- There were more than 70,000 overdose deaths in the U.S. in 2017 (4,854 of those were in Ohio, according to the Ohio department of Health).
- Overdose deaths increased across the U.S. by 10 percent and in Ohio by 20 percent.
- Ohio had the second highest rate of overdose deaths, behind only West Virginia.
- Most states in the western half of the U.S. had lower than average rates of overdoses. Most of the states with higher than average overdose death rates were in the eastern half of the U.S.
“The state is being heavily influenced by the marijuana industry to tell you your product is safe. There have been…recalls because of additives, pesticides, and molds, so it’s really ‘buyer beware.’
Historically, alcoholic beverages have been regulated and sold differently from other products. And spirits have been regulated differently than beer and wine—for good reason. William Kerr, PhD, Senior Scientist at the Alcohol Research Group, a program of the Public Health Institute, put it this way: “Spirits having a higher concentration of alcohol than other beverages, present greater public health risk than other forms of alcohol.” As a researcher in the field for many years, he has a great deal of data to back this up.
In addition to the higher alcohol by volume causing more intoxication per ounce consumed, spirits have been linked to increased risk for illness and disease compared to other types of alcohol. Higher risk for certain cancers has been linked to spirits. Studies in Spain and Puerto Rico found that oral cancers occurred more often in drinkers of spirits.
A number of medical journals have published studies reporting that other diseases and illnesses have been linked to higher spirit consumption. These include cirrhosis of the liver, diabetes, heart disease and stroke.
Amanda Candow’s path to using marijuana for her multiple sclerosis is complicated. She used to be against using any kind of marijuana until she was diagnosed in 2011 and was offered a joint.
“That’s how I found out that it actually helped my medical condition,” said Candow.
“Patients tend to be extremely motivated, and completely appropriately, by anecdotal evidence,” said Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine’s Dr. Ted Parran.
Dr. Parran says doctors should need more medical proof before prescribing any kind of cannabis as a medicine.
One of the barriers to getting that research has been the fact that marijuana is still defined as a Schedule 1 drug, the most dangerous and addictive classification. That’s limited how many medical studies have been conducted with marijuana and Dr. Parran says the research that has been done has had limited results.
A final decision on the legality of a controversial drug is expected imminently from the US government.
The drug, called Kratom, has pitted government regulators against scientists and advocates. The Food and Drug Administration has called it a dangerous opioid and sought to ban it by making it a Schedule 1 drug like heroin or ecstasy. Some advocates say it’s helped them end their addiction to opioids, and scientists want to keep exploring its potential as a medical treatment.
Right now, researchers at the DEA are evaluating the two main components in kratom. They’ll either rule the same for both ingredients, effectively banning all forms of kratom nationwide, or they’ll ban one and make the other potentially available as a medicine at a later date. That’s according to Melvin Patterson, a spokesperson with the Drug Enforcement Administration who described the ruling as forthcoming.
Ohio officials say it could be a leafy green Christmas for some medical marijuana patients as small amounts of cannabis become available for sale before the end of the year.
The Columbus Dispatch reports a spokeswoman for the Ohio Department of Commerce says the state’s first harvested marijuana plants should be processed, tested and on dispensary shelves next month.
Spokeswoman Kerry Francis says delays in certifying testing labs that gauge potency and examine plant products for contamination has thwarted plans to make cannabis available this month.
She says large amounts of marijuana should be available at dispensaries starting early next year.
Nearly 320 doctors have registered to become recommending physicians for people who have one or more of Ohio’s 21 qualifying medical conditions for legal cannabis use.
According to a Grand View Research report, the global B2C e-commerce market is expected to grow 12% annually to $7,724.8 billion by 2025. The growth in the industry is attributed to increased disposable income levels and rising internet and smartphones penetration. Billion Dollar Unicorn Shopify is helping retailers establish and improve their dot-com presence to drive this growth.
Ottawa-based Shopify was founded in 2006 by Tobias Lütke, Daniel Weinand, and Scott Lake when they set up an online store, Snowdevil, to sell snowboarding equipment. When the three were setting up the store, they realized that there did not exist a service that allowed them to list their products on a number of marketplaces while retaining the ability to maintain their own brand and establish relationships with their customers. To fill this gap, the three set up Shopify.
Ohio is just potentially weeks away from marijuana’s legal debut.
Soon, Ohio patients with nearly two dozen medically approved conditions will be able to buy and use medical marijuana. But while the program may be ready to roll, growers across the state are getting ready.
At Cresco Labs in Yellow Springs, Sean Demme is one of a handful of cultivation agents in the state.
“There is a lot of science that goes into it,” Demme said.
Part of his job is pruning pot plants.
“We are essentially making it easier for them to grow how we want,” Demme said.
The Columbus native was drawn to the industry after studying plants at Ohio University. This at a time when Cresco Labs is preparing for its first Ohio harvest.
“We are excited,” said Dennis Plamondon, the director of cultivation at Cresco Labs.
The company operates marijuana programs in six different states. Their Yellow Springs facility is more than 50,000-square-feet and is one of 13 level one or large growers in Ohio.
As Ohio employers decide whether their policies should accommodate workers who need medical marijuana, a new study shows adolescents and young adults who abstain from cannabis for a month have improved memory.
The Massachusetts General Hospital study, published in the latest issue of the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, will likely be referenced among Ohio employers and educators as medical marijuana hits the market, which could be soon.
In one week, the State Medical Board of Ohio will begin accepting petitions to add qualifying medical conditions to the state’s medical marijuana program.
According to the Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program, the medical board will start accepting the petitions on November 1.
Petitions need to include:
- The name and contact information
- Specific disease or condition requested to be added
- Information from experts who specialize in the study of the disease or condition
- Relevant medical or scientific evidence
- Consideration of whether conventional medical therapies are insufficient to treat or alleviate the disease or condition
- Evidence supporting the use of medical marijuana to treat or alleviate the disease or condition and other types of medical or scientific documentation
- Letters of support provided by physicians
Petitions need to be filed through the medical marijuana program’s website, medicalmarijuana.ohio.gov between November 1 and December 31. Early petitions will not be accepted.