were under severe financial pressure.

It did not help that the company reported in July (after this short-seller report came out) that one of its tenants had failed to pay rent that month. These issues partly explain the stock’s poor performance this year.

That said, it’s worth it to stick with the company. Short-seller reports often make explosive claims with little (if any) direct evidence. As one would expect, IIPR was quick to strike back, accusing the author of the report, an activist investment firm called Blue Orca Capital, of making false and misleading claims.

With hardly any independent corroboration for these claims, it is hard to side with Blue Orca Capital. Meanwhile, Innovative Industrial Properties continues to record decent financial results. In the third quarter, the company’s revenue increased nearly 32% year over year to $70.9 million. EPS increased to $1.32, 10% higher than the year-ago period.

Here is why this company is a good long-term pick. First, its business model allows cannabis companies to free up some capital. By purchasing real estate properties from its clients and leasing them back to them, the company affords them more financial flexibility. This business model is currently popular in the U.S. partly because of federal laws that make it challenging for pot growers to access banking services.

Even in a more relaxed regulatory environment, cannabis companies looking to avoid high-interest banking loans and other pitfalls of traditional financial services would do business with Innovative Industrial Properties. Moreover, the company has a presence in 19 states, whereas medical cannabis is legal in 39 states, giving the company plenty of room to grow even beyond the general expansion of the marijuana sector.

Finally, as a REIT, Innovative Industrial Properties is required to distribute at least 90% of its taxable income as dividends. It currently offers a monster yield of 6.97%, which is well above average. IIPR is a great target for income seekers and those with the patience to see the growth of the cannabis market through.

2 Cannabis Stocks on the Rise With Next to No Competition – The Motley Fool

Like many growth stocks, 2022 was a brutal year for most cannabis stocks. The Advisor Shares Pure Cannabis ETF and TFMG Alternative Harvest ETF are down more than 72% and 62%, respectively, at the close of 2022. The main reason cited for plummeting share prices for cannabis stocks is a glut of low-priced marijuana that makes it hard for companies to make much of a profit.

In short, there’s too much competition, both from legal cannabis companies and illegal cannabis providers. On top of that, last week, the SAFE Banking Act was left out of a $1.7 trillion government funding package. That means it will continue to be difficult for cannabis retailers to get funding from banks. At the federal level, marijuana is still considered an illegal Schedule 1 drug, so most banks stay away from delivering standard banking services to cannabis companies.

That’s a big problem for cannabis retailers, especially the smaller ones that are looking to grow. However, it provides a cottage industry for Innovative Industrial Properties (IIPR -0.42%) and NewLake Capital Partners (NLCP 1.71%), two cannabis real estate investment trusts (REITs). The companies are two of the few sources of capital for cannabis companies because they buy cannabis retailers’ facilities and then lease them back with triple-net leases that put most of the costs on the tenants.

While both stocks are down for the year, they’ve bounced back the past three months because they’ve become too attractive to pass up. The big attraction for many REITS is their dividends because they are required to distribute to shareholders at least 90% of their taxable income through dividends. That means REITs generally have above-average dividends and Innovative and NewLake fit that mold.

NewLake has an enviable growth rate

NewLake Capital Partners’ shares are up more than 24% in the past three months. The REIT, founded in 2019, went public in 2021. It is still relatively small, with a market cap of around $357 million and a portfolio of 32 facilities and dispensaries, but its growth is worth taking note of. 

In the third quarter, the company reported adjusted funds from operations (AFFO) of $10.6 million, up 21.4% sequentially and 75.3% year over year. Revenue was reported as $12.1 million, up 15% sequentially and 50% over the same period last year. 

One of the most attractive features of NewLake is it has little debt, with a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.37%. As of November, it had $3 million in debt and $45 million in cash. One thing that may be holding NewLake back is that it trades over the counter. At its current growth rate, the company could easily qualify to trade on the Nasdaq Stock Market in the next two years. While the company has a strong tenant list that includes big multistate operators (MSOs) such as Curaleaf Holdings, Trulieve Cannabis, and Cresco Labs, it could do with more diversification; Curaleaf, as a tenant, is responsible for 22.3% of NewLake’s portfolio.

NewLake, in addition to its dividend, recently announced a $10 million stock buyback plan through the end of next year.

The company just raised its quarterly dividend by 5.4% sequentially and 25.8%, year over year, to $0.39 per share, the seventh consecutive quarter it has raised its dividend. At its current price, that represents a yield of about 9.1%. Even with all the increases, the dividend’s AFFO payout ratio is only 75.6%, well within the safety boundaries for a REIT.

IIPR Dividend Chart

IIPR Dividend data by YCharts

Innovative offers a strong dividend with less risk

Innovative Industrial Properties’ shares are up more than 13% in the past three months. The company is the largest cannabis REIT, with a market cap of just under $3 billion and 111 properties across 19 states.

The company reported revenue of $70.9 million in the third quarter, up slightly sequentially and 32% year over year. Innovative’s third-quarter AFFO was listed at $60.1 million, or AFFO per share of $2.13, up 33.5% and 24.5%, respectively, year over year, but flat sequentially.

The REIT raised its quarterly dividend this year by 2.9% to $1.80 per share, the fifth consecutive year it has increased its dividend. Over that period, it has increased its dividend by 1,031%. Its current yield is 7.08% with an AFFO payout ratio of 84.5%, higher than NewLake’s, but still not unreasonable for a REIT.

Innovative’s tenant list also includes top MSOs, but its diversification is greater, with no one tenant responsible for more than 14% of the company’s portfolio.

Jim Halley has positions in Innovative Industrial Properties and Trulieve Cannabis. The Motley Fool has positions in and recommends Cresco Labs, Innovative Industrial Properties, and Trulieve Cannabis. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Rules for THC Oil sales to be set in the New Year – WTOC

ATLANTA, Ga. (Atlanta News First) – Traveling across state lines and meeting people in parking lots — that’s the reality for caregivers and patients approved for THC oil. They said they have hope state regulators will approve of two companies who can give them an avenue to legally buy the oil in their own state.

More than 30,000 patients and caregivers have received oil THC cards. The oil is approved for several different diseases and conditions- including cancer, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s.

Jim Wages’ daughter Sydney has a form of epilepsy called Dravet Syndrome. Sydney’s seizures can last anywhere between 10 minutes to an hour.

“A dad is supposed to fix anything that goes away. If there’s a flat tire or a broken window, but this was hard to fix,” said Wages.

The fix came in a spray bottle. They began to use THC nasal spray. Wages said it shortened her seizures to a few seconds.

The Wages lobbied at the state capitol, fighting for the “Georgia’s Hope Act,” which allows patients to access medical cannabis oil with no more than 5% THC. It’s legal to have it, but not to sell it in Georgia.

“How it got here we didn’t ask, we didn’t need to know, we just needed to know we had it. It was like we were drug dealers trying to get help for our children,” said Wages.

The Georgia Access to Medical Cannabis Commission is planning to vote on rules and regulations that would allow two companies to sell in Georgia. Truelieve CEO Kim Rivers says they’re already picking out locations throughout the state- starting in Macon, then Marietta, and branching out to other cities. The commission plans to set the rules for distributing, testing, and marketing its products.

“Folks have been waiting too long at this point, and we’re going to do everything that we can to get them to get them products safely and quickly,” said Rivers.

The first meeting takes place on Jan. 25. You can sign up for public comment before January 18th.

Rules for THC Oil sales to be set in the New Year – WALB

ATLANTA, Ga. (Atlanta News First) – Traveling across state lines and meeting people in parking lots- that’s the reality for caregivers and patients approved for THC oil. They said they have hope state regulators will approve of two companies who can give them an avenue to legally buy the oil in their own state.

More than 30,000 patients and caregivers have received oil THC cards. The oil is approved for several different diseases and conditions- including cancer, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s.

Jim Wages’ daughter Sydney has a form of epilepsy called Dravet Syndrome. Sydney’s seizures can last anywhere between 10 minutes to an hour

“A dad is supposed to fix anything that goes awry- if there’s a flat tire or a broken window, but this was hard to fix,” said Wages.

The fix came in a spray bottle. They began to use THC nasal spray. Wages said it shortened her seizures to a few seconds.

The Wages lobbied at the state capitol, fighting for the “Georgia’s Hope Act,” which allows patients to access medical cannabis oil with no more than 5% THC. It’s legal to have it, but not to sell it in Georgia.

“How it got here we didn’t ask, we didn’t need to know, we just needed to know we had it. It was like we were drug dealers trying to get help for our children,” said Wages.

The Georgia Access to Medical Cannabis Commission is planning to vote on rules and regulations that would allow two companies to sell in Georgia. Truelieve CEO Kim Rivers says they’re already picking out locations throughout the state- starting in Macon, then Marietta, and branching out to other cities. The commission plans to set the rules for distributing, testing, and marketing its products.

“Folks have been waiting too long at this point, and we’re going to do everything that we can to get them to get them products safely and quickly,” said Rivers.

The first meeting takes place on January 25th. You can sign up for public comment before January 18th.

U.S. Virgin Islands Lawmakers Send Marijuana Legalization And Expungement Bills To Governor – Marijuana Moment

The U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI) is set to join the growing ranks of jurisdictions in the country to legalize marijuana, with the territory’s Senate approving a comprehensive cannabis reform bill and separate expungements legislation on Friday.

Just two months after Sen. Janelle Sarauw (I) filed the adult-use legalization bill, the Senate passed it handily, with amendments, in a veto-proof 11-1 vote. The expungements legislation passed unanimously.

Gov. Albert Bryan Jr. (D), who has repeatedly called on lawmakers to legalize cannabis, is expected to sign the reforms into law.

“Although there have been many politically driven false narratives about this cannabis legislation, I am proud of the work done by the Senators of the 34th Legislature, community stakeholders and advocates, all of who contributed to the structuring of the final bill voted upon in today’s Session,” Sarauw said in a press release. “The body did its due diligence in protecting the masses and the best interest of our residents by ensuring that locals and minorities are not locked out of industry and have any opportunity to participate in its economic potential.”

“There are so many provisions in this bill across various disciplines, that once implemented and enforced with fidelity, the Territory will see an industry that is inclusive and diverse, but most importantly, safe,” the senator said. “It is my hope that the current administration implements both Medicinal and Adult Use to their full potential, for the benefit of the people of this Territory.”

The introduction of the reform legislation came months after the governor included a cannabis legalization revenue in a budget proposal that he sent to lawmakers and indicated that he might convene a special session to enact the policy change.

Bryan has pushed for legalization over recent years and released his own reform proposal in 2019 that stalled in the legislature. He told voters earlier this year to call Sarauw and ask her why she had delayed her bill’s introduction. But the end product was a Senate-passed bill that’s now heading to the governor’s desk.

Here are some of the main provisions of the legalization bill:

The legislation would create an Office of Cannabis Regulation (OCR), tasked with issuing marijuana business licenses, overseeing the industry and setting rules on issues like advertising, packaging and labeling.

There would be several license and permit types, including for cannabis manufacturers, retailers, cultivators, micro-cultivators, testing laboratories and on-site consumption entities.

There would be caps on how many licenses OCR could grant for each of the territory’s main islands. Regulators could issue more after January 1, 2025 if they conduct a study demonstrating that the expansion is needed to meet consumer demand.

Individuals who use marijuana for sacramental purposes could apply for their own cultivation permits.

There would be a tax of no less than 18 percent on marijuana purchased from dispensaries, but that would not apply to medical cannabis. The bill also lays out licensing fees and calls for a 50 cent per gram tax on cannabis cultivators who sell marijuana to other licensees.

Revenue would be split among programs to address behavioral health, homelessness and youth recreation, as well as administration of the cannabis program and the territory’s general fund.

There would be a track-and-trace program for cannabis products.

There are also several equity components in the legalization bill, including prioritized application scoring for minority, women and service-injured entrepreneurs.

There would be a 100 milligram THC cap on edibles, and each serving could contain up to 10 milligrams.

Additionally, there are residency requirements for marijuana business ownership.

There are packaging and labeling restrictions, with the bill stipulating that labels must include health warnings and be designed in a way that doesn’t appeal to people under 21.

Sarauw said that “every single amendment, every single suggestion that members made is included in the amendment in the nature of a substitute,” according to VI Consortium.

The separate, complementary expungements legislation was also amended ahead of passage and now provides for automatic relief from the courts for people with prior convictions involving up to two ounces of marijuana. As introduced, the legislation would have required people to petition the courts.

Legalization “provides an opportunity to generate needed tax revenues” and increase “business ownership and employment opportunities for Virgin Islands residents,” the bill’s whereas section states.

Ending prohibition will also “alleviate social injustices experienced by persons subjected to the criminal justice system for activities related to the cultivation, sale and possession of cannabis that this Act now declares legal,” it says.

Bryan, who has also talked about marijuana as a safer alternative to opioids for pain treatment, stressed in May that it’s “been three years now moving” the issue, and so lawmakers need to “get it through the legislature so we can get some money going.”

He signed a medical cannabis legalization bill into law in 2019.

There was a hearing on the governor’s adult-use legalization proposal in 2020, with several government agencies testifying in favor of the reform and outlining how a regulated cannabis market could help the territory, especially given its economic needs.

Bryan has also emphasized the need to legalize, tax and regulate cannabis to generate revenue amid the economic downturn caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Meanwhile, other U.S. territories have also moved ahead with cannabis reform.

The governor of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) signed a bill to end prohibition in 2018.

The following year, the governor of Guam signed legalization into law.

A senator in Puerto Rico, where medical cannabis is legal, filed a bill in October to remove penalties for low-level marijuana possession.

As Biden Issues A Handful Of New Marijuana And Drug Pardons, Advocates Demand He Release Current Prisoners

Marijuana Moment is made possible with support from readers. If you rely on our cannabis advocacy journalism to stay informed, please consider a monthly Patreon pledge.

As Biden Issues A Handful Of New Marijuana And Drug Pardons, Advocates Demand He Release Current Prisoners – Marijuana Moment

President Joe Biden granted a half dozen pardons on Friday, including for a handful of people with marijuana or other drug convictions on their records.

The end-of-year clemency action follows the mass pardon for Americans who’ve committed federal cannabis possession offenses that the president issued in October.

Advocates would welcome any form of presidential relief—and celebrate the formal forgiveness for a few people who were previously convicted of offenses like unknowingly renting housing space to a person growing marijuana, as the White House said was the case for now-pardoned John Dix Nock III.

But at the same time, the president continues to face pressure to make good on his campaign pledge to free all currently incarcerated people serving time for federal marijuana crimes. And this latest batch of pardons did not include any of the people still behind bars over the plant.

Beside 72-year-old Nock, the president also pardoned 50-year-old Edward Lincoln De Coito III, an Army veteran who was convicted in a marijuana trafficking case in his early 20s. Gary Parks Davis also received a pardon for a decades-old cocaine conviction.

“This set of pardons includes individuals who honorably served in the U.S. military, volunteer in their communities, and survived domestic abuse,” White House Assistant Press Secretary Abdullah Hasan said. “It also joins the categorical pardon of thousands convicted of simple marijuana possession [Biden] announced earlier this year.”

Biden has received ample applause for his earlier marijuana pardon, which affected about 6,500 Americans with fedreral possession offenses, in addition to people convicted for the offense in Washington, D.C., according to the U.S. Sentencing Commission. But advocates and lawmakers have encouraged him to go further, even if he’s unwilling to back federal cannabis legalization.

Weldon Angelos—who received a presidential pardon under the Trump administration for a marijuana-related conviction and has since become an active member of the criminal justice reform community, working with multiple administrations—told Marijuana Moment on Friday that Biden’s latest action is “a very disappointing pardon grant.”

He pointed out that several recipients are in older age, making the clemency gesture more symbolic than practical as thousands continue to sit in federal prison over marijuana.

“I was deeply disappointed that President Biden has done this and has not honored his campaign promise to grant mass clemency to people that are needlessly suffering in prison for a cannabis conviction,” he said.

“Pardons are definitely nice—especially for people that need the pardon. If you’re a young person that can’t get a job or an apartment or a loan, yeah, pardons are very good. We need those,” he said. “But there are people that are literally sitting in prison, most of whom would not even be charged today because of the changes to state and federal law and policy.”

“We need to focus on the people that are sitting in prison. And I hope that Biden will continue to grant more—I’m hopeful that we’re going to see a lot more. It’s just disappointing that he hasn’t done that much to this date,” Angelos said, adding that he received multiple calls on Friday from currently incarcerated people who were hoping to receive clemency over the holiday season.

Meanwhile, Biden and top administration officials have been touting his October pardons for the past several weeks.

On Thursday, for example, Domestic Policy Council Director Susan Rice said that the president’s cannabis clemency and directive for an administrative review into cannabis scheduling have helped address the country’s “failed approach to marijuana” and represent key parts of the administration’s “remarkably productive year.”

Rice was also among various officials who cheered Oregon’s governor for providing state-level relief following Biden’s call-to-action.

Meanwhile, a bipartisan group of 29 congressional lawmakers from both the House and Senate sent a letter to the president last week, asking that he formally back federal marijuana legalization as the administration carries out the cannabis scheduling review.

The letter was sent to the president and the key cabinet officials following a pair of major setbacks for advocates, with lawmakers failing to attach marijuana banking and other reforms to either the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) or omnibus appropriations legislation this month.

While the lawmakers didn’t request that Biden take administrative action to unilaterally facilitate legalization, it does underscore an eagerness among supporters for the White House to play a more proactive role in advancing reform.

U.S. Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra, who was CCed on the letter, recently tweeted a link to a Marijuana Moment article that discusses the president’s administrative cannabis scheduling directive.

“We’re going to take a look at what science tells us and what the evidence tells us,” Becerra, who has a considerable record supporting cannabis reform as a congressman and as California’s attorney general, said at the recent overdose prevention event. “That will guide what we do—and we hope that will guide what the federal government does.”

Following the president’s October announcement, the secretary said that the department would “work as quickly as we can” to carry out the scientific review. And he’s already discussed the issue with the head of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to that end.

Separately, the White House drug czar said recently that that the president’s action was “historic,” adding that there are “clearly” medical benefits of cannabis.

Like HHS, DOJ has similarly committed to quickly carrying out the separate scheduling review the president directed, which could result in a recommendation to place cannabis in a lower schedule or remove it altogether, effectively legalizing the plant under federal law.

The president also officially signed a marijuana research bill into law this month, making history by enacting the first piece of standalone federal cannabis reform legislation in U.S. history.

A series of polls have shown that Americans strongly support the president’s pardon action, and they also don’t think that marijuana should be federally classified as a Schedule I drug.

New York Lawmakers File Psychedelics Legalization Bill For 2023

Marijuana Moment is made possible with support from readers. If you rely on our cannabis advocacy journalism to stay informed, please consider a monthly Patreon pledge.

Mother charged with 'suspect’ THC delivery – Sublette Examiner

SUBLETTE COUNTY – In an already complex case that led a California woman and a Pinedale doctor to seek temporary restraining orders against each other while her son remains in jail, charged with attacking the doctor – his husband – the doctor is accusing the mother of felony marijuana delivery.

Gloria T. DeNava, of Idyllwild, Calif., came to Pinedale and found a job shortly after her son, Nicolas A. Leyva, of Daniel, was arrested after an Aug. 31 domestic dispute and charged with alleged felony strangulation, felony assault and battery, property destruction and attempted third-degree murder of his husband, Dr. Stephen “Buck” Wallace, also of Daniel.

Leyva allegedly assaulted Wallace that evening in their home while the two talked about their pending divorce; Wallace has since filed to divorce Leyva.

Wallace drove to a neighbor’s home, collapsed and was life-flighted to Idaho Falls for a damaged trachea and other injuries, records show.

Wallace is the head of emergency medicine for Sublette County’s medical clinics. Leyva was employed at Wells-Fargo in Pinedale. Leyva’s bond is set at $500,000 cash only and he has remained in custody since his arrest.

His criminal charges, to which Leyva pleaded not guilty in 9th District Court by reason of mental illness, are pending while he awaits a court-ordered mental-health evaluation the judge requested two months ago. He is represented by Teton County attorney Alex Freeburg.

In Leyva’s preliminary hearing, Detective Travis Lanning testified that in a search he found prescriptions written to Wallace including “a powerful antipsychotic” Seroquel that Wallace said Leyva was taking instead of Wallace.

County officials say this Dec. 22 drug charge against DeNava has nothing to do with her son’s charges but a look at court records and affidavits show they are are interwoven.

‘Delivery’ charge

DeNava is charged with shipping at least one package of alleged illegal marijuana/THC products to Leyva that arrived at the couple’s Daniel home on Aug. 29, according to Sublette County drug detective Toby Terrill’s Dec. 22 affidavit. She was arrested that day, charged and released on a $5,000 surety bond.

Her initial appearance in Sublette County Circuit Court on Tuesday, Dec. 27, was before Magistrate Judge Chris Leigh, who appeared via videoconference due to Judge Curt Haws’ travel plans.

Her preliminary hearing will be Jan. 6 at 10 a.m., where a judge will determine if there is enough evidence to bind the felony charge over to 9th District Court.

Sublette County Deputy Attorney Adrian Kowalski filed the charge, citing Lanning’s report to SCSO drug detective Toby Terrill that DeNava sent marijuana to Leyva.

DeNava asked about making a plea and her right to a trial.

“We’re not at that point right now to set a trial,” Leigh told her, adding she might be tried in 9th District Court before Judge Marv Tyler, who is presiding over Leyva’s felony case and Wallace’s divorce, records show.

Leigh doesn’t “have the jurisdiction to accept a plea” on a felony charge, he said.

“I’m being treated as if I’m guilty already,” DeNava said. “I wanted to ask if my visitation and communication with my son can be given back. We’re all that each other has in this state.”

The magistrate said she cannot communicate with Leyva because he is “an alleged material witness” to the felony charge against her.

He advised DeNava to fill out a financial statement to qualify for a public defender to represent her. He maintained the bond and release conditions set by Judge Haws.

DeNava asked why her bond could not be reduced, after watching a probation revocation hearing for a man in custody.

“I’m not very confident with the judicial system in this town. A repeat offender got a $3,000 surety bond and I had to bond out at $5,000. … No disrespect to you.”

Magistrate Leigh said, “I’m acknowledging what you’re saying. I’m just saying this was set by a different judge” and one term is that DeNava cannot communicate with her imprisoned son unless attorneys reach an agreement.

Later that day, he appointed public defender Rachel Weksler to represent DeNava.


The affidavit filed with DeNava’s charge says Wallace told Lanning, who later told Terrill, that DeNava shipped packages of marijuana/THC products through the U.S. Post Office.

On Sept. 1 after the alleged assault, Lanning searched their home at 12 Rendezvous Drive in Daniel and found “suspect marijuana and paraphernalia,” the affidavit says. That was when he also found the Seroquel that Leyva was reportedly taking, according to his testimony.

Four days later, “Detective Lanning was called back to the house by Wallace,” who reported he found glass jars with plant marijuana, rolled cigarettes and marijuana edibles, Terrill wrote. Lanning collected the jars from Wallace and took photos of “gummies” that Terrill was shown, the affidavit says. The plant material testified positive for THC, Terrill says.

Terrill said Lanning reported he also searched Leyva’s phone “and observed text messages” between Leyva and DeNava “reference the use and acquisition of illicit substances (THC).”

The text messages appear to refer to “edibles” and “joints” DeNava allegedly sent to Leyva and his receipt of them in affectionate conversations.

DeNava proclaimed after her son’s arrest that Wallace “poisoned” him by encouraging Leyva to take Wallace’s prescribed antipsychotic, which Wallace admitted in a protection-order court hearing he gave it to Leyva. Wallace also told Lanning shortly after he was hospitalized that he wasn’t sure if Leyva had taken Seroquel or not that night of the alleged assault.

At Leyva’s preliminary hearing, Judge Haws determined there was enough evidence to bind the charges over to 9th District Court and Judge Tyler for prosecution.

It is not clear if Magistrate Leigh or Judge Haws will preside over DeNava’s preliminary hearing. If found guilty of the felony delivery, DeNava faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

The Global Cannabis Stock Index Collapses to New All-Time Low in… – New Cannabis Ventures

After breaking a long negative streak in July of 17 consecutive months down with a rally of 4.3%, the Global Cannabis Stock Index fell 1.3% in August. In September, it posted a new all-time closing low on 9/30 at 11.26 and ended the month down 25.9%. In October and November, it rallied to 13.67. In December, after an early lift, the index moved to an all-time low before rallying slightly. For the month, it fell 29.0% to 9.71:

The index fell 23.7% in Q3 and then rallied 21.4% in the first two months of Q4. It ended the quarter down 13.8% and was down 70.4% in 2022:

Since the peak in February 2021, the Global Cannabis Stock Index has dropped 89.5% from the 92.48 closing high:

The strongest 4 names in December all rose or fell by less than 10%:

The best stocks were not cannabis operators. In fact, the two best performing companies are diversified and only partially involved in the cannabis industry. Jazz Pharma, which bought GW Pharma last year, rallied in December and by 19.5% in Q4. Turning Point Brands was up 1.9% during the quarter. The other two, Chicago Atlantic and AFC Gamma, are mortgage REITS. Chicago Atlantic rose 4.6% during the quarter, and AFC Gamma increased 2.8%.

The 4 weakest names in December all declined by more than 46%:

Three of the four poorest performing stocks in the index were MSOs, and the other is a recent IPO that was spun out of an OTC sub-penny stock. Ayr Wellness and Hempacco were among the weakest names in November, and they both fell substantially in Q4. Ayr Wellness dropped 49.4%m, while Hempacco fell 63.6%. Columbia Care and Cresco Labs, which plan to close their pending merger in Q1, were down 40.0% and 33.6%, respectively, during the quarter.

We have rebalanced the index effective at the close today. We lowered the minimum price from $1.00 to $0.50 as we continued to require an average of $800K per day of trading value. Joining the index, which will decline from 28 names to 25, are two Canadian LPs, HEXO Corp (NASDAQ: HEXO) (TSX: HEXO) and Organigram (NASDAQ: OGI) (TSX: OGI). Leaving the index are AgriFORCE (NASDAQ: AGRI), BYND Cannasoft Enterprises (NASDAQ: BCAN) (CSE: BYND), Bright Green (NASDAQ: BGXX), Hempacco and Chicago Atlantic Real Estate Finance . Bright Green’s price was too low, and all of them failed to meet the minimum daily trading value.

We will summarize the index performance again in a month. You can learn more about the index members and the qualifications for inclusion by visiting the Global Cannabis Stock Index. Be sure to bookmark the page to stay current on cannabis stock price movements within the day or from day-to-day. A more complete analysis of the index is available at 420Investor.com.

New Cannabis Ventures maintains seven proprietary indices designed to help investors monitor the publicly-traded cannabis stocks, including the Global Cannabis Stock Index as well as the Canadian Cannabis LP Index and its three sub-indices. The sixth index, the American Cannabis Operator Index, was launched at the end of October 2018 and tracks the leading cultivators, processors and retailers of cannabis in the United States. More recently, we introduced the Ancillary Cannabis Index at the end of March 2021, reflecting the increasing number of publicly-traded companies providing goods or services to cannabis operators.

Get ahead of the crowd by signing up for 420 Investor when it becomes available again. It’s the largest & most comprehensive premium service for cannabis investors since 2013.

Alan Brochstein, CFA
Based in Houston, Alan leverages his experience as founder of online community 420 Investor, the first and still largest due diligence platform focused on the publicly-traded stocks in the cannabis industry. With his extensive network in the cannabis community, Alan continues to find new ways to connect the industry and facilitate its sustainable growth. At New Cannabis Ventures, he is responsible for content development and strategic alliances. Before shifting his focus to the cannabis industry in early 2013, Alan, who began his career on Wall Street in 1986, worked as an independent research analyst following over two decades in research and portfolio management. A prolific writer, with over 650 articles published since 2007 at Seeking Alpha, where he has 70,000 followers, Alan is a frequent speaker at industry conferences and a frequent source to the media, including the NY Times, the Wall Street Journal, Fox Business, and Bloomberg TV. Contact Alan: Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn | Email

Get Our Sunday Newsletter