In ‘This Week in Cannabis’ we want to help you uncover leading cannabis news, industry insights, scientific discoveries and more. Our hope is to help educate the greater public on the many uphill battles we still need to achieve prior to legalization. There are still a lot of laws, regulations and problems that cannabis companies and consumers are faced with.

This Week in Cannabis: May 24th-31st, 2020

It’s been another mixed week for the cannabis industry this week. Tough lessons were learned by some, while other groups seem poised to discover bright new concepts. Let’s take a closer look…

High-CBD Cannabis: A Match for the Coronavirus?

A team of researchers from Canada’s University of Lethbridge believes they may have found a way to ward off coronavirus—no untested vaccines or anti-malarial drugs required. 

Based on studies done last month, these researchers think cannabis strains high in CBD could affect the body’s ACE2 receptors enough to reduce coronavirus risk. Essentially, cannabis compounds may block the “gateway” that allows COVID-19 to spread and multiply. 

“We were totally stunned at first, and then we were really happy,” researcher Olga Kovalchuk told CTV news

In the research team’s own words, CBD-rich cannabis products “may become a useful and safe addition to the treatment of COVID-19 as an adjunct therapy.” And the possibilities are many when it comes to formulating suitable products. CBD-rich cannabis “can be used to develop easy-to-use preventative treatments in the form of mouthwash and throat gargle products for both clinical and at-home use.”

While CBD isn’t an outright panacea, why not explore the development of such products? Researchers said it best: “Given the current dire and rapidly evolving epidemiological situation, every possible therapeutic opportunity and avenue must be considered.”

Check out this comprehensive guide for more info on how CBD works.

One More Reason Not to Use Butane

Butane is a popular solvent because of its high efficiency, especially among black-market cannabis extractors. But its pros are outweighed by its cons—for starters, butane is toxic, hard to fully ‘purge’ out of a cannabis extract, and highly flammable. 

And it appears this flammability was the cause of an apocalyptic-level explosion that occurred at LA tobacco shop Smoke Tokes. Investigators believe the explosion, which injured a dozen firefighters, was caused by either butane hash oil or tanks of butane itself. 

There’s another potential problem here: BHO is illegal in California, so was Smoke Tokes running an illicit BHO operation? “Anything a smoke shop wants, we pretty much carry,” Smoke Tokes’s owner had said in a 2018 video, and perhaps he wasn’t joking…

Oceania and the “Cannabis Bowl”

Oceania encompasses the Pacific islands of Australia, New Zealand, and many smaller islands—and legalized cannabis is sweeping over virtually all of them. 

It could be the weather. A report by UK-based cannabis consultants says Oceania is “blessed with regions of sub-tropical climate and an expanse of agricultural space”…and “fast emerging as a global contender in both the medical cannabis and adult-use space thanks to increasingly liberal attitudes in the region.”

Australia’s southernmost state, Victoria, is taking an especially progressive approach. The state hopes to become Australia’s “cannabis bowl,” complete with major “research and development” facilities.

Aurora Cannabis Enters the U.S. CBD Market

After suffering huge losses in some markets, Aurora Cannabis has taken the hint. The company just acquired Massachusetts-based hemp firm Reliva as part of its new plan to focus on domestic CBD. Reliva carries no debt and seems to thrive from a simple yet effective business model. 

Could this acquisition turn Aurora’s balance sheet around? Maybe…and either way, we’re all for CBD brands getting more established. 

Michigan Medical Cannabis Moving Forward

Recreational marijuana was legalized by Michigan voters in 2018, but recreational shops and dispensaries are still pretty hard to come by. 

Between legal hangups and, more recently, extremely strict stay-at-home orders, the recreational market’s struggles have made it easier for Michiganian medical cannabis to shine. The demand for medical cannabis is so strong that some towns have taken to holding lotteries in order to determine which companies get a permit…and which do not. 

So far, companies that feature a “vertically integrated” business model have done best—partially because they can offer cheaper medical-grade products to customers. Let’s hope that the medical market continues to accelerate once Michigan’s economy opens back up. 

To Sum Things Up…

Has there been a time in recent history when medical cannabis has been more needed than the present? Probably not. And on an even larger scale, maybe there’s a silver lining to this whole coronavirus thing after all, if it means people are focusing on their health and on the natural substances that could improve it—CBD included. 

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