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Inside Cannabis

Inside Cannabis (Dec 7th, 2018)

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1. Marlboro's parent company is jumping into the cannabis industry. The massive tobacco company, Altria, is investing $1.8 billion in Canadian cannabis company Cronos Group, which will give Altria a 45 percent stake in the company. While rumors have been circulating about Big Tobacco's interest in the burgeoning cannabis industry, this is the first major deal between the two industries in North America. Critics say Altria's resources could have been better spent elsewhere. – CNN

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2. Medical cannabis advocates are suing the state of Utah over its "compromise" bill. Voters approved a medical cannabis bill during the midterms, but lawmakers drafted and passed a new version of the bill that added new restrictions to the program. Advocates of the original bill are accusing the Utah Legislature of abridging the rights of voters in an effort to appease The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and are seeking to overturn the decision. – THE SALT LAKE CITY TRIBUNE

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3. U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams said cannabis’ Schedule I status hinders research. Adams has previously expressed interest in expanding research into the use of cannabis for medical purposes. Now, he's calling on the federal government to rethink how it classifies the drug because its restrictive ranking inhibits much-needed research. “Just as we need to look at criminal justice laws, rules and regulations, we need to look at health laws, rules and regulations, and that includes the scheduling system,” he said. – MARIJUANA MOMENT

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4. The first child to be prescribed medical cannabis in the UK can't access to the drug. The two-year-old, Jorja Emerson, suffers from a form severe epilepsy, treatable by the now-legal CBD-based drug, Epidiolex. But after weeks of fighting to secure the a prescription to the drug from a private London hospital, Jorja’s parents say they can't get the drug because no UK pharmacy is licensed to sell it. – INEWS

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5. Pennsylvania rejected all eight growers that applied to research medical cannabis. Last week, a group of medical cannabis companies sued the state over an alleged "pay-to-play scheme" in its cannabis research program. Now the state said none of the applicants met the “rigorous requirements of the competitive application review process," denying any link to the lawsuit. It will open applications again in 2019. – MJ BIZ DAILY

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Tessa Love is a Berlin-based freelance writer who grew up in California's weed country. In addition to writing and curating Inside Cannabis, Tessa has written about cannabis, culture, and tech for the BBC, The Outline, Racked, Slate, The Establishment and more. Find her on twitter at @tessamlove.

Editing team: Lon Harris (editor-in-chief at Inside.com, game-master at Screen Junkies), Krystle Vermes (Breaking news editor at Inside, B2B marketing news reporter, host of the "All Day Paranormal" podcast), and Susmita Baral (editor at Inside, recent bylines in NatGeo, Teen Vogue, and Quartz. Runs the biggest mac and cheese account on Instagram).

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