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Colorado 2021 marijuana sales could break record despite monthly slumps

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Marijuana sales in Colorado could set an annual record for 2021, even though several months fell below the previous year’s totals.

The state revenue department’s sales figures for November 2021 show Colorado retailers sold $158.4 million worth of medical and recreational cannabis that month, bringing the market’s yearly total to more than $2.06 billion, Denver alt-weekly Westword reported.

Meanwhile, Colorado’s 2021 cannabis sales totaled $2.19 billion, meaning marijuana retailers will have needed to sell a little more than $130 million in December to best 2020.

That could be a stretch, however, as sales in the state dipped three months in a row from August to October and were off nearly 12% compared to the same period a year ago for the month of October.

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The dip could be explained by COVID-19 stimulus payments drying up and people spending their money on other entertainment and travel as the state opened back up from pandemic lockdowns.

However, cannabis sales tend to increase during the holiday season, so it’s possible Colorado might still see an annual record for 2021.

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Marijuana Banking Bill Sponsor Says He’s ‘Gonna Get That Darn Thing Passed’ Before Leaving Office

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A top federal drug official says the “train has left the station” on psychedelics.

National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) Director Nora Volkow said people are going to keep using substances such as psilocybin—especially as the reform movement expands and there’s increased attention being drawn to the potential therapeutic benefits—and so researchers and regulators will need to keep up.

The comments came at a psychedelics workshop Volkow’s agency cohosted with the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) last week.

The NIDA official said that, to an extent, it’s been overwhelming to address new drug trends in the psychedelics space. But at the same time, she sees “an incredible opportunity to also modify the way that we are doing things.”

“What is it that the [National Institutes of Health] can do to help accelerate research in this field so that we can truly understand what are the potentials, and ultimately the application, of interventions that are bought based on psychedelic drugs?” Volkow said.

The director separately told Marijuana Moment on Friday in an emailed statement that part of the challenge for the agency and researchers is the fact that psychedelics are strictly prohibited as Schedule I drugs under the federal Controlled Substances Act.

“Researchers must obtain a Schedule I registration which, unlike obtaining registrations for Schedule II substances (which include fentanyl, methamphetamine, and cocaine), is administratively challenging and time consuming,” she said. “This process may deter some scientists from conducting research on Schedule I drugs.”

“In response to concerns from researchers, NIDA is involved in interagency discussions to facilitate research on Schedule I substances,” Volkow said, adding that the agency is “pleased” the Drug Enforcement Administration recently announced plans to significantly increase the quota of certain psychedelic drugs to be produced for use in research.

“It will also be important to streamline the process of obtaining Schedule I registrations to further the science on these substances, including examining their therapeutic potential,” she said.

At Thursday’s event, the official talked about how recent, federally funded surveys showed that fewer college-aged adults are drinking alcohol and are instead opting for psychedelics and marijuana. She discussed the findings in an earlier interview with Marijuana Moment as well.

Don’t miss out on the @NIDAnews, @NIAAAnews, & @NIMHgov-sponsored virtual Workshop on Psychedelics as Therapeutics: Gaps, Challenges, and Opportunities, Jan. 12‒13, 2022. Learn more and register: https://t.co/S1zttkoYXq pic.twitter.com/C2Qrk6FN9a

— NIDAnews (@NIDAnews) January 10, 2022

“Let’s learn from history,” she said. “Let’s see what we have learned from the marijuana experience.”

While studies have found that marijuana use among young people has generally remained stable or decreased amid the legalization movement, there has been an increase in cannabis consumption among adults, she said. And “this is likely to happen [with psychedelics] as more and more attention is placed on these psychedelic drugs.”

“I think, to a certain extent, with all the attention that the psychedelic drugs have attracted, the train has left the station and that people are going to start to use it,” Volkow said. “People are going to start to use it whether [the Food and Drug Administration] approves or not.

There are numerous states and localities where psychedelics reform is being explored and pursued both legislatively and through ballot initiative processes.

On Wednesday—during the first part of the two-day federal event that saw nearly 4,000 registrants across 21 time zones—NIMH Director Joshua Gordon stressed that his agency has “been supporting research on psychedelics for some time.”

Tune in today and tomorrow for the @NIH workshop on Psychedelics as Therapeutics, which will examine findings on psychoplastogens for treating depression, post-traumatic stress, and substance and alcohol use disorders. https://t.co/Qzxte5xJt9

— Joshua A. Gordon (@NIMHDirector) January 12, 2022

“We can think of NIMH’s interests in studying psychedelics both in terms of proving that they work and also in terms of demonstrating the mechanism by which they work,” he said. “NIMH has a range of different funding opportunity announcements and other expressions that are priorities aimed at a mechanistic focus and mechanistic approach to drug development.”

Meanwhile, Volkow also made connections between psychedelics and the federal response to the coronavirus pandemic. She said, for example, that survey data showing increased use of psychedelics “may be a way that people are using to try to escape” the situation.

But she also drew a metaphor, saying that just as how the pandemic “forced” federal health officials to accelerate the development and approval of COVID-19 vaccines because of the “urgency of the situation,” one could argue that “actually there is an urgency to bring treatments [such as emerging psychedelic medicines] for people that are suffering from severe mental illness which can be devastating.”

But as Volkow has pointed out, the Schedule I classification of these substances under federal law inhibits such research and development.

The official has also repeatedly highlighted and criticized the racial disparities in drug criminalization enforcement overall.

Delaware Lawmakers File New Marijuana Legalization Bill With Key Equity Revisions

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3CHI Blazes Into 2022 with a NASCAR Racing Sponsorship

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It’s happening—believe it. The world of cannabis has again shifted, and social media has lit up with memes, as cannabis fans collectively rejoice.

Ever since the company first pioneered Delta 8, 3CHI has been a company focused on THC innovation within hemp-based consumer products. Now, raising the bar, the company has teamed up for a groundbreaking partnership with Richard Childress Racing, Tyler Reddick, and the No. 8 NASCAR Cup Series team in 2022.

This is a significant partnership for both organizations, as it marks the first category-specific team partnership in NASCAR and first hemp-based consumer brand sponsorship across all major professional sports. It’s a big step for NASCAR and a huge step for the THC industry.

To be clear, 3CHI has a quality rep, being focused on high-purity products that meet federal requirements for full legal compliance, and with emphasis on responsible adult use only to consumers aged 21 and older.

When asked about the partnership at the car’s sponsorship reveal, CEO Justin Journay said, “We’re very excited.  After getting to know RCR this past year, it was clear that, like us, they lead their industry through science, innovation and hard work.  Anytime you can partner with someone like that, you take it.” Journay added, “NASCAR took the time to understand our industry and had all of our products tested at their labs, and that shows the level of care they have for their customers, the fans, which is also how we approach things.”

The partnership will kick off with the DAYTONA 500 at Daytona International Speedway on Sunday, February 20 at 2:30 p.m. ET on FOX, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. Tyler Reddick will drive the No. 8 3CHI Chevrolet Camaro during the 2022 season as part of the multi-race, multi-year partnership.

“This is a first-of-its kind partnership, both within motorsports and within the sports industry as a whole,” said Torrey Galida, president of Richard Childress Racing. “We’re proud of our role as industry leaders in this category and look forward to introducing a pioneer in hemp-based consumer products to NASCAR, as well as educating fans about 3CHI’s innovative, science- based products.”

3CHI
Courtesy of 3CHI

About Richard Childress Racing

Richard Childress Racing (rcrracing.com) is a renowned, performance-driven racing, marketing and manufacturing organization. Incorporated in 1969, RCR has celebrated over 50 years of racing and earned more than 200 victories and 16 championships, including six in the NASCAR Cup Series with the legendary Dale Earnhardt.

RCR was the first organization to win championships in the NASCAR Cup Series, NASCAR Xfinity Series and NASCAR Truck Series and is a three-time winner of the Daytona 500 (1998, 2007, 2018). Its 2022 NASCAR Cup Series lineup includes two-time NASCAR champion, 2017 Coca-Cola 600 winner and 2018 Daytona 500 champion Austin Dillon (No. 3 Chevrolet), along with two-time NASCAR Xfinity Series champion Tyler Reddick (No. 8 Chevrolet). RCR fields a full-time NASCAR Xfinity Series program with Sheldon Creed and Austin Hill.

3CHI
Courtesy of 3CHI

About 3CHI

3CHI began with roots as a CBD producer and quickly became a pioneer in science-based cannabis research. Founded by a biochemist, the company was the first commercial developer of hemp-derived Delta-8, leading to the immense popularity of legally compliant THCs today. Based in Indiana, the company continues as an industry leader in emerging THC science and innovative hemp-derived products. To learn more, click here: 3CHI.com.

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Young People Who Use Marijuana Have Better Orgasms and Sexual Function, Study Says

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A new study found “no significant impact” on driving ability after smoking CBD-rich marijuana and no effects on vital signs, even as all the study participants exceeded the legal limit for THC in their blood.

For the pilot study conducted in Switzerland, 33 participants were each given a joint containing 500 mg of tobacco and either 500 mg of CBD-rich marijuana (16.6 percent total CBD; 0.9 percent total THC) or 500 mg of a placebo containing a product called Knaster Hemp, a nicotine-free and cannabinoid-free herbal mixture with a hemp aroma. Researchers then used multiple common DUI tests.

As the Swiss market for CBD products has exploded in recent years, the authors wished to investigate the efficacy of CBD-rich tobacco smoking cessation products and their impact on driving safety.

According to the three researchers from the Institute of Forensic Medicine at the University of Bern, the “purpose of the current study was to inform recommendations for warnings on tobacco substitute products containing CBD-rich marijuana and to provide information for drivers regarding the possible risks of consuming CBD-rich marijuana.”

“To the best of our knowledge, the current study is one of the first to investigate the potential impact of smoking CBD-rich marijuana for road safety,” they said.

The results revealed no significant differences between the effects of smoking CBD-rich marijuana and placebo on reaction time, motor time, behavior under stress or concentration performance.

“No significant impact on driving ability was found after smoking CBD-rich marijuana.”

In order to confirm participants were above the legal limit for driving with THC in their system, blood samples were taken after smoking and after completion of their tests to determine the cannabinoid concentrations of CBD, THC and THC-metabolites.

The 19 men and 14 women in the study, who were between the ages of 19 and 31, flipped a coin and, depending on which side the coin landed, were handed either a joint with CBD-rich marijuana or the placebo. Participants were tested a second time between seven and 14 days later and “those who had smoked a CBD joint on the first day of testing received a placebo joint and vice versa.”

After statistical analysis, the following groups were distinguished: CBD versus placebo consumption, women versus men and first trial versus second trial.

The psychological assessment of the drivers consisted of three different tests designed to measure and examine the attitudes relevant to road safety, and it was designed to aid reliable decision-making regarding an individual’s fitness to drive. It included a reaction test, a determination assessment to measure the ability to react under complex stimulus conditions, and a Cognitrone test, where the participant compares one geometric figure with four other geometric figures.

The study found that were no significant differences in reaction time or motor time between smoking CBD-rich marijuana and placebo. There was a difference between men and women’s reaction time after consuming the CBD-rich marijuana, and in motor time, regardless of whether the placebo or the CBD rich marijuana was consumed. There was no difference between the first and second day of testing, allowing researchers to conclude that “learning effects” can be excluded.

“No effects on vital signs were observed after smoking CBD-rich marijuana.”

In the determination test, each participant was put in an “overstrained situation” with high stimulus frequency so that they were no longer able to perform the required reactions. This made it possible to study the participants’ behavior under varying degrees of psychophysical stress.

The results revealed “no significant diffe­rences in the comparison between CBD and placebo consumption, between male and female participants, or between the first and second trial.”

The analysis of the Cognitrone test, where the participant compared one geometric figure with four other geometric figures, also revealed no significant diffe­rences between smoking CBD-rich marijuana and placebo, or any significant differences between men and women or between the first and second trials.

To further assess one’s fitness to drive, three common tests were given for balance and coordination based on what is used by drug recognition experts. “These tests are regularly used in Switzerland by trained medical personnel on behalf of the police to determine neurological deficits after substance misuse and/or possible intoxication of persons suspected of impaired driving,” the study states.

First, the participant’s balance and internal clock were tested by standing up with arms out and eyes closed with instructions to open their eyes after they believed 30 seconds had elapsed, while the examiner recorded the actual elapsed time. Although there was a statistically significant difference between the placebo and the CBD group, the results for both groups were well within the normal range of 20 to 45 seconds and, regardless of whether the CBD or placebo joint was smoked, all the study participants were able to maintain “a secure balance.”

Next, the commonly seen finger-to-nose test was used, and “of the 33 participants, 32 touched the tip of the nose with each action” regardless of if the CBD or placebo joint was smoked. But after consumption of the CBD joint, “one participant missed the tip of his/her nose twice.” More difficult for the test subjects was following the instructions to alternate arms, left-right-left-right-right-left, as that was performed incorrectly five times: three times from the CBD group and twice from participants who smoked the placebo joint.

Finally, during the walk-and-turn test, everyone walked without interruption “and no participants missed the heel-to-toe or hop around, regardless of whether they smoked the CBD or placebo joint.” There were some discrepancies, with 19 of the 66 tests taking the wrong number of steps, especially during the turn, but those errors were evenly spread over both groups: 10 times after a participant smoked the CBD joint and nine times after they consumed of the placebo joint.

Despite blood tests revealing that all participants had a THC level in their blood above the legal limit, at the time the testing began, no significant differences in blood pressure, behavior, orientation, mood, language and psychomotor skills were observed in those tested. The researchers concluded that there was no significant influence from smoking CBD-rich marijuana on vital signs.

“Although free THC concentrations reached levels that were considered to cause symptoms of impairment in other studies in which THC-rich marijuana was smoked, no signs of impairment were observed in the current study,” the authors wrote. “These findings suggest that higher CBD concentrations caused a negative allosteric effect in the endocannabinoid system, preventing the formation of such symptoms.”

Despite no symptoms of impairment being observed, these researchers nevertheless recommended that consumers refrain from driving for several hours after smoking CBD-rich marijuana, as legal THC concentration limits can be exceeded.

These conclusions are similar to earlier studies about CBD’s impact on driving from the University of Sydney. They are also in line with the recent decision from Michigan’s Impaired Driving Safety Commission, which concluded that there should not be a per se limit on THC concentration in the blood to determine impairment in drivers and instead “recommends the use of a roadside sobriety test(s) to determine whether a driver is impaired.

A study published in 2019 also concluded that those who drive at the legal THC limit—which is typically between two to five nanograms of THC per milliliter of blood—were not statistically more likely to be involved in an accident compared to people who haven’t used marijuana.

Separately, the Congressional Research Service in 2019 determined that while “marijuana consumption can affect a person’s response times and motor performance… studies of the impact of marijuana consumption on a driver’s risk of being involved in a crash have produced conflicting results, with some studies finding little or no increased risk of a crash from marijuana usage.”

Federal Scientists Say Onerous U.S. Marijuana Regulations Hinder Urgent Research

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