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Harvard study finds CBD products don’t always do what they say on the tin



A US analysis of CBD products has confirmed some customer’s fears: They don’t always do what they say on the tin.

Experts from Massachusetts General Hospital at Harvard Medical School examined the toxicology of medical cannabis products and discovered contents labels misrepresented what was actually in the treatments.

The study concluded levels of THC – the intoxicating and usually illegal compound in cannabis – found in products marketed as CBD-only was of particular concern.

Researchers at the prestigious institution analysed urine samples from nearly 100 patients enrolled in a clinical trial looking at the effect of medical cannabis for anxiety, depression, pain or insomnia.

The results showed no CBD in about a third of the urine samples from patients who said they were using cannabis products that were CBD-dominant or had roughly equal parts CBD and THC.

THC was detected in almost 80% of those samples, including among patients who thought they were only receiving CBD.

Jodi M. Gilman, the paper’s lead author and an investigator in the Center for Addiction Medicine in MGH’s Department of Psychiatry, said: “People are buying products they think are THC-free but in fact contain a significant amount of THC.

“One patient reported that she took a product she thought only contained CBD, and then when driving home that day she felt intoxicated, disoriented and very scared.”

How CBD products are regulated is a major challenge to the industry globally but experts believe the UK Government’s decision to categorise them as ‘novel foods’ and impose strict quality checks will force misleading products out of the market.

From April onward, customers purchasing CBD products in the UK can have a degree of confidence that the product they are ingesting is as described on the label and throughly lab tested.

Companies are awaiting validation from the Food Standards Agency and those who failed to submit suitable safety and analytic data will see their products pulled from shelves.

The US study underpins why consumer confidence in some products can be low as people look for CBD products they can be certain don’t contain other compounds.

But America has unique regulatory challenges due to the fact cannabis products are still outlawed federally despite more than a dozen states moving to legalise medical and recreational usage.

The paper’s author’s say this has led to a ‘patchwork of laws that have varied impact on guaranteeing that consumers get what they expect’.


Economic sovereignty for indigenous farmers through cannabis cultivation

The NACA has signed three groundbreaking agreements which support the use of tribal farmland for cannabis cultivation.



Economic sovereignty for indigenous farmers through cannabis cultivation

The Native American Cannabis Alliance has signed three groundbreaking agreements that aim to support the use of 500,000 acres of tribal farmland for cannabis cultivation in a move that the Alliance says will provide economic sovereignty to indigenous farmers.

Native American Cannabis Alliance (NACA), a joint venture of Tim Houseberg, the executive director of Cherokee Nation-based Native Health Matters Foundation, and Everscore, the first direct-to-consumer marketplace for THC and CBD products, has signed three memorandums of understanding (MoU) with indigenous farmers from tribes such as Mohawk Nation, Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribal Nations.

These agreements will support the use of tribal farmland for cannabis farming with agricultural services, the development of manufacturing campuses to process cannabis grown the land, workforce development, and access to offtake agreements by brands selling on the Everscore online marketplace.

Houseberg commented: “Our people come from a rich heritage of cultivation and the cannabis industry provides an historical opportunity for First Nations to work together to shape the future of the industry and provide sovereignty to our communities.

“Through NACA, indigenous farmers will be known worldwide for their quality products by brands and consumers alike.”

“The cannabis industry is experiencing explosive growth and is expected to be a $100 billion-dollar industry by 2030, but the opportunity is not shared equally,” said Jeffrey Sampson, CEO and Founder of Everscore. 

“We use modern technology to bridge the fragmented supply chain and create a more collaborative, sustainable ecosystem while benefitting indigenous communities. Brands selling on Everscore will now have a one-stop option for high-quality supply built on transparency.”

Nathan Hart, Secretary of Agriculture, Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes, added: “The core of our agriculture operations is the health of our soils. 

“We believe in a relationship where we take care of the soils, healthy soils produce healthy vegetation which produces healthy products for human consumption. We desire that our hemp programme be involved in educating others from the producers, to the processors, to the end consumers. This system of reciprocity is a core value we greatly respect.”

“As many of our traditions, cultivation has been passed down from generation to generation,” said Roger Jock, representative of the Mohawk Bear Clan people. “NACA is operated in the spirit of the tribal alliances formed hundreds of years ago with the benefit of modern technology. 

“We invite our fellow tribes to explore joining NACA to activate the next generation of indigenous farmers and secure sovereignty for all.”

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National Underwriter to provide cannabis certifications for insurers

The certification has been launched for the needs of insurance producers, agents, risk managers, and others in cannabis business.



National Underwriter to provide cannabis certifications for insurers

The National Underwriter Company is launching one of the first certifications for insurance agents, brokers, risk managers and professionals who advise cannabis-related businesses.

ALM business, the National Underwriter Company is launching the Cannabis Insurance Coverage Specialist (CICS) certification for the needs of insurance producers, agents, risk managers, and those in various areas of the cannabis business.

The CICS is the most complete professional learning programme available for industry professionals seeking to master the complex and ever-evolving subject of cannabis insurance coverage. 

Created by ALM’s subject matter experts and thought leaders, in conjunction with multiple insurance, legal and cannabis industry experts, the programme will offer an introductory course with real-life case studies, Cannabis Insurance 101, and lessons on risk management, real estate issues, product liability and claims, cannabis issues for business advisors, including financial services professionals and attorneys and medical and health issues surrounding the use of cannabis, including workers’ compensation and employment law concerns.

Molly Miller, ALM’s chief content officer, commented: “We wanted to create a forward-thinking certification that would benefit professionals serving the cannabis industry, as well as growers, suppliers, manufacturers, dispensaries and others who are a critical aspect of this still evolving industry.

“These courses will focus on providing an in-depth look at the challenges and opportunities businesses face daily.”

“Businesses in the cannabis industry face many of the same daily issues as other enterprises, but with some unique challenges due to cannabis still considered a Schedule 1 substance,” commented Kieran J. O’Rourke, vice president and director of underwriting for Cannasure Insurance Services, a subsidiary of One80 Intermediaries. 

“Educating the insurance industry about these unique risks allows carriers to better serve these expanding businesses.”

Cannabis Insurance 101 and the certification programme are approved for continuing education credits in a number of states in America. 

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GPS to advance global cannabis industry with cannabis collective acquisition

Global consortium Gateway Proven Strategies has acquired the Global Cannabis Network Collective.



GPS cannabis collective acquisition to advance global cannabis industry

Gateway Proven Strategies has acquired the Global Network Collective in a move that aims to advance the global cannabis industry.

The global consortium Gateway Proven Strategies has acquired the Global Cannabis Network Collective (GCNC) which is an elite network for cannabis executives that aim to transform international trade in the cannabis industry. 

“This is a true merging of the minds. We have great respect for GCNC’s achievements joining global companies to expand the international supply chain,” said GPS founder and chairman, Bob Hoban.

“This acquisition is a natural fit initiating the next phase for GPS. It accelerates our goal of being the most trusted firm focused on helping companies navigate global markets and supporting ethically-minded entities in expanding the cannabis marketplace.”

The agreement brings Chris Day and Jillian Reddish, co-founders of GCNC, into ownership and executive positions at Gateway Proven Strategies.

As well as joining the board of directors, both Day and Reddish will assume the titles of chief marketing officer and senior vice president for communications.

Day commented: “The GCNC is known for a culture of C-Suite members who understand the value in knowledge share across sectors and cultures. That understanding is also an essential ingredient in the collaborative client relationships that GPS is known for. By expanding this ecosystem of cannabis leaders, everybody wins.

“The GCNC will continue to operate as it has but this acquisition provides more support and depth of expertise to serve the goals of GCNC members worldwide.”

Gateway Proven Strategies says the acquisition opens new pathways to support the development of cannabis as an economic accelerator, allowing it to work with companies, individuals, capital fund managers and governments around the world to minimise risk and responsibly maximise return. 

“This industry needs a paradigm shift that better aligns multinational operators, legislators and researchers with the needs of patients, consumers and economies. I am confident that the pool of creative minds in the GPS family are up to the challenge of navigating the global cannabis industry towards becoming the transformative economic driver we all need it to be,” added Reddish.

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