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Inside Cannabis

Inside Cannabis (Feb 21st, 2017)

This year's South By Southwest Conference & Festivals [SXSW] will feature an expanded cannabis program. The gathering, known for introducing attendees to new music, indie films and the latest technologies, will feature 13 cannabis-related panels as part of the sub-festival, SXSW Interactive. Additionally, cannabis-focused company Tokken is a 2017 SXSW Interactive Innovation Award Finalist in the “New Economy” category, signaling widespread acceptance of the cannabis industry. – NEW CANNABIS VENTURES

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Across the country, older Americans are increasingly turning to medical marijuana as an alternative to powerful drugs for pain relief. The trend is spreading through retirement communities and nursing homes from California to New York, where users say that the drug is less addictive and has fewer side effects than the pharmaceutical options. And scientific evidence is increasingly supporting these claims: Recent studies have shown that weed is effective in treating neuropathic pain, muscle spasms, unintentional weight loss and the side effects of chemotherapy. There have also been reports that marijuana has helped those with Alzheimer’s, dementia and Parkinson’s disease. – NEW YORK TIMES

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California's remote North Coast, the largest cannabis growing region in America, is experiencing a "Green Rush" poised to reshape the area's economy. California voted to legalize adult-use recreational marijuana in November, luring growers in the North Coast area – known as the Emerald Triangle – out of the shadows with the promise of legal profit from their longtime enterprise. – SONOMA MAGAZINE

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Vermont is introducing a bill to streamline the legalization of recreational marijuana. The move comes after a more complicated bill that aimed to create a commercial market for marijuana failed last year. The new bill would make it legal to grow several plants for personal use and possess up to one ounce for personal consumption. Unlike the former bill, it would not make it legal to sell marijuana. – THE CANNABIST

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Experts are predicting that marijuana could become a $20.2 billion market in North America by 2020, making it one of the fastest growing industries in the country. Marijuana sales grew 30 percent to $6.7 billion in 2016 and are expected to grow at a compound annual rate of 25 percent, according to marijuana market research firm Arcview. "The only consumer industry categories I’ve seen reach $5 billion in annual spending and then post anything like 25 percent compound annual growth in the next five years are cable television in the ’90s and broadband internet in the 2000s," Tom Adams, Arcview's editor in chief, commented in a statement. – MARKETWATCH

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Marijuana investors are holding off on pouring money into any new ventures while they wait for the Trump administration to reveal its drug policy. Despite the fact that 28 states have approved medical marijuana programs, and eight states and Washington D.C. allow recreational adult-use, marijuana is still federally classified as an illegal, Schedule 1 drug, on par with heroin and meth, meaning a crackdown from an anti-weed decision-makers could lead to federal raids of state-legal businesses. – VICE

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