Bill Weinberg's blog

The Rise of Franken-Cannabinoids?

cannabis geneticsIn the near future, the CBD, THC or other cannabinoids you consume in edibles or medications may not be derived from cannabis at all, but grown in a laboratory.

Kevin Chen, CEO and co-founder of Hyasynth Bio, describes the Montreal-based start-up as "focused on engineering strains of yeast to produce the active compounds of cannabis without having to grow plants."

The Case of the Missing THC

Posted on September 1st, 2020 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , , , , , , .

THCCBD products are now everywhere—health-food emporia, pharmacies, truck-stops. And pursuant to the 2018 Farm Bill, they are now legal—as long as the CBD is derived from “hemp” as opposed to what has traditionally been called “marijuana.” Hemp, as legally defined, is cannabis with under 0.3% THC—the psychoactive component of the plant, responsible for the long-stigmatized “high.”.

But even the hempiest hemp—rope, not dope, as they used to say—usually has some THC.

The First Legal Hemp Harvest: A Look Back

Posted on August 24th, 2020 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , , , , , , , .

hempThe autumn of 2019 saw the United States' first hemp harvest since effective prohibition of the crop under the strictures of the Marihuana Tax Act in 1937. These strictures were overturned in the Farm Bill signed into law by President Trump in the closing days of 2018. This harvest was looked to eagerly across much of rural America, as legal hemp had been plugged as a salvation for the nation's struggling farmers—and the soaring popularity of CBD appeared to provide a booming market. The fashionable cannabinoid had also been legalized by the 2018 Farm Bill—when derived from hemp, or cannabis with less than 0.3% THC.

Kamala and cannabis: setting the record straight

Posted on August 12th, 2020 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , , , , , , .

Kamala HarrisJoe Biden's choice of running mate is Kamala Harris, who will bring a more progressive position on cannabis to the ticket. But if Harris today embraces legalization, she too has capitulated to the drug war establishment in the past—a reality her critics have been quick to exploit. A review of her record reveals an overall evolution toward a more enlightened stance.

Capitol Hill controversy over cannabis clause in COVID recovery bill

Posted on August 5th, 2020 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , , , .

capitolNancy Pelosi roused the ire of Mitch McConnell and anti-pot lobbyists when she defended inclusion of a measure to protect cannabis businesses in the House pandemic recovery bill. Does the science actually point to a therapeutic role for cannabis in treatment of COVID-19?

California controversies over 'social equity' licenses

Posted on August 3rd, 2020 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , .

CaliforniaEquity programs for the legal cannabis industry in California are supposed to address the racial and social iniquities that were associated with cannabis prohibition. But finding the right implementation model has proved tricky. And as a recent controversy in Los Angeles indicates, the failure of such programs can have impacts that go beyond who is getting licenses for dispensaries.

Mexico: legalization languishes as narco-wars escalate

Posted on July 9th, 2020 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , .

MexicoMexico's President Lopez Obrador met with Trump at the White House this week to inaugurate the new trade treaty that replaces NAFTA. Embarrassingly, the meeting was punctuated by horrific new outbursts of narco-violence in Mexico. And the country's promised cannabis legalization—mandated by the high court and looked to as a de-escalation of the dystopian drug war—is stalled by a paralyzed Congress. 

South Africa's 'dagga' advocate Julian Stobbs murdered

Posted on July 5th, 2020 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , , .

StobbsSouth Africa's cannabis community is grieving and shocked after the slaying of Julian Stobbs, one of the country's frontline activists—and one half of the famous "Dagga Couple" who successfully challenged the marijuana law in the courts. Stobbs was killed in the early hours of July 3 in an apparent armed robbery at his farm outside Johannesburg.

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