With so much changing day-to-day with medical cannabis and the looming legalization date in Canada, it can be easy to miss some of the updates. We publish weekly recap blogs of the top stories from the cannabis world, so you can stay in the know.
News cycle for July 16 to 22, 2018:
- Medical marijuana users worry Canada’s pot-impaired driving rules will run them off the road. Medical marijuana users worry they won’t be able to get behind the wheel once cannabis is legalized for recreational use. Under the federal government’s new impaired-driving rules, a motorist can be fined up to $1,000 for having two to five nanograms (ng) of THC per millilitre of blood within two hours of driving and can be punished criminally for more than five ng. Darryl Kolewaski, a medical patient who uses cannabis to treat his arthritis, stated that he tests at 25 nanograms when he wakes up, after no consumption. “Essentially with Bill C-46, if you follow the letter of the law, no medical patient will ever be allowed to drive ever again.”
- Healing powers of CBD Oil for gut health. While research involving CBDs for treating digestive problems is in its infancy, studies have suggested that it may be one of the most powerful remedies. CBD interacts with cannabinoid receptors that are found in the intestines, stomach, and brain, including serotonin receptors, CB1 and CB2. CB1 specifically has been shown to help regulate stomach acids, protect the stomach, ease nausea and vomiting, and address inflammation. As most gastrointestinal issues are intricately linked to chronic inflammation, this may be the key to how CBD can help.
- University of Calgary fires up joint research pact with Alberta cannabis grower. Olds-based Sundial Growers Inc. announced this week that it would enter a collaborative research partnership with the Cumming School of Medicine’s Hotchkiss Brain Institute at the University of Calgary to conduct clinical studies of cannabis. “Cannabis has been used medicinally for hundreds of years in a variety of ways. But, at the same time, there’s been relatively few studies looking at cannabis”, says Keith Sharkey, director of the Hotchkiss Brain Institute. This new venture provides an opportunity that researchers have not had before Canada loosened its laws around medical and recreational cannabis. The change will allow a steady supply of clean, high-quality marijuana to ensure research isn’t tainted by impurities or irregularities.
- Medical marijuana users brace for tax hike. When marijuana is fully legal in October, recreational and medical products will be taxed the same. While legalization is good news for many recreational users of marijuana, those using it for medical reasons are bracing for a financial hit from new taxes. Medical marijuana is already subject to HST, which does not apply to other prescription drugs, but when legalization takes effect in October, users will also have to pay an excise tax of $1 per gram, or 10 per cent of the retail price, whichever is greater. The government has previously said that matching taxes on recreational and medical marijuana are needed to deter recreational users from abusing the regime for medical access.