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U.S.: GW Pharma Moves To Monopolize CBD Market

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By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

Bruce Barcott of Leafly has exposed some actions taken by GW Pharma (NASDAQ: GWPH) that seem to attempt to limit competition from suppliers of CBD.

Lobbyists have been engaged in several states by the company and its U.S. subsidiary, Greenwich BioSciences, companies which are both supporting legislation in South Dakota and Nebraska that would “effectively give GW/Greenwich a temporary monopoly on legal CBD products” in those states for its Epidiolex.

If given FDA approval, Epidiolex could be on the market in early 2018. Legislation advancing in both South Dakota and Nebraska suggests that CBD would be permitted only from FDA-approved providers.

Barcott says GW Pharma and Greenwich BioSciences have hired lobbyists in Arizona, Florida, Idaho, Minnesota, Nebraska, South Dakota, Washington and Wisconsin and possibly in California. Barcott attempted to contact GW Pharma for comment but has not yet received a reply. Should GW Pharma succeed in stifling competition, it could have a serious impact on hopeful in-state poducers of CBD, as well as companies both foreign and domestic who extract CBD from industrial hemp.

California: Loud Cannabis Skirmish With Google Featured On Yahoo Finance

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The Green Exchange, Inc., developers of "Loud Cannabis," the world's first HIPAA compliant service that connects marijuana growers directly to patients, on Thursday announced that the story of their ongoing battle with tech giant Google, was featured in Yahoo Finance. The article was titled, "For cannabis apps, the road to the app store is paved with rejection."

"Google's Play and Apple's app stores are home to hundreds of cannabis-related apps, but one that aims to cut the middlemen by connecting growers with customers in California — which legalized medical marijuana in 1996 — just got yanked from the virtual shelf," the Yahoo article reported.

The Loud Cannabis App was created to provide a "farm-to-table" direct link between growers and medical marijuana patients, as well as a safer and smarter alternative to other delivery app services that utilize 3rd party drivers whom are often unscreened and do not undergo background checks.

The mission of Loud Cannabis is to serve a co-op of growers, along with medical marijuana patients who want the freshest, organic cannabis available.

The app, which debuted on Google Play last summer, was recently kicked out of the Google store. "We had no indication they were going to pull the rug out from under our feet," Loud Cannabis founder and CEO Josh Artman said.

U.S.: WeedWatch Parody of Apple Watch Advocates 'Time For A Change'

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Coinciding with the release of the Apple Watch on April 20, a Seattle-based multimedia company, Higher Ground, has created a parody ad to bring attention to marijuana legalization. The ad, “WeedWatch,” features a photo of the iWatch with the simple text, “Time for a Change: Legalize It.” A variety of marijuana-related icons and apps are featured on the device’s face.

One of the most innovative features of Apple’s Watch is the ability for users to customize the face of the device, and add additional information. In Higher Ground’s parody, they have taken the liberty to do just that!

The watch face is full of humorous and advocacy-related apps including NORML (National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws), SXSW, Leafly (a Yelp-like mobile app for marijuana), 7-11, Cannabis News Network, and Doritos. The time? 4:20.

“The Apple Watch is a revolutionary product, and the legalization of marijuana in states across the country is also a revolutionary movement,” notes Higher Ground Editor-in-Chief Michael A. Stusser. “The message of our parody is as simple as the solution to the War on Drugs: Legalize It. It’s time to end Prohibition, and legalize, regulate and tax cannabis at the federal level.”

U.S.: Medical Marijuana Advocates Run Chronic Pain Ads In USA Today NFL Editions

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Americans for Safe Access and Leafly team up to educate public on therapeutic effects of cannabis for chronic pain

Medical marijuana advocacy organization Americans for Safe Access (ASA) has teamed up with cannabis information resource Leafly to run advertisements starting Sunday in USA Today's NFL Special Edition, which will be read by football fans across the country.

The quarter-page ads will run for 30 days, followed by digital online ads, and will focus on the markets for the Atlanta Falcons, Chicago Bears, Dallas Cowboys, Denver Broncos, Green Bay Packers, Miami Dolphins, New England Patriots, New York Giants, and Philadelphia Eagles.

The USA Today advertisement depicts a football player with the captions "100 million Americans suffer from chronic pain," and "9 in 10 retired players suffer from pain on a daily basis." The ad then points readers to further information on the therapeutic effects of medical marijuana on chronic pain. "Medical marijuana works on pain even when opiates don't," reads the ad before directing readers to the website: http://AmericansForSafeAccess.org/football.

U.S.: Comparing Marijuana Prices Gets Easier, Thanks To Wikileaf

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

A website known as the "Priceline of pot" allows medical marijuana patients to compare cannabis costs at 1,100 dispensaries in six states, according to Wikileaf founder Dan Nelson.

Nelson, a financial blogger, said based the site on the interest rate comparison model for banks, reports Jolie Lee of the USA TODAY Network. "I thought the same dynamic could be applied to the medical and legal marijuana businesses," Nelson said.

Users of the site can set how much they want to pay, and how many miles they can travel for marijuana. They have to actually travel to the listed dispensaries to complete the purchase. Favorite strains can also be located.

Sites such as Wikileaf, along with competitors Weedmaps, Leafly and THC Finder, give dispensaries the opportunity for exposure. Nelson said Wikileaf is different, because the other sites are focused on user ratings.

His site, Nelson said, is the first to offer price comparisons. "I'd go to a dispensary that offered me a strain for this amount of money, and I'd walk two blocks down, and a dispensary would offer me twice as much for the same amount of money," Nelson said.

U.S.: Snoop Dogg To Rally Support For Cannabis Movement At Wellness Retreats In Seattle And Denver

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A record 58 percent of Americans now believe cannabis should be legal and regulated similarly to alcohol and tobacco. With Washington and Colorado at the forefront of the movement to end cannabis prohibition, Seattle-based Leafly is sponsoring Snoop Dogg's Wellness Retreat concerts at the WAMU Theater in Seattle on 4/19 and at Red Rocks Amphitheater in Denver on 4/20.

Guests in Seattle will join Snoop (aka Snoop Lion), Wiz Khalifa and other special guests. Denver guests will join Snoop, Wiz, YG and Smoke DZA as they take over Red Rocks Theater.

In addition, online cannabis information and education resource Leafly has partnered with Snoop Dogg to launch the #MyLeaf social media contest, giving fans the chance to be Leafly's behind-the-scenes photographer at Snoop's Wellness Retreat. Participating in the #MyLeaf contest is easy: tag @Leafly and use #MyLeaf with a photo or video on Twitter, Instagram or Vine that showcases creative/artistic support for the cannabis movement.

Entries are accepted between now and Monday, April 14 at 11:59pm PDT. Full terms and conditions can be found http://bit.ly/snoopleaf.

"Snoop's Wellness Retreat represents a movement that's changing mindsets around cannabis," according to Leafly, a leading source of information on cannabis strains and where to legally access them.

Global: Leafly.com Unveils Mainstream Cannabis News and Information Section

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Leafly.com has introduced a cannabis news and culture section, covering topics ranging from industry news to advocacy efforts and resources for people new to cannabis, including FAQs, how-to guides, advice for choosing a dispensary, and a dispensary patient "bill of rights."

Described as "Yelp for medical cannabis patients," Leafly is designed to help patients find the marijuana strains and dispensaries for their medical needs through an online environment. The site features more than 50,000 patient-generated reviews of more than 500 strains of cannabis, along with 22,000 patient reviews of 3,300 dispensaries in the United States, Canada, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Israel.

"This is a big step forward for cannabis patients," said Christian Groh, vice president of sales and Leafly and partner of Privateer Holdings. "Expanding Leafly's education and information resources will allow patients to make informed decisions about their treatment in a mainstream, professional environment."

To lead the expansion, Leafly hired Rebecca Kelley as its new Content & Community manager. Kelley brings almost a decade of experience in online content development and marketing to the Leafly team.

In her new role, Kelley will oversee a team of four content creators tasked with developing Leafly into a news and culture resource for cannabis patients. Previously, she served as content marketing manager for Intego (an industry leader in Mac antivirus and security software), and also held similar positions at This or That Media, and SEOmoz.

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