Fla. guv seeks to lift ban on smoked cannabis
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis has told lawmakers to lift a legislatively imposed prohibition on the inhalation of medical cannabis.
Lawmakers imposed the ban in 2017 in response to the passage of a voter-approved constitutional amendment legalizing the use and dispensing of medical cannabis. The ban prohibits registered patients from possessing marijuana “in a form for smoking” and bars the use of herbal cannabis except in instances where it is contained “in a sealed tamper-proof receptacle for vaping.” The 2016 constitutional amendment contained no such restrictions.
DeSantis said that he opposed the legislature’s changes because they amended the law in a manner that was “not in accordance with what the amendment envisioned.”
In May, a Florida Circuit Court judge ruled that the ban was unconstitutional. That decision was appealed by the administration of former Gov. Rick Scott. By contrast, Gov. DeSantis says that he will drop the appeal. Legislation was filed on Friday, SB 372, to permit patients to possess and inhale herbal cannabis preparations.
Cannabis extracts safe for autistic patients: study
JERUSALEM — The administration of plant-derived cannabis extracts is effective and well-tolerated in patients diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders (ASD), according to data published in the journal Scientific Reports.
Israeli investigators assessed the safety and efficacy of the daily administration of CBD-enriched cannabis oil (consisting of 30 percent CBD and 1.5 percent THC) in a cohort of 188 patients with ASD. Of those patients who continued treatment for six months and provided feedback to researchers, over 90 percent reported some level of symptomatic improvement — including reductions in restlessness, seizures, and rage attacks. Approximately one-third of respondents reported a reduction in their intake of other medications.
Authors concluded: “Cannabis as a treatment for autism spectrum disorders patients appears to be well-tolerated, safe and seemingly effective option to relieve symptoms, mainly: seizures, tics, depression, restlessness and rage attacks. … [W]e believe that double blind placebo-controlled trials are crucial for a better understanding of the cannabis effect on ASD patients.”
The results are consistent with those of a prior Israeli study which concluded that the daily administration of CBD-dominant extracts was associated with “overall improvement in behavior, anxiety, and communication” in autism patients.
Vaporization ‘more efficient’ than smoking: study
BALTIMORE — Vaporizing cannabis, as opposed to smoking it, is associated with greater THC concentrations in blood, according to clinical trial data published in the Journal of Analytical Toxicology.
A team of researchers from John Hopkins University in Maryland and the Research Triangle Institute in North Carolina assessed cannabinoid concentrations in blood and in oral fluid following either marijuana smoking or vaporization.
Authors concluded: “For whole blood, greater detection sensitivity for ELISA testing was observed in vaporized conditions. Conversely, for oral fluid, greater sensitivity was observed in smoked sessions. … Vaporization appears to be a more efficient method of delivery compared with smoking.”
Prior research by the same team published in the Journal of the American Medical Association reported that vaporized cannabis is associated with more dramatic changes in drug-induced effects than is smoked marijuana.
U.S. Virgin Islands enacts medical cannabis law
CHARLOTTE AMALIE, VIRGIN ISLANDS — Democratic Gov. Albert Bryan Jr. signed legislation into law last week establishing a regulated medical cannabis market in the U.S. Virgin Islands.
The Medical Cannabis Patient Care Act permits qualified patients to possess and access cannabis and cannabis-infused products from licensed dispensaries. Specified patients will also be permitted to cultivate their own marijuana.
Under the law, regulators must finalize rules governing the program within 180 days.