Tag Archives: Cannabis

5 Top Cannabis Stocks to Consider Buying Now

Cannabis, grass, marijuana, pot, weed. Whatever you want to call it, many cannabis industry stocks are red-hot. Several companies are racing to serve the medical cannabis markets in countries across the world. Some are targeting the recreational market. Others are developing cannabinoid drugs. And that presents opportunities for investors. 

The bad news, though, is that many cannabis stocks aren’t good alternatives. They’re either ultra-risky penny stocks or in danger of negative consequences from a crackdown by the U.S. government, which still outlaws the use and sale of cannabis products. However, some stocks are worthy of investors’ attention. Here’s why Aurora Cannabis (NASDAQOTH:ACBFF)Canopy Growth (NASDAQOTH:TWMJF)GW Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:GWPH)Insys Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:INSY), and MedReleaf (NASDAQOTH:MEDFF) are top cannabis stocks to consider buying now.

Aurora Cannabis

Aurora Cannabis ranks as one of the biggest suppliers of medical cannabis in Canada. The company also is moving forward to provide medical cannabis in Australia and Germany, with an eye toward further international expansion.

It’s been a fantastic year for Aurora Cannabis stock so far in 2017. Shares have soared over 260% year to date. This momentum has been fueled by three key factors. First, the medical cannabis market in Canada has grown tremendously. In its last quarter, Aurora reported year-over-year revenue growth of 39%. Second, like its peers, Aurora eagerly anticipates legalization of recreational marijuana in Canada next year. This presents a huge additional market for the company. 

Another major reason behind Aurora’s phenomenal rise is the company’s acquisition strategy. Aurora recently launched an attempt to acquire smaller marijuana grower CanniMed Therapeutics. If the deal goes through, the combined companies would have five cultivation facilities (and more coming) with the capacity to produce 130,000 kilograms of cannabis each year. 

Canopy Growth

It’s a similar story for Canopy Growth. The company currently stands as the No. 1 medical cannabis provider in Canada in revenue and market cap. Canopy Growth has also aggressively expanded internationally, with subsidiaries or partners in Australia, Brazil, Chile, Denmark, Germany, Jamaica, and Spain. 

Like Aurora Cannabis, Canopy Growth has enjoyed a tremendous year. The stock is up nearly 120% so far in 2017. Strong sales growth of medical cannabis was a big reason for this impressive performance. Canopy reported its revenue in the last quarter more than doubled that of the prior-year period. The company is poised for even greater growth with the legalization of the recreational use of marijuana in Canada in 2018.

Major alcoholic beverage maker Constellation Brands announced in October that it was buying a 9.9% stake in Canopy Growth for $245 million. Constellation is also partnering with Canopy to market a cannabis-infused beer. This endorsement by a huge company gives Canopy Growth a stamp of approval that no other cannabis stock currently has, which should make Canopy Growth especially intriguing to investors.  

 

GW Pharmaceuticals

GW Pharmaceuticals ranks as the largest pure-play cannabis stock, with a market cap of over $3 billion. The biotech focuses on development of cannabinoids and recently completed its submission for U.S. regulatory approval of cannabidiol drug Epidiolex. 

It’s been a topsy-turvy year for GW Pharmaceuticals stock. The biotech’s share price has swung up and down by double-digit percentages several times, but is now up over 10% for the year. Some of this volatility stemmed from the potential for another drug to become a threat to Epidiolex. 

Still, the chances of approval for Epidiolex in the treatment of Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS) appear to be pretty good. GW conducted three late-stage clinical studies, all of which showed solid efficacy for the company’s lead product. And although there are some drug-drug interactions with Epidiolex, I suspect that they will probably be addressed on the product label rather than holding up approval.

Assuming it does win approval, Epidiolex should succeed commercially. It’s hard to accurately predict peak annual sales for the drug, but somewhere in the ballpark of $800 million to $1 billion doesn’t seem out of the question. Based on an optimistic view of the biotech’s prospects, GW Pharmaceuticals stock should have plenty of room to go higher.

Insys Pharmaceuticals

Insys Pharmaceuticals is something of an oddball in this group of cannabis stocks. Like GW Pharmaceuticals, Insys is a biotech with a focus on cannabinoid drugs. However, unlike all of the others on the list, Insys stock has tanked in 2017. Shares are down more than 40% year to date.

What’s behind this huge plunge — and why should investors still consider Insys? First, the bad news. Sales for Insys’ current lead product, Subsys, continue to fall in the midst of national concerns about the opioid epidemic. Insys’ founder (who is no longer with the company) was arrested on charges related to past marketing practices for Subsys. And Insys is itself the target of federal and state probes into its marketing of Subsys.

Better news could be in store for Insys, though. The stock appears to have hit bottom. Even a big third-quarter earnings miss didn’t affect the share price much. Insys expects Subsys sales to stabilize. The company recently launched cannabinoid drug Syndros and thinks sales will slowly grow until they reach around $200 million annually. Insys is also working to settle the investigations into its past marketing practices and appears to have gotten its house in order. With a market cap of less than $400 million, any positive developments could lead to a huge rebound for this beaten-down cannabis stock. 

MedReleaf

MedReleaf is yet another Canadian medical cannabis stock to keep your eye on. It has the second-highest sales and the fourth-highest market cap among the medical cannabis stocks. MedReleaf stock is also one of the newest on the market, with the company conducting its initial public offering in June. 

While MedReleaf stock’s performance so far in 2017 lags behind Aurora Cannabis and Canopy Growth, year-to-date gains of nearly 90% aren’t bad at all. The company’s sales growth hasn’t been at the level of its peers, in part due to reliance on sales of dried cannabis, which isn’t as lucrative as cannabidiol (CBD) products. MedReleaf has taken steps to shift more toward CBD, though. 

All of the positive dynamics going for Aurora and Canopy Growth also apply to MedReleaf. Medical cannabis markets are growing across the world. Canadian legalization of recreational cannabis should be just around the corner. And if other large beverage companies decide to follow Constellation Brands’ lead, MedReleaf could be an attractive partner. 

Consider carefully

I think all five of these cannabis stocks should beat the market in 2018. However, definitely consider carefully before jumping aboard any of them.

All three of the Canadian cannabis stocks are priced at astronomical levels based on their current sales. While they should enjoy tremendous growth, any delays in legalization of recreational marijuana in Canada would hurt in a major way.

The two biotechs, GW Pharmaceuticals and Insys, face different risks. It’s possible that Epidiolex fails to win approval. If that happens, GW stock will no doubt crater. Insys could be required to pay a much larger amount to settle with the U.S. Department of Justice than expected. There’s also a chance that Subsys sales won’t stabilize.

Investing in anything comes down to risks versus rewards. The potential rewards of buying these cannabis stocks are high, in my view. But so are the risks.

Newly released! 10 stocks we like better than Canopy Growth Corporation
On December 1, investing geniuses David and Tom Gardner revealed what they believe are the ten best stocks for investors to buy right now… and Canopy Growth Corporation wasn’t one of them! That’s right — they think these 10 stocks are even better buys.

Source:

https://www.fool.com/investing/2017/12/03/5-top-cannabis-stocks-to-consider-buying-now.aspx

You could make $70,000 right out of college with a degree in marijuana studies

The University of Northern Michigan is offering a new degree this year: medicinal plant chemistry. And apparently it pays.

“All of our graduates are going to be qualified to be analysts in a lab setting,” Brandon Canfield, the associate professor of analytical chemistry who started the program, tells CNBC Make It. That could lead to a position that pays $70,000 right out of school, he adds.

But first students have to actually graduate. According to one of the programs earliest participants, Northern Michigan sophomore Alex Roth, who has 400-level classes like Biostatics and Gas and Liquid Chromatography to get through, that’s not as simple as it sounds.

 

“When they hear what my major is, there are a lot of people who say, ‘Wow, cool, dude. You’re going to get a degree growing marijuana,'” Roth said, the Detroit Free Press reported. “It’s not an easy degree at all.”

The program doesn’t just focus on horticulture. It combines courses on chemistry, biology, marketing and financial management.

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In fact, students won’t even be growing marijuana, Canfield says, though that is the first question everyone asks him.

There are a couple specific tracks offered within the major. One has a bio-analytical focus. Those students could go on to graduate programs, says Canfield, and they’ll be strong job candidates because they will have completed an independent study.

The other track is for aspiring entrepreneurs. For those students, it’s not clear what the future might hold. To offer an example of what they could do, Canfield suggests they might open a growing operation with a lab in-house.

“We have a small sample set of students right now, so we’re not sure where the greater interest is going to be,” he says, “but some students are very enthusiastic about the business track.”

He came up with the idea for the program in 2016 after attending an American Chemistry Society meeting and hearing members of the cannabis chemistry subdivision speak.

“One of the recurring themes involved the lack of preparedness or the lack of competency in a lot of the existing analytical labs,” he explains. “The speakers were expressing a great need for increased skilled laboratory technicians, analysts and oversight.”

Source:

https://www.cnbc.com/2017/10/20/you-could-make-70000-out-of-college-with-a-ba-in-marijuana-studies.html

Nevada sold out of legal marijuana so quickly, the government used a ‘statement of emergency’ to bring in more weed

On July 1, Nevada locals and tourists visiting from out of state waited hours in line in triple-digit temperatures to become the first in the state to purchase legal recreational marijuana.

Less than two weeks later, the 47 retailers licensed to sell the drug are running out of supply.

The Nevada Tax Commission, a subsidiary of the state Department of Taxation, has passed a new regulation to address the shortage in a unanimous vote.

The commission found that the current pool of stores licensed to distribute marijuana is insufficient to support the market. It will reopen applications and allow dispensaries previously operating in the medical marijuana program to vie for a spot in the recreational market.

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The regulation come as a response to a “statement of emergency” issued by the department and endorsed by Governor Brian Sandoval late last week.

The governor did not declare a “state of emergency,” which is typically used in times of natural disaster when local government requires the help of state agencies. Rather, a statement of emergency allows for swift changes in regulations during temporary scenarios, said Mari St. Martin, communications director of the Office of Governor Brian Sandoval, in a statement.

Nearly 50 dispensaries in the Las Vegas area have licenses to sell marijuana for recreational use. When sales got underway on July 1, those retailers could sell their inventory to anyone over the age of 21 with a valid ID. But those same stores cannot legally restock their supply.

Alcohol wholesalers have the exclusive rights to move marijuana from growers to retailers in Nevada, as part of a temporary court order that was extended in June. The rule aims to “promote the goal of regulating marijuana similar to alcohol” — and protect liquor stores from losing business as the demand for recreational marijuana rises.

Nevada is the only state with legal marijuana that has such an arrangement. The state intends to appeal the order, so that its medical pot shops can obtain distribution licenses.

On Thursday, purveyors of both alcohol and marijuana packed a government building in Carson City, Nevada, where the Nevada Tax Commission met to discuss the situation.<

Deonne Contine, executive director of the state Department of Taxation, warned regulators that a marijuana shortage could create a budget shortfall in Nevada. A 15% tax on the plant’s cultivation generates revenue that the state spends on public education.

The industry could bring the state more than $1.1 billion in tax revenue over the next eight years, according to a study by Las Vegas-based RCG Economics.

Neal Gidvani, senior counsel with Greenspoon Marder’s Cannabis Law practice in Las Vegas, called the commission’s decision “a step in the right direction for the cannabis marketplace.”

“It is imperative that all those involved with the industry work together to ensure consumers have adequate access to the product and can purchase marijuana in a safe environment,” Gidvani said.

Regulators pried open a channel for distribution in the hours before the commission meeting. The state awarded its first distribution license to Crooked Wine Company, which has partnered with a medical marijuana logistics company to transport recreational weed from farm to store.

There are approximately 70 licensed alcohol wholesalers in the state, but only seven applied for marijuana distribution licenses as of Thursday. Contine said the department has issued two total licenses to alcohol wholesalers, but the other five submitted incomplete applications.

Source:

http://www.businessinsider.com/nevada-marijuana-shortage-statement-of-emergency-2017-7

Vermont Legislature becomes first in U.S. to vote to legalize recreational marijuana use

Vermont’s Legislature on Wednesday became the first in the country to vote to legalize the recreational use of marijuana.

The legislation, which passed the House by a 79-66 vote, would allow adults to possess and use small amounts of the drug beginning next year. The bill was identical to one passed last week by the Senate that also sets up a commission to study the best way to regulate marijuana.

The bill now heads to Republican Gov. Phil Scott, whose spokeswoman said he’s not philosophically opposed to legalizing marijuana but must be sure the bill answers certain public safety and health questions.

“He’ll review the bill when received to determine if those questions are addressed,” spokeswoman Rebecca Kelley said after the vote.

If Scott signs the legislation it will become law on July 1, 2018.

Under the legislation, small amounts of marijuana would be legal to possess and grow for anyone over age 21. Larger amounts would remain illegal.

A nine-member commission will develop a proposal to tax and regulate marijuana, and the proposal will be presented to lawmakers next year.

Before Vermont’s vote, eight states and the District of Columbia had legalized the recreational use of small amounts of marijuana. The vote by Vermont lawmakers, however, was the first to legalize marijuana separate from a voter initiative.

The hour-long debate before the vote featured impassioned comments by some lawmakers who felt legalizing marijuana would lead to increased substance abuse, car accidents and other unintended consequences.

“This is voting for trouble. We’ve got a lot of problems, and this is only going to make it worse,” said Rep. Ben Joseph, a Democrat from North Hero.

But opponents’ arguments were countered by others who said that marijuana use is already prevalent in Vermont and passing the law could give the state a say in its regulation, end the black market and possibly increase state revenue.

“What is changing is the landscape of our region,” said Rep. Ruqaiyah Morris, a Democrat from Bennington, whose home is less than 10 miles from Massachusetts, where retail marijuana sales are due to begin in mid-2018. “This is going to happen. We can either be pro-active and be part of this conversation and ensure we are thinking about all these things, including some sort of a mechanism to address them, or we can just take a wait-and-see approach and deal with it next year.”

Source:

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/ct-vermont-recreational-marijuana-use-20170510-story.html

More Than a Quarter of Americans Would Substitute Marijuana for Beer, New Survey Shows

What’s faster than a speeding locomotive? Move over Superman, it’s the marijuana industry.

Since 1996, more than half of all U.S. states have legalized medical cannabis for select ailments, and since 2012 residents in eight states have voted to allow recreational pot to be sold to adults ages 21 and up. These figures are jaw-dropping considering that in 1995, according to a Gallup poll, just 25% of respondents were in favor of legalizing weed nationally. Today, that figure stands at 60%, an all-time high.

A separate poll recently conducted by the independent Quinnipiac University found 59% support for national approval compared to 36% who opposed it. Support for a nationwide approval of medical marijuana was overwhelming at 93%.

Of course, it’s more than just the rapidly changing public opinion that allowed legal pot sales in North America to grow by 34% to $6.9 billion in 2016, as reported by ArcView Market Research. It’s the almighty dollar. Investment firm Cowen & Co. predicts that sales of legal weed could grow to $50 billion by 2026, which represents an average growth rate of more than 23% for the decade. You’d probably struggle to find an industry that could generate 23% compound annual growth for a decade.

But, does the “green rush” stand a chance at competing with one of the oldest and most profitable industries on the planet: beer? According to the latest survey results from the Cannabiz Consumer Group, this weed is growing.

 

Would consumers substitute cannabis for beer?

Cannabiz Consumer Group questioned approximately 40,000 Americans in 2016 about their cannabis and beer consumption habits. It was specifically interested in finding out whether beer drinkers were substituting or forgoing beer in favor of cannabis. The results showed that 27% of beer drinkers had purchased cannabis instead of beer or would do so if weed were legal in their state.

The report also implies that there won’t be a “novelty factor” associated with legalized cannabis. It’s not uncommon for consumers to flock to a new product once it’s introduced, but have that interest fade over time. The Cannabiz Consumer Group’s results suggest that won’t be the case with legal weed, since consumers “tend to be more invested in the products that they are buying, including understanding the potency, strains, and formats available and uses for pain management, holistic health, and relaxation.”

So what does this all mean for the beer industry? According to the predictions, it could cede $2 billion in annual retail sales to cannabis, with the pot industry gobbling up 7.1% of revenue from the existing beer industry.

Nonetheless, even a mature marijuana industry is only likely to generate half as much in annual sales as the U.S. beer industry, so you investors in Anheuser-Busch InBev(NYSE:BUD), which controls roughly 45% of the U.S. beer market, can probably breathe a sigh of relief. 

 

Furthermore, as you’ll see below, pot’s pie-in-the-sky growth estimates may not come to fruition.

Legal pot’s expansion is about to get more difficult

Last month, White House press secretary Sean Spicer sent shockwaves throughout the legal marijuana industry by announcing that the Trump Administration would more strictly enforce federal marijuana regulations relative to the extremely lax Obama administration, which kept a hands-off approach to federal regulation. This statement was a clear departure from the prior administration and a potential signal that Trump may renege on his pot pledge during his campaign.

The good news for proponents of marijuana is that Trump has thrown his full support behind medical marijuana previously, and it doesn’t appear that he’ll be enacting any legislation that would otherwise compromise a patients’ access to medical cannabis. This is likely to remain entirely a states’ rights issue.

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Source:

https://www.fool.com/investing/2017/03/25/more-than-a-quarter-of-americans-would-substitut-2.aspx

Jesce Horton is the owner of Panacea Valley Gardens a cultivation center and boutique edibles line serving cannabis patients in Portland, OR.

In addition to providing a network of contacts and educational resources for aspiring entrepreneurs of color, MCBA advocates for legislative changes to state and local policies that impose legal and financial barriers to legal weed for many would-be business owners and consumers of color.

Beyond its being a “slap in the face” to the communities hurt most by marijuana enforcement, Horton sees the legal industry’s lack of diversity as a real hindrance to its potential for growth.

“It’s not just about doing the right thing and doing the moral thing,” he said. “But I think we’re in a unique industry where doing the right and the moral thing means more money, means more growth, means more sustainability.”

Meanwhile, in New York, Plowden and his fellow co-founders at the nonprofit Cannabis Cultural Association are hoping to get ahead of this issue by educating people of color on the evolving city and state marijuana policies, and encouraging minority involvement in the ancillary products of the cannabis industry, such as vaporizers and hemp products.

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“We know we can’t do the same things as California or Portland can do,” but, Plowden insisted, it’s important to start having these conversations about diversity now.

“The industry is coming, but if we don’t have somewhat of a structure set up, we can stumble and put ourselves back 20 years,” he said.

For both men, their missions to reshape the black community’s relationship with marijuana have led them to change the conversation within their own families.

About a year or two ago, Plowden broke his family’s long-standing “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy and asked his great-aunt Molly if she smoked weed. Yes, she answered, adding, “you’re the first one in the family to honestly ask me that question.” A few months later, she spoke at one of CCA’s events about her experience with marijuana and the effects of drug laws on her family.

Even Plowden’s mother has recently begun exploring medical marijuana as an option for dealing with skin cancer. However, she continues to implore her son to use caution, reminding him, “You’re still a black man who is promoting something that’s federally illegal.”

More than four years after he gave up his comfortable corporate career, Horton says, his parents are “very, very excited” about his success in the legal cannabis industry.

“My dad sees that I’m an entrepreneur now,” he said. “I’m much, much happier than I was when I was in corporate.”

Horton has also opened the door for other members of his family, like his cousin and brother, who both moved to Oregon to work with him. More than anything, though, marijuana is no longer the cause of family strife.

“My dad is a cannabis consumer; he always has been,” Horton said. Now “we can finally smoke together.”

Source:

https://www.yahoo.com/news/african-american-families-hit-hard-war-drugs-pot-comes-shadows-slowly-092711075.html

8 COMMON MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT INDUSTRIAL HEMP

Hemp has gotten a bad rap over the years. It wasn’t that long ago that this plant was widely used in our society for making fabric, building supplies, and paper. As a matter of fact, the original Declaration of Independence was written on hemp paper.

Of course, this was all before industrial hemp growth and cultivation became illegal. What many people do not know is that hemp is different from recreational or medicinal marijuana. The hemp plant is non-psychoactive, meaning it will not get you high, which begs the question: Why is it even illegal in the first place?

It’s crazy that there is there was a plant available to us today that could be grown in pretty much any soil, requires no pesticides and it takes very little maintenance to grow, and this magical plant could be used for a very large number of necessities and goods we use today yet we don’t use it.

These plants are and have been illegal for quite some time, and the only people who are allowed to grow it have to do so under very tight regulations.

Recently, College Humor went ahead and made a pretty comical video that neatly summed up exactly how Hemp and Marijuana both became illegal. You can view that here.

1. Hemp and Recreational/Medicinal Marijuana DO Come From the Same Plant

While all derived from the same plant, Cannabis Sativa L, hemp, and recreational marijuana are still vastly different products. Marijuana contains high levels of THC, the active component that gets you high, while hemp is cultivated to contain little-to-no THC. The marijuana plants grown to produce the flowering buds we find on the street or in dispensaries contain, on average, around 12% THC. By comparison, hemp plants contains less than 1%. Currently in the United States, the cannabis plant is considered to be industrial hemp if it contains less than 0.3% THC.

 

2. It Is Legal to Transport Hemp in the U.S.

Within the U.S. it is only legal to bring hemp across state lines in its processed form. Included in this are products containing hemp like skin lotions, granola bars, etc. Hemp is also used to make a number of popular CBD products, and you can find these in most states. CBD is the non-psychoactive active component of the hemp plant, and it has a number of potentially healing properties. This makes hemp products ideal for those who can’t access medicinal marijuana or for those who want the health benefits without the high, such as children.

3. Researching Hemp Is a Waste of Time

Just because we have already researched the properties of this plant doesn’t mean that we should stop there. There is always more to be discovered, and when something has the potential to be life-changing, to drastically improve someone’s quality of life, it definitely deserves to be given a second, third, and even fourth look.

4. Hemp Can Save the World

Being such a bold statement, most consider this claim false. However, hemp can be used to make food, clothing, shelter, fuel, and medicine, and considering how scarce such resources are becoming, and how unsustainably they are being produced, we should be exploring every avenue possible. The hemp plant can help accommodate many of our basic needs, and for this reason alone we should be utilizing it much more than we are right now.

5. Hemp Can Only Be Used to Make Textiles

Believe it or not, hemp has been being cultivated for nearly 10,000 years. Many believe this plant to be the first agricultural crop, as many ancient civilizations used the plant to make clothing, rope, and boat sails. Although textiles are a wonderful use for the hemp plant, this only scratches the surface of what this plant is capable of. The hemp plant contains protein- and magnesium-rich seeds that are a great addition to any diet. The plant can also be used to make fuel, biodegradable plastics, building blocks for construction, and cosmetic products. This list goes on.

6. Consuming Hemp Will Cause a Positive Drug Test

If you are concerned about a drug test at work, you do not have to worry that hemp seeds or CBD will show up. These tests look specifically for THC, and if you are consuming government approved products — those containing less than 0.3% THC — then you will be fine. Unless you are going out of your way to have an all-hemp diet, and consuming tons of it, you have nothing to worry about.

7. The Hemp Plant Is Male, Marijuana Female

Because these two products come from the same species of plant, as mentioned above, they have the potential to be either male or female. THC content is determined, not by gender, but by how the plant has been bred and engineered over time. Hemp is not given the opportunity to mature; it grows quickly and is cut down much earlier than its cousin marijuana, which is allowed to fully mature.

8. Cultivation of Industrial Hemp Is Legal

Surprisingly, this is incorrect. The growth and cultivation of industrial hemp is only legal in accordance with agricultural pilot programs allowed to study the growth, cultivation, and marketing of industrial hemp, and in certain states only.

Collective Evolution has a very large collection of articles relating to the medicinal properties, nutritional benefits, and various other uses of the hemp plant. To access these articles.

Are there some other common misconceptions that you can think of about the hemp plant? Let us know.

Source:

http://www.collective-evolution.com/2017/04/05/8-common-misconceptions-about-industrial-hemp/

A ‘Catch-22’ of medical marijuana and organ transplants

A rise in the use of medical marijuana has spurred a debate about organ transplantation, and it’s changing some laws across the nation.

Garry Godfrey found out in 2010 that he was removed from an organ transplant waiting list in Maine due to a health risk associated with his use of medical marijuana, CNN affiliate WGME reported. Now Godfrey is speaking out in support of a bill in Maine that would prohibit hospitals from determining a patient’s suitability for transplantation solely on the basis of medical marijuana use (PDF).
That bill is in committee, and similar legislation has been passed in other states, including California, Washington, Illinois, Arizona, Delaware and New Hampshire (PDF).
Godfrey, 32, uses marijuana to relieve pain and other symptoms he suffers due to Alport syndrome, a genetic condition that can cause renal failure — and he needs a new kidney, WGME reported.
“I’ve tried so many pharmaceuticals and none of them worked, but the medical cannabis does,” Godfrey told WGME. “It helps me function. It helps me take care of my kids.”
But if a transplant candidate already has a compromised immune system and is taking prescribed or recreational marijuana, that can increase their risk of a deadly fungal infection known as Aspergillosis during the transplantation process, according to a press statement released this week by the Maine Transplant Program. Once off marijuana, patients can be put back on the waiting list.
Meanwhile, researchers are desperately trying to better understand the potential health risk that may be associated with marijuana use and organ transplantation.

‘When we turn someone down, it’s a personal failure’

“The thing that comes up with marijuana is the risk of pulmonary infections, (specifically) fungal infections with Aspergillosis,” said Dr. David Klassen, chief medical officer at the United Network for Organ Sharing.
Such infections “can be an absolutely devastating complication but, you know, how often does that really happen? How likely is it? Those questions are less well understood,” Klassen said. “It’s a question of how much risk does that really impose versus the benefit that the patient potentially gets from getting the transplant.”
The Maine Transplant Program has a policy in place around marijuana because two people who had transplants died as a result of the fungal infection, Maine Medical Center spokesman Clay Holtzman said. Both patients had smoked marijuana, which suggests it might have been the cause of the infections. It’s not clear what the risks are around edible medical marijuana, he said.
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