Michael King Cannabis Palm Springs

Study: Persistent Cannabis Use Associated With Reduced Body Mass Index

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East Lansing, MI: The use of cannabis over time is inversely related to obesity, according to data published in the International Journal of Epidemiology.

A team of Michigan State University researchers assessed the relationship between cannabis use and body mass index (BMI) over time in a nationally representative sample of 33,000 subjects.

Investigators reported that cannabis-using subgroups exhibited “appreciably attenuated BMI gain” over the trial period as compared to non-users and quitters, “with the largest attenuation seen in the ‘persistent use’ group.”

They concluded: “This new prospective study builds from anecdotes, pre-clinical studies and cross-sectional evidence on inverse associations linking cannabis use and obesity and shows an inverse cannabis–BMI increase association. Confirmatory studies with rigorous cannabis and BMI assays will be needed.”

Several prior population-based studies, such as those herehere, and here, have similarly reported an inverse relationship between cannabis use and obesity.

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Michael King Palm Springs Cannabis

Congress: Over 25 Percent Of House Members Sign On To Marijuana Banking Act

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Washington, DC: More than one-quarter of US House members have signed on to newly introduced legislation to facilitate greater access to banking for state-licensed cannabis operators.

The 2019 version of the Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act was introduced last Thursday and now has 113 co-sponsors — the most ever for a marijuana law reform bill.

Under federal law, banks and other financial institutions are discouraged from entering into relationships with marijuana-specific businesses. This has led to the industry operating on a largely ‘cash-only’ basis.

Last month, members of the US House, Consumer Protection and Financial Institution Subcommittee heard testimony in favor of federal banking reform. NORML submitted testimony to the Committee, opining: “In short, no industry can operate safely, transparently, or effectively without access to banks or other financial institutions and it is self-evident that this industry, and those consumers that are served by it, will remain severely hampered without better access to credit and financing. Ultimately, Congress must amend federal policy so that these growing numbers of state-compliant businesses, and those millions of Americans who patronize them, are no longer subject to policies that needlessly place them in harm’s way.”

The SAFE Banking Act is one of several marijuana-related bills introduced in Congress in recent days. Other legislation includes The Ending Marijuana Prohibition Act of 2019The Marijuana Justice ActThe Next Step Act, and The Marijuana Data Collection Act of 2019.

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Michal King Cannabis Palm Springs

Report: State-Licensed Marijuana Businesses Employ Over 200,000 Full-Time Workers

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Seattle, WA: The state-licensed cannabis industry gained over 64,000 new employees in 2018, and now employs over 200,000 full-time workers, according to data compiled by Whitney Economics and the online content provider Leafly.com.

The report, entitled Cannabis Jobs Count, identifies some 211,000 full-time jobs in the legal cannabis sector. This total increases to 296,000 jobs when ancillary employers are also included.

By comparison, 112,000 Americans are estimated to currently work in the textile industry, while only about 52,000 people are employed by the coal mining industry.

“[T]he legal cannabis industry remains a substantial and unrecognized engine of grassroots job creation,” authors concluded. “In fact, cannabis job growth is proceeding at double digit rates in many states despite being overtaxed locally and heavily penalized at the federal level.”

California (67,000 jobs) led the country in cannabis-related employment, followed by Washington (47,000 jobs), and Colorado (44,000 jobs).

Commenting on the findings, NORML Executive Director Erik Altieri said: “The federal government needs to deschedule marijuana to allow states to better and more fully benefit from the economic growth engine that is the legal marijuana industry. Further, state regulators need to ensure as this sector expands its economic benefits are shared by all, including and most especially by those who suffered most under the failed policy of criminal prohibition.”

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Michael King Cannabis Palm Springs

Studies: Cannabis Exposure Not Associated With Changes In Brain Morphology

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Philadelphia, PA: Cannabis exposure is not associated with significant changes in brain morphology in either older or younger subjects, according to a pair of newly published studies.

In the first study, researchers from the University of Pennsylvania, Perelman School of Medicine compared brain scans of occasional (one to two times per week) and frequent (more than three times per week) marijuana consumers versus nonusers. Subjects were between 14 and 22 years of age.

Investigators reported: “There were no significant differences by cannabis group in global or regional brain volumes, cortical thickness, or gray matter density, and no significant group by age interactions were found. Follow-up analyses indicated that values of structural neuroimaging measures by cannabis group were similar across regions, and any differences among groups were likely of a small magnitude.”

They concluded, “In sum, structural brain metrics were largely similar among adolescent and young adult cannabis users and non-users.”

The findings appear in the journal Neuropsychopharmacology.

In the second study, researchers from the University of Colorado at Boulder compared magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans in 28 cannabis users over the age of 60 versus matched controls. Cannabis consuming participants, on average, had used marijuana weekly for 24 years.

Authors reported that long-term cannabis exposure “does not have a widespread impact on overall cortical volumes while controlling for age, despite over two decades of regular cannabis use on average. This is in contrast to the large, widespread effects of alcohol on cortical volumes that might be expected to negatively impact cognitive performance.” Researchers also reported “no significant differences between groups” with regard to cognitive performance.

They concluded: “The current study was able to explore cannabis use in a novel older adult population that has seen recent dramatic increases in cannabis use while controlling for likely confounding variables (e.g., alcohol use). The participants in this study were generally healthy and highly educated, and it is in this context that cannabis use showed limited effects on brain structural measures or cognitive performance.”

The findings appear in the journal Psychiatry Research: Neuroimaging.

The studies’ conclusions are similar to those of prior trials finding no significant long-term changes in brain structure attributable to cannabis exposure.

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