April 13, 2020

The Morning Buzz presented by TRICHOMES brings you late-breaking news that tells you what’s happening within the cannabis industry.

**A new study by Johns Hopkins has positive conclusions about cannabis and opioid withdrawal, Minnesota is upping their testing game, and could some much-needed financial relief for the cannabis industry be around the corner? It’s Monday, April 13th and this is your TRICHOMES Morning Buzz.

**A Study from Johns Hopkins University says Cannabis May Ease Opioid Withdrawal Symptoms

The study, conducted by researchers at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and published in a forthcoming issue of the Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, asked 200 people with past-month opioid and cannabis use whether their symptoms of opioid withdrawal improved or worsened when they consumed cannabis.

Of the 125 respondents who used cannabis to treat their withdrawal, nearly three-quarters said it eased their symptoms, while only a little over 6 percent said it made them worse. Another 20 percent reported mixed results, and three people said cannabis didn’t seem to have an obvious effect either way.

“These results show that cannabis may improve opioid withdrawal symptoms and that the size of the effect is clinically meaningful,” the report says.

At least four states already include opioid use disorder as a qualifying condition for medical cannabis, but critics have complained that there’s little evidence to support that policy. In the introduction to their new paper, the researchers acknowledge that “these approvals are concerning because of the limited and conflicting evidence suggesting cannabis can both improve and worsen opioid withdrawal and treatment retention.”

Though the matter is far from settled science, a number of other studies in recent years have suggested that cannabis may help reduce opioid use or dependency. Among them, a study published in December found that states with legal cannabis saw decreases in opioid prescriptions. A separate study from November of last year concluded that everyday cannabis use reduced opioid consumption among chronic pain patients.

The federal government is urging researchers to further investigate the role of cannabinoids in providing safer painkilling alternatives to opioids by making funding available for such studies.

**Minnesota opens their first publicly funded lab to distinguish hemp from cannabis

According to Hemp Industry Daily, Minnesota authorities have tapped a public testing lab to start evaluating the THC content of products sold as CBD.

The Midwest Regional Forensic Laboratory in Andover, north of Minneapolis, is a publicly-funded lab that will test THC levels of CBD products sold in conventional retailers, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported. The lab is the state’s first to do such testing.

Forensic scientist Amanda Vukich told the newspaper that the lab previously had the ability to test whether products contained THC, but not how much THC, making it impossible in criminal cases to distinguish legal low-THC hemp products from illegal cannabis products.

The newspaper did not say whether the lab would be used to test THC levels in hemp grown commercially in Minnesota.

**Nancy Pelosi Wants Cannabis Banking Access Included In the Next Coronavirus Relief Bill, Congressman Says

Congressman Ed Perlmutter of Colorado says he has prepared legislation to allow cannabis businesses to access federal disaster relief loans that are available to other industries during the coronavirus outbreak, as well as banking services that they have long desired, and he wants it inserted in the next COVID-19 stimulus package. The proposal also has the support of top congressional leadership, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), he said.

On a town hall call with small businesses in his Colorado district on Thursday night, Perlmutter was asked by the executive director of a top cannabis company whether the cannabis market has any hope of becoming eligible for federal loan and lending programs, as businesses that work with cannabis directly or indirectly are currently excluded from Small Business Administration (SBA) benefits.

“We have prepared legislation that we hope will be in the next package. Probably not the one that’s being discussed right now, but we’ve asked for legislation to allow for banking, for SBA lending, for testing to be part of the next package,” the congressman replied.
“Whether we’re going to get it, whether we can get the Senate to finally get off of their fannies and pass it, I don’t know. But you can rest assured that the issue you raised is front and center.”



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