UK medical cannabis company GW Pharmaceuticals is planning a massive expansion in Britain. This growth is necessary to meet the anticipated demand for a new epilepsy treatment, after promising results in clinical trials.

The company plans to hire 70 new staff members and invest approximately £50m in capital funding over the next three years.

“We’re proud to be a UK company,” said Adam George, UK Managing Director of GW Pharmaceuticals. “We do all our manufacturing in the UK and we are scaling up, ready to commercialize [the new product] next year.”

Although GW Pharmaceuticals is based in Britain and makes 100 tonnes of cannabis-based medicine annually for patients in need, not one milligram of their medicine is intended for use in the UK, where medical marijuana is not permitted.

“I don’t hold GW entirely responsible for this situation,” said Jonathan Liebling, Political Director of the United Patience Alliance in an interview with “Resulting from the ongoing legal status, they have had to spend a great deal of time and effort to get around and through the law and existing regulations regarding medicines in the UK. It took them around nine years to get their first product, Sativex, approved,” said Liebling.

Liebling added that, in his opinion, GW could be doing more to help the legality of medical cannabis in Britain. “[GW has]  done nothing to further the cause for better access for patients [in the UK]. Good business perhaps, but lacking in compassion and perhaps integrity.”

According to the company’s website, “GW seeks to maximise the value of its product development opportunities and shareholder returns.”

The United Patients Alliance is the organization partnering with MP Paul Fleen for a planned protest in October to bring attention to the lack of medical cannabis in the United Kingdom.

“I think if GW could see the way things are progressing around the world and with the existing illegal market in the UK, they should realize that it is in their best interests, but moreover in the best interests of patients to help change the policy. It is difficult to believe that they have patients’ interests at heart,” added Liebling.

As GW goes ahead with its expansion, many groups from all over the United Kingdom are calling for the same cannabis medicines that are shipped away from their shores on a regular basis; medicines that could treat patients in need who live within minutes of GW Pharma’s facilities.

According to the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention(CDC) ‘nearly 900,000 Americans die prematurely from the five leading causes of death.’ Those five leading causes of death are heart disease, cancer, chronic lower respiratory diseases, stroke, and unintentional injuries. According to the CDC, 20 to 40 percent of those premature deaths could be prevented. And according to a study from last month conducted by Indiana University, cannabis could play a big part in significantly reducing the number of premature deaths in America if medical cannabis was legalized nationwide. I first saw the study results on Twitter via the Marijuana Moment’s twitter feeds, which I suggest everyone follows.

Per the study:

To date, no studies have attempted to estimate impacts of Cannabis use on premature death that include both adverse and beneficial effects on physical health. Marijuana use is estimated to reduce premature deaths from diabetes mellitus, cancer, and traumatic brain injury by 989 to 2,511 deaths for each 1% of the population using Cannabis. The analysis predicts an estimated 23,500 to 47,500 deaths prevented annually if medical marijuana were legal nationwide.

By keeping cannabis prohibited, the study concludes that, ‘Cannabis prohibition is revealed as a major cause of premature death in the U.S.’. If there were ever a reason to offer up as to why medical cannabis should be permitted, saving people from premature death is a good one. If you know someone that is on the fence about cannabis reform, make sure to share the results of this study with them.

Just combating opioid use alone is enough of a reason to legalize medical cannabis nationwide. Drug overdose is now the leading cause of death in America for people under 50. It is estimated that over 59,000 people died of a drug overdose in 2016 alone. studies have shown that in states that legalized medical cannabis, painkiller abuse and addiction dropped on average of 23 percent and opioid overdose cases at hospitals dropped by an average of 13 percent. Cannabis can help save lives, it just needs to be given a chance to do so.


Under Justin Trudeau’s leadership, Canada is preparing for a fully regulated, adult-legal cannabis market, beginning in July 2018. On Monday, August 14, the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) Ontario issued a report entitled “Cannabis Legalization and Regulation” meant to give guidance to Canadian legislators regarding next year’s roll out. As one might expect, the mental health community is rallying around an approach to policy that views cannabis through a public health lens.

As a result, the report advises a couple of somewhat controversial recommendations, which may please some supporters of prohibition on one hand, and upset them on the other.

First, the CMHA Ontario identifies driving-under-the-influence of cannabis as the issue of greatest concern for public safety in a legalization scenario. However, the organization recognizes the scientific truth that testing of impairment for cannabis remains inaccurate, and therefore cannot be used as a truthful measure for gauging driver safety. As a result, the CMHA Ontario recommends a zero-tolerance policy for driving and cannabis use:
“Because the technology to detect an individual’s level of impairment due to cannabis is still in development at this time, CMHA Ontario recommends a zero-tolerance policy for cannabis consumption in any motorized vehicle in order to ensure road safety during this time of transition. A zero-tolerance policy would include both the driver of the motorized vehicle, as well as any passengers in the car. It is important that a clear message be sent to the public as soon as possible regarding zero tolerance for impaired driving due to cannabis use.”

Interestingly, the CMHA Ontario has taken an alternative approach to youth access of cannabis. In a move that runs counter to what most US citizens would think wise, the Cannabis Legalization and Regulation report actually recommends a minimum legal age of purchase to be 19 years:

“Frequent cannabis use can harm a developing brain and there is no evidence that supports a specific age when cannabis use is safe for young people. However, there are concerns that a higher minimum age may contribute to young people accessing cannabis from illegal sources. Establishing a higher minimum age standard will be less effective in undermining the black market, and may leave youth both criminalized and reliant on it.”

The report also recommends a mandatory public health training similar to workers in the food service industry and development of a regulatory “cannabis control board”.

The politics of cannabis legalization are playing out on the international field, and governmental agencies are coming up with new and interesting approaches to regulation. Canada has certainly shown itself a leader in its experimentation with cannabis laws, and will likely continue as a trend-setter in the future.


EAST LANSING — A proposal to close all medical marijuana dispensaries operating in Michigan until the state starts officially licensing them drew outrage today from people who depend on the drug to treat a variety of ailments.

Donald Bailey, a retired Michigan State Police trooper and member of the Michigan Medical Marijuana Licensing Board, said the dispensaries should be shut down by Sept. 5 and any outlets that remain open should not be eligible to apply for licenses when the state makes those applications available on Dec. 15.
“Every dispensary out there is open in violation of the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act,” Bailey said during an afternoon meeting of the board. “It’s a felony for every sale that occurs from a dispensary.”

After hearing from dozens of medical marijuana patients and potential future marijuana business owners, the board decided to table Bailey’s proposal.

“I have a degenerative bone disorder and discovering medical marijuana was a game changer for me,” said Mark Gibson of Detroit. “Before you make a rash decision, the financial cost for people who rely on dispensaries for product will be significant. You will complicate their life so much that they may not be able to get treatment.”

Kirk Reed, who uses medical marijuana to treat multiple sclerosis, said he fears having to go back to the black market to get his supply.

“What happens if your caregiver has a heart attack, where do you go for medicine?” he said.

And Tim Beck, who was instrumental in getting the medical marijuana constitutional amendment on the 2008 ballot, said he was dumbfounded when he heard the proposal.

“This comes across to me as petty, vindictive and authoritarian,” he said.

But not all of the couple of hundred people attending the meeting were on the side of existing businesses. Some people who want to be considered for a license when the state begins accepting applications don’t want to be shut out of the market by people who have been operating dispensaries without a license from the state.

And David Scott, supervisor of Commerce Township, said there are 67 grow operations in his township, many of which are growing more plants than are allowed by existing law.

“Knock off the crap that’s illegal and is nothing but organized crime,” he said.

Voters approved medical marijuana in 2008, allowing caregivers to grow up to 12 plants for each of six patients who have approved medical marijuana cards.

Some communities went after dispensaries, shut them down and criminally charged the owners. Other communities, such as Detroit, Lansing, Flint, Ypsilanti and Ann Arbor, allowed the pot shops to operate without police intervention. In Detroit, there are more than 70 shops that are operating that have either gone through or are completing the city’s approval process.

To address the confusion and uncertainty in the medical marijuana law, the Legislature passed laws last year to regulate and tax the medical marijuana business. The new legislation will allow five classes of medical marijuana licenses — those for growers, processers, testing facilities, dispensaries and transporters. The legislation also calls for three classes of medical marijuana growers — those who can grow up to 500 plants, 501-1,000 plants and 1,001 to 1,500 plants.

The medical marijuana licensing board, working with the state Licensing and Regulatory Affairs department, will begin issuing licenses next year.

LARA spokesman Jason Moon said the department is prepared to review Bailey’s proposal before the board’s next meeting in mid-September. Board chairman Rick Johnson said he expects the board to vote on the dispensary closure issue at the next meeting after getting a recommendation from LARA..

Before the state begins issuing licenses, cities, townships and villages have to decide whether they want medical marijuana businesses in their communities. That’s a process that’s going on now and some cities are deciding to ban the businesses from their towns.


To the surprise of many, tinctures are actually a form of extraction — concentrating herbs into their most potent form with the use of alcohol (similar to how vanilla extract is produced).

A simple dropper full of tincture can do amazing things for anxiety, sleep, focus, pain, immunity boost, allergies (the list goes on). Tinctures are a simple way to replenish and infuse your body with herbal power.

Tinctures are versatile — they can be taken directly under the tongue or mixed into your favorite drink for a more soothing experience.

Alcohol-based tinctures are the standard in most herbology practices because of their long shelf-life of several years and the effective way alcohol strips all the beneficial goodness from herbs. However, there are plenty of alternatives to alcohol extraction. I personally love glycerin tinctures because they’re sweet like honey, making them a great addition to tea. Apple cider vinegar can also be used as an alcohol substitute. For a tasty compromise, many herbalists combine alcohol and glycerin to take away some of alcohol’s bite in their tinctures. If you’re avoiding alcohol but want to make an alcohol-based tincture, you can use the tincture in hot drinks or foods so that the alcohol evaporates off before ingestion.

Herbal Tincture Recipe

What You’ll Need:

A clean glass jar with a lid

Enough herbs of your choice (see below) to fill half of the jar

Consumable alcohol that’s at least 80-proof (Vodka or Rum work great, as do Apple Cider Vinegar and food-grade Vegetable Glycerine if you’re avoiding alcohol)


Dropper Bottles

Let’s Talk Herbs…

This tincture is designed to reduce anxiety, so we’ve selected herbs that are known to be calming. A tincture is really a blank canvas, you can add any herbs you want to achieve your desired effect. Check out this article about herbs to help you sleep and this article about herbs to help you focus, then try them out in your tincture recipes. It’s fun to experiment because you can’t really go wrong!


Anti-Anxiety Herbs:

Valerian is an incredibly calming herb used to treat PTSD, anxiety, and panic attacks.

Skullcap is an effective, tension-relieving herb that helps reduce restlessness and racing thoughts.

Passionflower helps melt stress and anxiety while restoring healthy, productive energy.

Kava is one of the most potent anti-anxiety herbs in the world. It is typically consumed as a tea but can be added to tinctures for stress and anxiety relief.

This recipe can be made with or without cannabis, but all of us here at can attest that adding cannabis will take your tincture to the next medicinal level.

Cannabis is an incredibly powerful medicinal herb. However, when it comes to anxiety, things can get a little tricky. Marijuana has the notorious reputation of instilling a sense of paranoia, and thus, anxiety. High doses of THC without the proper counterbalance of CBD can produce feelings of anxiety, and in some cases, induce a panic attack. This is why it is important, especially for an anti-anxiety tincture, to source high-CBD cannabis. This will make all the difference. High-CBD cannabis is classified as a 1:1 ratio of CBD:THC or higher. Marijuana that tests in this range is very effective at reducing and eliminating anxiety.

Step One:

Fill your jar halfway with herbs, without packing them down. You can mix your herbs in any ratio you please to fit your specific needs. I wanted mine to be cannabis-dominant so I’m going to add 1 cup of CBD cannabis flower (hash works great as well, just add about half). I carry a lot of my anxiety as shoulder and neck tension, so I’m going to add ½ cup of skullcap which is great for reducing muscle tension. And to finish off my jar I’m going to add ¼ cup of valerian to calm my racing heart and thoughts.

Optional step: Add boiling water, just enough to dampen the herbs in order to activate and release more medicinal benefits.


Step Two:

Fill the rest of your jar with alcohol (or a substitute). Remember, you can always do a combination of alcohol and glycerin (or honey if you don’t have glycerin on hand). I’m going to add a couple tablespoons of honey to ensure some extra sweetness in my rum-based tincture. Stir with a clean utensil to mix all that goodness together!


Step Three:

Tightly close the lid, place the jar in a cool and dark location, and patiently wait. Make sure to give it a little shake every couple of days. In 4-6 weeks it will be fully infused and ready for the final step!


Step Four:

Here we are, 4-6 weeks later and your tincture is fully infused and looking beautiful. It’s time to strain out the herbs and collect the tincture. Use a cheesecloth to strain the herbs as you pour out your liquid concentrate. You can either pour your tincture directly into a dropper bottle or into another airtight container to transfer into dropper bottles later. The used herbs make great compost or chicken snacks.


Now, it’s time to finally enjoy your tincture! For dosing, take 1-2 droppers full at the first sign of anxiety. For me, an alcohol-based tincture is a little too much to put under my tongue so I typically place my tincture into a hot cup of tea which will evaporate the active alcohol.

I’d love to hear about your experiences and your personalized tincture recipes in the comments below.

Happy healing!


Medical marijuana will soon be available in chewable tablets, lozenges, and ointments under new regulations announced Thursday by the state Health Department.

As part of an effort to expand New York’s struggling medical pot program, the Health Department announced that it would authorize several new ways patients can take the drug and also make it easier for prospective patients to gain access to licensed dispensaries. New products to be allowed also include marijuana patches, effervescent tablets and certain non-smokable forms of ground plant material.

Previously, New York’s medical marijuana offerings were mostly limited to liquids and oils for vaporization and capsules to be taken orally. Only non-smokable forms of the drug are allowed under state law.

“This is yet another positive step forward for New York State’s Medical Marijuana Program,” said state Health Commissioner Howard Zucker. “These regulations will continue to improve the program in several ways, including making new forms of medical marijuana available and improving the dispensing facility experience.”

As part of the proposed new regulations, the state also intends to ease restrictions that prevented anyone other than state-certified marijuana patients from entering pot dispensaries. Under the new rules, which are likely to take effect in September, any prospective patient can enter a facility to gain information and learn about the program.

Zucker also announced that the state intended to offer a shorter, two-hour online training program for doctors to go along with the four-hour program now available. Under state law, only doctors who have taken the training program can certify patients for medical marijuana use.

Since it started in January of 2016, New York’s medical marijuana program has struggled to attract both patients and doctors. As of Tuesday, there were 26,561 certified patients and 1,155 registered practitioners participating in the program.

“We welcome these regulatory changes and are hopeful they will help enhance patient access,” Ari Hoffnung, CEO of Vireo Health of New York, one of the first companies licensed to grow pot in the state.

The new regulations were the latest of several steps the state has taken to try and boost the program. Last week, the state announced that it was licensing five new companies to grow and distribute the drug, effectively doubling the number of medical marijuana producers operating in New York.

Earlier this year, the state added chronic pain to the list of ailments eligible for marijuana treatment. A bill to add post-traumatic stress disorder to the list was passed by the Legislature this year but has not yet been sent to Gov. Cuomo, who hasn’t said whether he’d sign it into law.

Meanwhile, the five existing companies that were licensed to produce pot when the program began in 2016 have filed seeking to block the state from registering the five new companies. The lawsuit argues that adding more companies without legislative approval would harm the medical marijuana program and overstep the Health Department’s authority.