Weekly News in Cannabis – March 15th

by | Mar 15, 2019

Facebook May Allow Cannabis Businesses to Post Ads

The social media giant recently announced it’s considering getting rid of restrictions on cannabis-related posts in states that have legalized recreational cannabis. Under its current guidelines, Facebook doesn’t allow users to post anything related to the sale of marijuana on its platform.

Facebook was keen to note this change wouldn’t affect its policy on cannabis advertisements. Even if Facebook allowed users to discuss the sale of cannabis, it wouldn’t let cannabis companies post for-profit advertisements on the website.

One issue Facebook noted in implementing this change is how to detect whether businesses posting on its website are legal. Facebook is currently working on ways to properly screen cannabis companies.

Another problem Facebook has with this change is how to ensure people under 21-years-old don’t see cannabis-related content. Some employees suggested using age-screening technology, but others argue this isn’t enough.

Currently, Facebook only allows users selling hemp oil or low-THC CBD oil to mention their products on its platform.

New Study Suggests THC has more Medicinal Potential than CBD

A recently published study in Nature suggests THC offers far greater therapeutic benefits than the more popular CBD. University of New Mexico (UNM) study authors say they hope their research will encourage scientists to study this more controversial cannabinoid.

Although there are potentially hundreds of chemical compounds (aka cannabinoids) in cannabis, CBD and THC are the most abundant. The significant difference between these cannabinoids is that THC makes users “high,” whereas CBD is non-psychoactive.

With the recent legalization of hemp cultivation, the market for CBD oil has skyrocketed. Many claim CBD offers tremendous health benefits without the psychoactive risks associated with THC.

To test this theory out, UNM researchers analyzed thousands of patients’ testimonials on the medical cannabis-tracking app Releaf. Scientists noted the ratios of THC to CBD in each patient’s report and looked for correlations with symptom severity.

According to their report, patients using cannabis with higher THC content experienced the most significant symptom relief. There was no correlation between the amount of CBD a patient took and his/her symptoms.

This doesn’t mean that CBD has no potential for therapeutic use; however, study authors suggest that CBD may only work effectively when combined in the right proportions with THC.

CA Cannabis Companies Could Soon Pay Taxes Using Blockchain

A new bill introduced in California could allow people in the cannabis industry to pay their taxes using cryptocurrencies. Supporters of this legislation argue blockchain technology will significantly improve the tax collecting process in the Golden State.

San Francisco assembly-member Phil Ting introduced this bill in February of 2019. Officially listed as AB 953, this new bill would allow cannabis operators to use cryptocurrencies that have USD collateral for their taxes.

The Blockchain Advocacy Coalition (BAC) recently announced its support of AB 953. In the ensuing weeks, the BAC will host blockchain educational events with lawmakers and cannabis operators to help move this bill through CA’s 19th Congressional District.

Since cannabis is still illegal under federal law, cannabis businesses cannot legally open accounts with banks. For this reason, Californian cannabis operators are forced to make dangerous journeys or send cash in armored trucks to the State of California to pay taxes.

If all goes according to plan, AB 953 could be signed into law by this autumn. Members of the BAC hope this bill will go into place by the summer of 2020.

Cannabis Growers Tout Benefits of Living Soil

According to expert cultivators, this living soil could enhance the quality and quantity of cannabis yield as well as cut gardening costs.

Living soil differs from other mixes because it contains many different organisms that produce a favorable environment for cannabis growth. Common ingredients found in living soil include probiotic bacteria, seaweed, and even a few worms.

Since living soil is extremely nutrient-dense, cultivators don’t need to spend money or time feeding their plants liquid nutrients. Cannabis that grows in living soil also tends to have a stronger resilience against bugs, which reduces the need for harsh pesticides.

Many leaders in California’s cannabis industry have already begun transitioning from traditional soil mixtures to living soil. Indeed, members of the prestigious Emerald Cup believe living soil will become the standard growing medium in the cannabis industry within about 20 years.