New Jersey Cancels Scheduled Vote on Legalizing Marijuana

New Jersey lawmakers canceled a planned vote on the legalization of marijuana on Monday, saying the lack of a clear majority to pass the measure will delay the decision until later this year. Both the state Senate and Assembly had scheduled votes on the bill, which would legalize the possession of up to one ounce of cannabis and create a framework to regulate and tax commercial sales.

“While we are all disappointed that we did not secure enough votes to ensure legislative approval of the adult use cannabis bill today, we made substantial progress on a plan that would make significant changes in social policy,” said Senate President Stephen Sweeney.

Sweeney vowed that “the fight is not over.”

“We need to learn from this experience and continue to move forward,” Sweeney said.” While this legislation is not advancing today, I remain committed to its passage.”

Lobbying Efforts Not Enough

Democratic leaders spent the weekend pushing to shore up votes from undecided voters, and sources said that the 41 votes necessary to pass the measure in the Assembly had likely been secured. But as of Sunday night, only 18 senators had signed on to the measure, three votes shy of the 21 required

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Regular Marijuana Use Associated With Reduced BMI, Says Study

Marijuana use over time is inversely related to obesity, according to a new study published in the International Journal of Epidemiology.

For the study researchers assessed the relationship between cannabis use and body mass index (BMI) over time in a nationally representative sample of 33,000 subjects.

Investigators reported that cannabis-using subgroups exhibited “appreciably attenuated BMI gain” over the trial period as compared to non-users and quitters, “with the largest attenuation seen in the ‘persistent use’ group.”

They concluded: “This new prospective study builds from anecdotes, pre-clinical studies and cross-sectional evidence on inverse associations linking cannabis use and obesity and shows an inverse cannabis–BMI increase association. Confirmatory studies with rigorous cannabis and BMI assays will be needed.”

The full abstract of the study states:

Background

Pre-clinical studies indicate increased food intake and weight gain as cannabinoid effects. Cross-sectional epidemiological studies, however, indicate lower prevalence of obesity among cannabis users. Here, we aim to study the weight-gain research question in the prospectively conducted National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions (NESARC).

NESARC was designed to produce nationally representative estimates for the US population. Participants (aged 18+) completed computer-assisted personal interviews on cannabis use, body weight and height at Waves 1 (W1, 2001–02)

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Smokable Cannabis Now Officially Available in Florida

Medical marijuana patients in Florida have a new option for medicating as smokable marijuana went on sale in dispensaries for the first time last Thursday. Voters in Florida passed a constitutional amendment legalizing medical marijuana in 2016, but regulations banning smokable cannabis were passed by the legislature and signed into law by former Gov. Rick Scott.

Cannabis advocates sued, claiming the ban violated the amendment passed by voters. A state court agreed and declared the rule invalid, but it remained in place as an appeal from Scott’s administration made its way through the courts. However, when the new governor, Rick DeSantis, took office at the beginning of this year, he told the legislature if the ban was not repealed his administration would abandon the appeal of the court ruling. The legislature passed a repeal bill last week and DeSantis signed it last Monday.

Registered adult medical marijuana patients who receive a doctor’s recommendation for smokable marijuana may now purchase up to 2.5 ounces of cannabis every 35 days and possess up to four ounces at any time. Terminally ill children will be able to smoke medical marijuana only with the consent of two doctors including a pediatrician.

Smokable Flower Sales Begin

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Vice Media Has Linked With Philip Morris to Promote Tobacco Vaping in the UK

Vice’s questionable relationship with the world’s largest vendor of tobacco has entered its newest phase. The media conglomerate has inked an advertising deal worth 5 million British pounds with Philip Morris International to promote vaping in England, The Financial Times reported on Thursday. The information was confirmed by two anonymous sources and a Financial Times reporter was also approached on LinkedIn to work on a new channel created expressly for the campaign that will “cover the broad theme of ‘change,’” according to recruitment messages.

Across the world, tobacco corporations have embarked on a shift to such “reduced-risk” products, responding to falling rates of cigarette usage. PMI, the maker of Marlboro cigarettes, is the world’s largest tobacco company, and has announced that such “reduced-risk” products will comprise 40 percent of its revenues by 2025.

International media conglomerate Vice is a pioneer in native advertising, or advertisements that are created by the publication on which they run, and are often indistinguishable from editorial content. The media company, as well as Philip Morris, declined to comment when contacted by the Financial Times.

Tobacco vaping products may not be the only site of expansion for the Philip Morris brand. Philip Morris USA parent company

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Windsor Far Removed From Nearest Cannabis Retail Stores

Six months after Ottawa legalized the drug for recreational purposes, the first batch of cannabis retail stores in Ontario is set to open on April 1.

But for Windsor marijuana consumers wanting to access a legal bricks-and-mortar outlet, it will be a four-hour round trip drive to London.

And with only 25 stores set to serve Canada’s biggest province, one local pot activist said the biggest winner of Ontario’s modest start to a new industry will be the black market.

“They’re thanking Doug Ford right now,” said Jon Liedtke, co-host of the Cannabis Act podcast. “This has been the biggest boon to business that they could have seen.”

– Read the entire article at Windsor Star.

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