Wednesday, June 12, 2019

2,500-Year-Old Tomb Offers Earliest Evidence of Humans Using Cannabis

An excavation of a tomb in China has revealed the earliest clear evidence of humans using cannabis for its psychoactive properties.
Cannabis has been cultivated as a crop for millennia, but there's been little historical or archeological evidence showing when humans began to use the plant for what it's best known for today: getting high.

However, an excavation of a 2,500-year-old tomb in western China has revealed the earliest clear evidence of humans using cannabis for its psychoactive properties.

Scientists from China and Germany analyzed wooden fragments and burnt stones from pots in the tombs, and the results showed an exact match to the chemical signature of cannabis -- particularly that with a high amount of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the most potent psychoactive agent in the plant.

The authors of the study, which was published Wednesday in journal Science Advances, suggested that cannabis was probably used during burial ceremonies, perhaps as a way to communicate with the divine or the dead.

The brazier and burnt stones.

However, it was unlikely that cannabis was smoked in the same way it is today. More likely, it would have been burnt like incense in an enclosed space to release vapors.
Nicole Boivin, director of the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History and an author of the report, said the cannabis was burned on hot stones inside wooden braziers, containers for hot coals.

"This is the only way that cannabis could have been smoked prior to the arrival of pipe technology, which is not until much later, it seems," she said.

The 10 braziers were found in the Jirzankal cemetery in the Pamir Mountains near the Chinese border with Pakistan.

Mystery solved?
It had long been a mystery when and where varieties of cannabis plants with higher levels of psychoactive compounds were recognized and used by humans, according to the study.

Cannabis plants were cultivated in East Asia for their oily seeds and fiber from at least 4000 BC. However, the early varieties of cannabis, as well as most wild populations, had low levels of THC and other compounds with psychoactive properties, the authors said.

The tomb in western China.

Many historians had placed the origins of cannabis smoking on the ancient Central Asian steppes, but these arguments relied solely on a passage from a single text from the late first millennium BC, written by the Greek historian Herodotus.

The authors said this study offers the first concrete evidence for cannabis smoking in this area, although it is still unclear whether the people buried at Jirzankal cemetery actively cultivated cannabis or simply sought out higher THC-producing plants.

"Finding evidence for ancient drug use is a bit like finding a needle in a haystack, because this kind of evidence is rare due to there being few opportunities for long-term preservation of the remains of activities involving drug use, which is very ephemeral, and doesn't necessarily leave a lot in the way of physical evidence," Boivun said.

The authors said that cannabis plants produce greater quantities of active compounds when they grow at higher elevations, and this may be why more potent plants had been discovered -- and a new use initiated -- by people living in high mountainous regions like the Pamirs.

Although the region is remote today, it may once have sat on the Silk Road, a key trade route.

"Our study implies that knowledge of cannabis smoking and specific high-chemical-producing varieties of the cannabis plant were among the cultural traditions that spread along these exchange routes," Robert Spengler, the lead archaeobotanist for the study who is also at the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History, said in a statement.

"Modern perspectives on cannabis vary tremendously cross-culturally, but it is clear that the plant has a long history of human use, medicinally, ritually, and recreationally, over countless millennia," Spengler added.


Americans for Safe Access and Aurelius Data Join Forces to Create a Research Platform to Benefit Cannabis Patients


Washington, D.C., June 12, 2019, Today, Americans for Safe Access (ASA), the leading advocacy organization dedicated to ensuring safe and legal access to cannabis (marijuana) for therapeutic use and research, and Aurelius Data, Inc.(AD), the premier patient perception big data company, and announced a bold new partnership to gather and analyze millions of data points from cannabis patients.
ASA and AD both recognize that while science has made significant strides in cannabis research, there is still a significant gap in education for providers and patients. With the partnership between ASA and AD, the data gathered and analyzed will advance the role of patient use and perception to the forefront of research. Combining that knowledge with chemical product analysis, patient perceived effectiveness, efficacy, form factor, and mechanisms of action (methods of administration) will yield a much-needed educational resource for patients and caregivers, providers, and the industry.
As stated by Dr. Amy Abernathy, the Acting CIO of the Federal Drug Administration, on May 31st of this year, “Systematic studies are needed. It sounds like a number of studies are available or underway. We also wonder if real-world evidence derived from electronic health records, personal monitors, administrative data, etc. can be used to address critical questions in this space.”
Through this joint patient-first initiative, ASA and AD seek to develop a research platform that creates a culture of transparency, integrity and education through data. Aurelius Data’s proprietary AURA platform and analysis tools will compile the use, perception and biometric data of consumers, for which conditions the products are being used and then matching that data with the product’s chemical analyses, and quality information. The insights generated from the platform will be available to users through the AURA mobile application, along with a community offering product education, support and best practices. #SafeAccess
“ASA is excited to be partnering with Aurelius Data, who shares a patient-first mission,” said Debbie Churgai, Interim Director of ASA. “Creating a patient focused community through the AURA platform gives our subscribers a way to connect and discover what regimens are working for other patients, offering an opportunity for real results and lasting change through research.” #MedicalCannabis, #CannabisAdvocacy
"We are so fortunate that ASA recognizes that this partnership allows us to be stronger together and to support a goal that is dear to all of us—to create trust and consistency for patients, and provide a real pathway to effective, standardized treatments," said Julie Armstrong, CEO of Aurelius Data, Inc. #AureliusData
"The Moonshot is to let the data lead the way to identifying novel approaches to treatment, new therapies and outcomes; All without the bias of marketing and advertising, and without the influence of sources who don’t have the patient’s best outcomes as a focus. We recognize our responsibility to the subscribership of ASA and seek to honor this collaboration through providing fresh insights and a value-added community through our AURA platform”, said Armstrong. #BeyondTheStrain

"In that spirit, we're very enthusiastic about the potential of this groundbreaking partnership to drive solutions and improve outcomes for cannabis patients and consumers everywhere," said Churgai.

Americans for Safe Access
The mission of Americans for Safe Access (ASA) is to ensure safe and legal access to cannabis (marijuana) for therapeutic use and research.

ASA was founded in 2002 as a vehicle for patients to advocate for the acceptance of cannabis as medicine. With over 100,000 advocates in all 50 states, ASA is the largest national member-based organization of patients, medical professionals, scientists and concerned citizens promoting safe and legal access to cannabis for therapeutic use and research. ASA works to overcome political, social and legal barriers by creating policies that improve access to medical cannabis for patients and researchers through legislation, education, litigation, research, grassroots empowerment, advocacy and services for patients, governments, medical professionals, and medical cannabis providers.

Aurelius Data, Inc
Aurelius Data, Inc. (AD) is a patient use and perception focused big data company. We deliver insights from analyzing the intersection of science, user perception, product use, chemical analysis, and the users’ reported medical condition and symptom resolution.
Our mission is to put the patient first, by increasing confidence and understanding, drive product development, boost customer retention, reveal cutting edge IP discoveries, and provide immediate, tangible value to every user. Our anonymously gathered data follows HIPPA compliance and immediately benefits the user through a continuous feedback loop of user input, product recommendations and community connection. Our vision is to go beyond the Strain and create a reliable product use and efficacy reference for cannabis users.

Reenal Doshi, Director of Communications and Outreach, Americans for Safe Access, (202) 857-4272 x. 4
Jim Bachand, Business Advisor, Aurelius Data, Inc., (501) 420-4206

Friday, June 7, 2019

New Mexico’s Medical Cannabis Program Now Has 28 Qualifying Health Conditions

The New Mexico Department of Health (NMDOH) announced on Thursday, June 6 2019 that, effective immediately, several new qualifying conditions for enrollment will be added for the state Medical Cannabis Program (MCP).

Topping the list is opioid use disorder, a condition the program’s Medical Cannabis Advisory Board unanimously recommended (Medical Cannabis Advisory Board Approves Petition) to support at its most recent meeting in late March. Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham committed to adding the condition the program in an effort to continue the state’s downward trend in drug overdose deaths.

In addition to ruling on the board’s recommendations from March, NMDOH Cabinet Secretary Kunkel also ruled on a backlog of recommendations made by the board at its two previous meetings in September and December of last year, both left undecided by the previous administration.

The additional new qualifying medical conditions for the MCP are:
  • Alzheimer’s Disease (Unknown Petitioner)
  • Autism Spectrum Disorder (Petitioned to be added by Safe Access New Mexico)
  • Three Degenerative Neurological Disorders: Friedreich’s Ataxia, Lewy Body Disease, and Spinal Muscular Atrophy (Petitioned to be added by Safe Access New Mexico)
The six new qualifying conditions raises the total number of qualifying conditions for the program to 28.

In the last year, Safe Access New Mexico (A Chapter of Americans For Safe Access), has had success in getting 5 New health conditions added into New Mexico’s Medical Cannabis Program.
“We need to explore and pursue every available means of responding to the health and wellness needs of our neighbors here in New Mexico,” Gov. Lujan Grisham said.
“Compassion must guide our decision-making. Today marks an important and long-overdue step forward after too many years of status quo.”

“Adding these conditions to the Medical Cannabis Program provides medical providers new tools for relieving symptoms that may otherwise be difficult, if not impossible in some cases, to relieve through conventional means,” said Secretary Kunkel. “Thousands of New Mexicans may find relief from their symptoms through medical cannabis that they can’t get anywhere else.”

The Medical Cannabis Advisory Board did not recommend the addition of Nystagmus (a condition that causes involuntary eye movement) or People Ages 65 and over. The Secretary of Health accepts their recommendation not to add these qualifying conditions. Substance Use Disorder was recommended but will not be adopted at this time as the term is overly broad and needs additional clarification.

The full document outlining the Secretary of Health’s decision can be found in Medical Cannabis Advisory Board Reports and Recommendations. The Medical Cannabis Program provides more information for health providers, patients and caregivers.

At the end of May 2019, the New Mexico Medical Cannabis Program now has almost 75,000 registered participants with over 90 dispensaries operated by 35 licensed non-profit producers (LNPP’s). The Medical Cannabis Program (MCP) was created in 2007, as the Lynn and Erin Compassionate Use Act, under chapter 210 Senate Bill 523. New Mexico’s medical cannabis history started in 1978, after public hearings the legislature enacted H.B. 329, the nation’s first law recognizing the medical value of cannabis…the first law.
There is no cost to apply to be a registered participant in the New Mexico Medical Cannabis Program. The new qualifying health conditions are already updated on the patient and caregiver applications.

There are now 28 qualifying conditions for the medical cannabis program in New Mexico:

  1. Alzheimer's Disease
  2. Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)
  3. Autism Spectrum Disorder
  4. Cancer
  5. Crohn's Disease
  6. Damage to the Nervous Tissue of the Spinal Cord (with objective neurological indication of intractable spasticity)
  7. Epilepsy/Seizure Disorder
  8. Friedreich's Ataxia
  9. Glaucoma
  10. Hepatitis C Infection
  11. HIV/AIDS
  12. Hospice Care
  13. Huntington's Disease
  14. Inclusion Body Myositis
  15. Inflammatory Autoimmune Mediated Arthritis
  16. Intractable Nausea/Vomiting
  17. Lewy Body Disease
  18. Multiple Sclerosis
  19. Obstructive Sleep Apnea
  20. Opioid Use Disorder
  21. Painful Peripheral Neuropathy
  22. Parkinson's Disease
  23. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
  24. Severe Anorexia/Cachexia
  25. Severe Chronic Pain
  26. Spasmodic Torticollis (Cervical Dystonia)
  27. Spinal Muscular Atrophy
  28. Ulcerative Colitis

The New Mexico Department of Health reports that each day, the Medical Cannabis Program receives hundreds of patient applications. The Program has 30 days to approve a completed application from the date we receive it in our office. While it is the patient’s responsibility to submit an application at least 30 days before their card expires, the Program strongly encourages patients submit applications 60 days prior to their card expiring.

Here is how patients and providers can help to ensure a smooth approval process.
  • Make sure required signatures are on the application, including from the patient and certifying practitioner.
  • Include a current, valid copy of your New Mexico identification card or your New Mexico’s Driver’s License. Most of the incomplete applications received by the Program are due to missing or expired New Mexico identification cards or expired or missing NM Driver’s License cards.
  • Please follow the checklist on the application to ensure all required information is submitted.
Any New Mexico practitioner with prescribing authority, including your primary care provider, can sign the medical certification on the patient application.

The New Mexico Department of Health’s Medical Cannabis Program is not affiliated with any third-party businesses that sign patient certifications or complete patient applications. If you have paid a third party to complete your patient application, we advise that you call them first to check when they mailed or delivered your application to the Department of Health.

Forms & Documents From the New Mexico Department of Health Medical Cannabis Program Office:

This section is a comprehensive reference to all of the forms, documents, publications and resources that are currently available for the Medical Cannabis Program (MCP).

Medical Cannabis Patient Application

Medical Cannabis Caregiver Application

Medical Cannabis Personal Production Application

General Information:

Medical Cannabis Law Enforcement Fact Sheet

Lynn and Erin Compassionate Use Act

Medical Cannabis Petition Requirements

MCP Rules & Regulations:
NMAC 7.34.2 - Medical cannabis advisory board responsibilities and duties.

NMAC 7.34.3 - Medical cannabis registry identification cards.

NMAC 7.34.4 - Medical cannabis licensing requirements for producers, couriers, manufacturers and laboratories.

Medical Cannabis Program Contact Information:
Physical Address
Medical Cannabis Program
1474 Rodeo Rd., Suite 200
Santa Fe, NM 87505
505-827-2321 (Phone)
505-476-3025 (Fax)

Mailing Address
Department of Health
Medical Cannabis Program
PO Box 26110
Santa Fe, NM, 87502-6110

Email Address

Effective Dates of New Cannabis Related Laws for New Mexico in 2019:
Cannabis Decriminalization for the State, The effective date of the provisions of this act is July 1, 2019 (SB-323 Link:

Medical Cannabis Changes Law (SB-406) June 14 is the Effective date of this legislation since it is not a general appropriation bill or a bill carrying an emergency clause or other specified date. (SB-406 Link:

Add E-Cigs to Clean Indoor Air Act, June 14 is the Effective date of this legislation since it is not a general appropriation bill or a bill carrying an emergency clause or other specified date. (Link:

Medical Cannabis in Schools Law, SB-204, June 14 is the Effective date of this legislation since it is not a general appropriation bill or a bill carrying an emergency clause or other specified date. (Link:

“Section 2. PURPOSE OF ACT.—The purpose of the Lynn and Erin Compassionate Use Act is to allow the beneficial use of medical cannabis in a regulated system for alleviating symptoms caused by debilitating medical conditions and their medical treatments.”

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

New Mexico Hemp Manufacturing Act Public Hearing Set For June 27-28

LAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP) — The New Mexico Department of Agriculture will be hosting two public hearings on a newly developed hemp manufacturing rule.
Public hearings will be held as follows:
-Thursday, June 27th at 10 a.m. at the Crowne Plaza Albuquerque, located at 1901 University Blvd. NE, in Albuquerque

-Friday, June 28th at 8 a.m. at the New Mexico Department of Agriculture, located at 3190 S. Espina, in Las Cruces on the corner of Espina and Gregg

Interested individuals may provide comments regarding the proposed rulemaking actions at the rule hearing and/or submit written comments via email at Written comments must be received no later than 5 p.m. Friday, June 28. Individuals are encouraged to submit written comments as soon as possible. Persons offering written comments at the meeting must have two copies for the hearing officer.

KOAT: Mixed bag of results: What's really in your CBD bottle?

The proposed rule establishes regulations related to the licensing, fees, eligibility and inspection requirements for people involved in specific activities involving the testing of raw hemp for regulatory purposes.

The rule also will pertain to people involved in specific activities related to the breeding of hemp.

The comment period runs through June 28.

KOB: New Mexico CBD manufacturer prepares for safety, health regulations

Legislation signed into law earlier this year grants the agriculture department and the state environment department regulatory authority over manufacturers, processors, labs, researchers and plant breeders.

The hearing purpose is to develop a rule to accompany statutory language which provides NMDA specific administration authorities related to the licensing and inspection of laboratories testing raw hemp for regulatory purposes, as well as the licensing and inspection of persons breeding hemp that may possess plants greater than .3% and less than 5% THC.  

The 2018 farm bill removed hemp from the federal controlled substances act and provided a framework for the growing of hemp. NMDA is currently licensing hemp producers.

NMDA has worked closely with producers and processors who are seeking security in the development of the extracting, processing and manufacturing components of this new industry.

During the 2019 legislative session, House Bill 581 Hemp Manufacturing Act was passed and signed into law. The legislation grants NMDA and the New Mexico Environment Department the regulatory authority over manufacturers, processors, labs, researchers and plant breeders.

The hemp manufacturing act may be viewed in its entirety at

Legal authority authorizing the rule is granted to the board of regents of New Mexico State University under Chapter 76, Article 24, Section 1, NMSA 1978 Compilation.

The full text of the proposed 21.20.3 NMAC – Hemp Manufacturing Ruleis available at and at NMDA, which is located at 3190 S. Espina in Las Cruces.

View the NMDA Press Release Here:

NMDA Press Release
Associated Press, Wire Service Content June 4, 2019, at 12:29 a.m.