U.S. Cannabis Sales Hit Record $17.5 Billion As Americans Consume More Marijuana Than Ever Before

The coronavirus was good for some industries and ruinous for others. For cannabis, 2020 was a breakout year. Legal sales across the U.S.—14 states allow adult use, 36 allow for medical sales—hit a record of $17.5 billion, a 46% increase from 2019, according to a new report.

Most of the sales growth came from adult-use markets, especially mature markets like Colorado, which grew sales by 26% to reach $2.2 billion, and Oregon, which saw sales hit $1.1 billion, a 29% increase over 2019, according to the report published by BDSA, a cannabis sales data platform.

Emerging markets like Illinois, which expanded its medical cannabis market to include adult-use sales last year, saw the largest dollar gain in 2020, rising by $784 million. (Illinois’ cannabis market is now doing over $1 billion in sales.) California, the country’s largest cannabis economy at $3.5 billion, increased sales by $586 million, while Florida saw a $473 million increase.

– Read the entire article at Forbes.

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Mexico To Pass Marijuana Legalization Bill Next Week, Former President Says

Former Mexican President Vicente Fox said on Friday he expected Congress to pass its new law to legalize cannabis next week, a move that would effectively create one of the world’s largest weed markets.

The bill, backed by the administration of President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, would mark a major shift in a country bedeviled for years by violence between feuding drug cartels.

Fox, a director at Colombian-Canadian Khiron Life Sciences which focuses on cannabis for medical use, has been a long-standing advocate for the decriminalization of marijuana in Mexico.

– Read the entire article at Global News.

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Cannabis for Brazilian Pets and Their Humans

A bill (369/2021) to allow veterinarians to prescribe cannabis products has been introduced in Brazil’s Chamber of Deputies. Under the terms of the bill, products must be authorized by the Brazilian regulatory authorities or, in the case of imported products, their counterparts in the country of origin. If the government does not issue specific regulations for veterinary products, the bill provides that products must follow existing rules for human-use products.

As the bill’s statement of motives explains, many Brazilian vets are already prescribing cannabis products. At the moment, veterinary use of cannabis products is neither allowed nor prohibited. The bill seeks to end this “legal limbo,” as it describes the situation.

The bill’s sponsor is Deputy João Carlos Bacelar, of the Podemos party. Interestingly, Podemos is not generally pro-cannabis. As recently as August 20202, Podemos Senator Eduardo Girão described as an “aberration” a separate medical cannabis bill (399/2015), adding that “maconha is a drug that destroys families.” In his view, treating epilepsy is an excuse to normalize cannabis in Brazil, at the behest of the narcobusiness (narconegócio) lobby. (Girão does support the regulatory approval of specific medicines that contain cannabis). For his part, Podemos Deputy Diego Garcia referred to the

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New Research Finds Marijuana Use Not Associated With Hypertension

A study from an international team of researchers has found that current or past use of marijuana is not independently associated with an increased risk of hypertension. Results of the study, “The longitudinal relationship between cannabis use and hypertension,” were posted online last month prior to publication in the journal Drug and Alcohol Review

To complete the study, researchers from the United States, Canada, Germany, and Russia investigated the relationship between the use of marijuana and hypertension in a nationally representative sample of subjects. Over a three-year period, researchers monitored the health of the participants, all of whom did not have hypertension at the beginning of the study. 

The investigators then performed an analysis of the data to quantify the relationships between lifetime cannabis use, 12-month cannabis use, and 12-month cannabis use frequency (at least monthly use and less than monthly use) and incidence of hypertension.

Upon initial analysis, the data revealed that “cannabis use was associated with a decreased incidence of hypertension in the unadjusted analyses. However, the relationships were confounded by age.”

“After adjustment for all confounders, neither lifetime cannabis use, 12-month cannabis use nor 12-month cannabis use frequency were associated above chance with the incidence of hypertension,”

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Study Indicates Cannabis May Alleviate Neuropathic Pain Caused By Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy patients experiencing neuropathic pain may find relief from cannabis, according to a new study published last month.

The study, which was published in last month’s issue of the journal Therapeutic Advances in Medical Oncology, comes via a team of Tel Aviv-based researchers who examined a cohort of 513 patients who were taking oxaliplatin for gastrointestinal issues. Oxaliplatin, the researchers said, “is a platinum-based chemotherapy widely used for the treatment of gastrointestinal (GI) malignancies.” According to the Mayo Clinic, it is used “along with other medicines (eg, fluorouracil, leucovorin) to treat advanced cancer of the colon or rectum,” while also being “used to treat severe colon cancer in patients who have had a surgery.”

The Israeli research team said that chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy is “a well-known toxicity associated with the treatment of oxaliplatin,” which “has a strong impact on the quality of life of cancer patients.”

“Acute oxaliplatin-induced neuropathy is evident in up to 90% of oxaliplatin-treated patients, and continued exposure may lead to severe chronic neuropathy in approximately 31%,” they said.

The Method and Results of the Study

For the study, the researchers treated 248 of the patients in the cohort with cannabis, with the remaining 265 serving as

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