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Georgia Senator Envisions Different CBD Path
for Children with Epilepsy
Photo courtesy of The Marietta Daily Journal / Laura Moon
Georgia Senator Lindsey Tippins introduced a cannabidiol (CBD) bill in the Georgia Senate this past week that makes the oil available to children with epilepsy without violating any federal law. With 30 cosponsors out of a total of 56 senators, the bill’s passage in the senate is assured.
 
The bill, SB 185, would provide CBD oil to Georgia children who suffer from medication-resistant epilepsies in clinical trials that adhere to FDA regulations and other federal laws that govern the development of new medicines containing controlled substances.
 
SB 185 makes the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia responsible for implementing the program. It calls for making the oil available to all such children under age 18 to the extent possible under law.
 
Last year when a CBD bill failed to pass the legislature, Georgia Governor Nathan Deal issued an executive order that established a program of clinical trials to test Epidiolex, a CBD drug being developed in Great Britain. The program includes FDA expanded access to the drug for children not enrolled in the trials. Epidiolex is being tested in Georgia and elsewhere in the US. Clinical trials will lead to scientifically acceptable proof about whether CBD reduces or eliminates intractable seizures, at what doses, and what side effects might occur. Epidiolex is 98% CBD with only trace amounts of THC and a few other cannabinoids.
 
Earlier in the week, the Georgia House passed HB1, a CBD bill that is quite different from SB 185. The differences will have to be resolved when each bill goes to the other chamber or in conference committee.

Even though marijuana and its compounds are illegal under the federal controlled substances act, it is not illegal to conduct research with marijuana or its compounds. By keeping CBD in the realm of research, SB 185 will prevent Georgia from becoming another Colorado, a state that has one of the worst records of dealing with medical marijuana since voters legalized it in 2000. (The Colorado legislature is trying to change that now).
 
Colorado still does not require any form of medical marijuana to be tested for contaminants or potency. The caretaker system, which allows a patient to designate someone to grow medical marijuana, is unregulated. Initially, caretakers could grow six marijuana plants for each of up to five patients, but a 2007 court decision removed the patient limit.

In 2009, the legislature tried to fix unregulated grows by allowing dispensaries to grow, process, and sell medical marijuana and infused food products, but it did not end the caretaker system. The number of registered patients soared from 5,000 to 110,000 today. They purchase medical marijuana from 1,416 regulated medical dispensaries and an estimated 3,000 unregulated caretakers. Because it is impossible to distinguish regulated grows from unregulated grows, Colorado’s medical marijuana laws cannot be enforced.

Nearly 110,000 pounds of medical marijuana flowers and 2 million units of medical marijuana infused edible foods were sold in 2014.

Click here to read SB 185.
 

 
Colorado Releases
First Annual Marijuana Report
As of December 2014, the Colorado Department of Revenue, responsible for creating, licensing, and enforcing regulations for medical marijuana and retail marijuana issued its first annual report. Highlights include:
 
Licenses issued in 2014: 
1,416 medical marijuana business licensees
833 retail marijuana business licensees
 
Locations in 2014: 
228 local jurisdictions prohibit both medical and retail businesses in their districts
93 local jurisdictions allow medical, retail, or both, licensees to operate
 
Amount of marijuana sold in 93 local jurisdictions in 2014: 
109,578 pounds of medical marijuana flowers
38,660 pounds of retail marijuana flowers
Total sold: 148,238 pounds of marijuana flowers 
 
1,964,917 units of medical marijuana-infused edible products
2,850,733 units of retail marijuana-infused edible products
Total sold: 4,815,650 units of marijuana-infused edible products
 
Business license totals in January 2014 and December 2014:
Medical marijuana
Centers in January 493, in December 505
Cultivations in January 713, in December 748
Infused products manufacturers in January 129, in December 163
Total medical marijuana licensees in January 1,335, in December 1,416

Retail marijuana
Stores in January 156, in December 322
Cultivations in January 204, in December 397
Infused products manufacturers in January 36, in December 98
Testing facilities in January 3, in December 16                     
Total retail marijuana licenses in January 399, in December 833

Total licensed premises in January 1,734, in December 2,249

 
The full report with quite a bit of additional information can be read here.
 
Doctors Critical of Poor News Coverage of Marijuana

Just about an hour ago, in a blistering article, Colorado's Chris Thurstone, MD, who specializes in treating adolescent addiction, called out the press for distorted reporting on a marijuana study released last week. Read Dr. Thurstone's blog here


More than 18,000 readers clicked through to read the health report from Colorado featured in the February 4th issue of The Marijuana Report--and we only have 3,600 subscribers! Many of you shared that issue with others and apparently so did they. More than 7,000 readers clicked through to the Colorado public safety report featured in our February 11th issue. Please, take a bow. And thank you for being such effective networkers. For those who missed the report in the February 4th issue, click here; in the February 11th, click here.
 
National Families in Action and partners, Project SAM and the Treatment Research Institute, welcome our new readers. We hope you enjoy this weekly e-newsletter to keep up-to-date with all aspects of the marijuana story. Visit our website, The Marijuana Report.Org, and subscribe to E-Highlights to learn more.

National Families in Action is a group of families, scientists, business leaders, physicians, addiction specialists, policymakers, and others committed to protecting children from addictive drugs. We advocate for:
  • Healthy, drug-free kids
  • Nurturing, addiction-free families
  • Scientifically accurate information and education
  • A nation free of Big Marijuana
  • Smart, safe, FDA-approved medicines developed from the cannabis plant (and other plants) 
  • Expanded access to medicines in FDA clinical trials for children with epilepsy
What is our call to action?
  • Ask your leaders to establish FDA expanded access to Epidiolex® for children with epilepsy.
  • To protect children, adolescents, and young adults, ask your leaders not to legalize marijuana.
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