Friday, October 19, 2018

United Cannabis Business Association (UCBA) Announces Launch of Americans for Safe Access LA Chapter

LOS ANGELES -- The United Cannabis Business Association (UCBA) will join forces with the Americans for Safe Access (ASA), the nation’s largest patient-focused medical cannabis advocacy organization, to launch the first ASA chapter in the Los Angeles area. Many patients in Southern California still face challenges with safe accessing cannabis, despite evidence supporting its efficacy, and policies legalizing such treatments. The new chapter will launch in October.
The focus of ASA’s LA chapter will be to overcome political, social and legal barriers by developing policies that improve access to medical cannabis for patients and researchers through legislation, education, and litigation. The chapter will will work closely with staff in ASA’s Washington, DC headquarters to ensure that patients remain an important focus in the new market.
Peer-reviewed scientific research has shown cannabis to be an effective treatment for a wide range of illnesses. These include Cancer, HIV/AIDS, Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), among many others.
“We are thrilled to announce this important partnership between United Cannabis Business Association and Americans for Safe Access,” said Ruben Honig, executive director of UCBA. “As a patient who has benefited immensely from cannabis as a treatment for my own autoimmune disease, I know how it can change lives. But I also know that many obstacles to safe access still remain and many patients continue to needlessly suffer. An ASA chapter here in Los Angeles will help Angelenos access much-needed treatments through LA’s legal and legitimate cannabis businesses.”
In 1996, California became the first medical cannabis state when voters approved Prop 215, the Compassionate Use Act, that allowed patients to legally use, possess, and grow cannabis. Emergency rules and regulations implemented in 2017 greatly impacted the state’s medical program, particularly in regards to limits for patients.
Both the 15% excise tax, which makes medicine unaffordable for many patients along with the state’s failure to provide civil protections for patients in the areas of housing and employment protections are issues ASA LA will focus on.
“We are excited to announce that the Los Angeles area now has a fully-fledged chapter of Americans for Safe Access,” said Steph Sherer, Founder and President of Americans for Safe Access. “We look forward to working with this growing chapter to help them improve the California program and the many challenges that patients still face to access this medicine safely.”

The United Cannabis Business Association (UCBA) represents retailers in the City and County of Los Angeles and statewide in Sacramento. Established in 2016, the UCBA has been a leading force in establishing a regulated cannabis industry in Los Angeles: from introducing ballot measures locally and legislation at the state, to taxation issues, licensing, and social equity programs. For more information about the UCBA and to become a member, please visit our website at:
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, by medical cannabis patient Steph Sherer, as a vehicle for patients to advocate for the acceptance of cannabis as medicine. With over 100,000 active members 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.

Contact: Debbie Churgai | 202-857-4272 x.8 | (ASA National Office)

Contact: Naomi Seligman | 310-617-4577 | (LA ASA Chapter rep)

Highway Safety Study: Crashes on the rise in Colorado, other states where recreational cannabis is legal

Image result for Colorado Cannabis DUI

Crashes are up by as much as 6 percent in Colorado, Nevada, Oregon and Washington, compared with neighboring states that haven't legalized cannabis for recreational use, new research from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI) shows. The findings come as campaigns to decriminalize cannabis gain traction with voters and legislators in the U.S., and Canada begins allowing recreational use of cannabis this month.

The two new studies will be presented today at the Combating Alcohol- and Drug-Impaired Driving summit, hosted by IIHS and HLDI at the Vehicle Research Center. The summit brings together highway safety and law enforcement experts to discuss the prevalence and associated risk of alcohol- and drug-impaired driving, as well as strategies to combat impaired driving.

Colorado and Washington were the first states to legalize recreational cannabis for adults 21 and older with voter approval in November 2012. Retail sales began in January 2014 in Colorado and in July 2014 in Washington. Oregon voters approved legalized recreational cannabis in November 2014, and sales started in October 2015. Nevada voters approved recreational cannabis in November 2016, and retail sales began in July 2017.

Important Note: States With Medical Cannabis Programs Only Have And Do See A Decrease In All DUI Deaths State Wide - when its medical only.'Mellow drivers? Study says states with medical-marijuana laws have lower traffic fatality rates.'

HLDI analysts estimate that the frequency of collision claims per insured vehicle year rose a combined 6 percent following the start of retail sales of recreational cannabis in Colorado, Nevada, Oregon and Washington, compared with the control states of Idaho, Montana, Utah and Wyoming. The combined-state analysis is based on collision loss data from January 2012 through October 2017.

Image result for DUI drops in states with medical cannabis programs

Analysts controlled for differences in the rated driver population, insured vehicle fleet, the mix of urban versus rural exposure, unemployment, weather and seasonality.

Collision claims are the most frequent kind of claims insurers receive. Collision coverage insures against physical damage to a driver's vehicle in a crash with an object or other vehicle, generally when the driver is at fault. Claim frequencies are expressed as the number of claims per 100 insured vehicle years. An insured vehicle year is one vehicle insured for one year or two vehicles insured for six months each.

A separate IIHS study examined 2012–16 police-reported crashes before and after retail sales began in Colorado, Oregon and Washington. IIHS estimates that the three states combined saw a 5.2 percent increase in the rate of crashes per million vehicle registrations, compared with neighboring states that didn't legalize cannabis sales.

IIHS researchers compared the change in crash rate in Colorado, Oregon and Washington with the change in crash rates in the neighboring states that didn't enact recreational cannabis laws. Researchers compared Colorado with Nebraska, Wyoming and Utah, and they compared Oregon and Washington with Idaho and Montana. The study controlled for differences in demographics, unemployment and weather in each state.

The size of the effect varied by state. Although the study controlled for several differences among the states, the models can't capture every single difference. For example, cannabis laws in Colorado, Oregon and Washington differ in terms of daily purchase limits, sales taxes and available options for home growers. These differences can influence how often consumers buy cannabis, where they buy it and where they consume it.

The 5.2 percent increase in police-reported crash rates following legalization of recreational cannabis use is consistent with the 6 percent increase in insurance claim rates estimated by HLDI.

"The new IIHS-HLDI research on cannabis and crashes indicates that legalizing cannabis for all uses is having a negative impact on the safety of our roads," says IIHS-HLDI President David Harkey. "States exploring legalizing cannabis should consider this effect on highway safety."

Cannabis is still an illegal controlled substance under federal law.

In addition to the study states, Alaska, California, Maine, Massachusetts, Vermont and the District of Columbia also allow recreational use of cannabis for adults 21 and older and medical use of cannabis. Another 22 states allow medical cannabis, while 15 more states permit the use of specific cannabis products for designated medical conditions.

Legalization of cannabis use is pending in New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania. In November, Michigan and North Dakota will hold referendums on cannabis, and Missouri and Utah voters will decide whether to expand medical cannabis laws in their states.

Driving under the influence of cannabis is illegal in all 50 states and D.C., but determining impairment is challenging. Unlike alcohol, the amount of cannabis present in a person's body doesn't consistently relate to impairment. THC, or Tetrahydrocannabinol, is the primary psychoactive component of cannabis. A positive test for THC and its active metabolite doesn't mean the driver was impaired at the time of the crash. Habitual users of cannabis may have positive blood tests for THC days or weeks after using the drug.

Cannabis and it's role in crashes isn't as clear as the link between alcohol and crashes. Many states don't include consistent information on driver drug use in crash reports, and policies and procedures for drug testing are inconsistent. More drivers in crashes are tested for alcohol than for drugs. When drivers are tested, other drugs are often found in combination with alcohol, which makes it difficult to isolate their separate effects.

"Despite the difficulty of isolating the specific effects of marijuana impairment on crash risk, the evidence is growing that legalizing its use increases crashes," Harkey says.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Americans for Safe Access Launches 2018 Medical Cannabis Voter Scorecard

Washington, DC –  Americans for Safe Access (ASA) launched its Vote Medical Marijuana voter guide. The campaign features an interactive online voter's guide that grades members of Congress on their votes and sponsored bills on the issue of medical cannabis legislation.

ASA’s Voter Guide provides voters with a complete analysis of the current political landscape of medical cannabis in the U.S. Congress, and key state races across the nation. While there hasn't been a full chamber vote on cannabis policy in the House since 2015, and there has never been such a vote in the Senate, “ASA created the Vote Medical Marijuana campaign to help educate supporters and the general public because it is important for voters to know where their legislators stand on these issues," said ASA Executive Director Steph Sherer. "It is critical for medical cannabis advocates to vote in this year’s midterm elections to strengthen medical cannabis laws at both the state and national levels for the benefit of patients all across the United States and its territories.”
Vote Medical Marijuana can help medical cannabis patients, caregivers, and supporters determine if their Congressional representation is doing everything possible to protect medical cannabis programs from federal interference. Utah, Missouri, and some counties in Wisconsin will have medical cannabis on their ballots this November for the first time.
For more information on the campaign, visit: 
For information on the grading criteria, visit: 

Contact: Reenal Doshi | | (202) 857-4272 x4

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Trump Administration Seeks Public Comments On Cannabis Reclassification

Feds want your input about cannabis rescheduling

Anyone with an opinion on cannabis who wants to speak their mind may have a perfect opportunity to do so. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently announced that it is seeking public comments on cannabis and cannabis-related policies. The request for feedback and comments comes as officials prepare to write an official statement for the World Health Organization (WHO), which is considering changing its recommendations on international cannabis laws.

The FDA recently published its call for public comments on the U.S. government’s federal register.

According to the document, the FDA “is requesting interested persons to submit comments concerning abuse potential, actual abuse, medical usefulness, trafficking, and impact of scheduling changes on availability for medical use” of cannabis and a number of drugs.

The FDA plans to gather and review these comments in preparation for writing an official statement on cannabis and cannabis laws. From there, the agency will send its statement to the WHO.

"International Drug Scheduling; Convention on Psychotropic Substances; Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs; ADB–FUBINACA; ADB–CHMINACA; Cyclopropyl Fentanyl; Methoxyacetyl Fentanyl; para-Fluoro Butyrfentanyl; Tramadol; Pregabalin; Cannabis Plant and Resin; and Eight Additional Substances; Request for Comments"

Comment Now!
Due Oct 31 2018, at 11:59 PM ET

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is requesting interested persons to submit comments concerning abuse potential, actual abuse, medical usefulness, trafficking, and impact of scheduling changes on availability for medical use of 16 drug substances. These comments will be considered in preparing a response from the United States to the World Health Organization (WHO) regarding the abuse liability and diversion of these drugs. WHO will use this information to consider whether to recommend that certain international restrictions be placed on these drugs. This notice requesting comments is required by the Controlled Substances Act (the CSA).

Submit either electronic or written comments by October 31, 2018.

You may submit comments as follows. Please note that late, untimely filed comments will not be considered. Electronic comments must be submitted on or before (enter date), 2018. The electronic filing system will accept comments until 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time at the end of October 31, 2018. Comments received by mail/hand delivery/courier (for written/paper submissions) will be considered timely if they are postmarked or the delivery service acceptance receipt is on or before that date.

Electronic Submissions
Submit electronic comments in the following way:

Federal eRulemaking Portal: Follow the instructions for submitting comments. Comments submitted electronically, including attachments, to will be posted to the docket unchanged. Because your comment will be made public, you are solely responsible for ensuring that your comment does not include any confidential information that you or a third party may not wish to be posted, such as medical information, your or anyone else's Social Security number, or confidential business information, such as a manufacturing process. Please note that if you include your name, contact information, or other information that identifies you in the body of your comments, that information will be posted on
If you want to submit a comment with confidential information that you do not wish to be made available to the public, submit the comment as a written/paper submission and in the manner detailed (see “Written/Paper Submissions” and “Instructions”).
Written/Paper Submissions
Submit written/paper submissions as follows:

Mail/Hand delivery/Courier (for written/paper submissions): Dockets Management Staff (HFA-305), Food and Drug Administration, 5630 Fishers Lane, Rm. 1061, Rockville, MD 20852.
For written/paper comments submitted to the Dockets Management Staff, FDA will post your comment, as well as any attachments, except for information submitted, marked and identified, as confidential, if submitted as detailed in “Instructions.”
Instructions: All submissions received must include the Docket No. FDA-2018-N-3685 for “International Drug Scheduling; Convention on Psychotropic Substances; Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs; ADB-FUBINACA; FUB-AMB(MMB-FUBINACA_AMB-FUBINACA); ADB-CHMINACA; CUMYL-4CN-BINACA; Cyclopropyl Fentanyl; Methoxyacetyl Fentanyl; Ortho-Fluorofentanyl; Para- Fluoro Butyrfentanyl; Para-Methoxybutyrfentanyl; N-Ethylnorpentylone; Tramadol; Pregabalin; Cannabis Plant and Resin; Extracts and Tinctures of Cannabis; Delta-9-Tetrahydrocannabinol; Stereoisomers of Tetrahydrocannabinol; Request for Comments.” Received comments, those filed in a timely manner (see ADDRESSES), will be placed in the docket and, except for those submitted as “Confidential Submissions,” publicly viewable at or at the Dockets Management Staff between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Confidential Submissions—To submit a comment with confidential information that you do not wish to be made publicly available, submit your comments only as a written/paper submission. You should submit two copies total. One copy will include the information you claim to be confidential with a heading or cover note that states “THIS DOCUMENT CONTAINS CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION.” The Agency will review this copy, including the claimed confidential information, in its consideration of comments. The second copy, which will have the claimed confidential information redacted/blacked out, will be available for public viewing and posted on Submit both copies to the Dockets Management Staff. If you do not wish your name and contact information to be made publicly available, you can provide this information on the cover sheet and not in the body of your comments and you must identify this information as “confidential.” Any information marked as “confidential” will not be disclosed except in accordance with 21 CFR 10.20 and other applicable disclosure law. For more information about FDA's posting of comments to public dockets, see 80 FR 56469, September 18, 2015, or access the information at:
Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents or the electronic and written/paper comments received, go to and insert the docket number, found in brackets in the heading of this document, into the “Search” box and follow the prompts and/or go to the Dockets Management Staff, 5630 Fishers Lane, Rm. 1061, Rockville, MD 20852.

For Further Information Contact
James R. Hunter, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, Controlled Substance Staff, Food and Drug Administration, 10903 New Hampshire Ave., Bldg. 51, Rm. 5150, Silver Spring, MD 20993-0002, 301-796-3156, email: