Cannabis and The Business of Helping People Live Better Lives

October 18, 2016
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According to Massachusetts based South Coast Today website, the marijuana industry in Massachusetts and elsewhere is in a continuous state of change: regulations and licensure for growing, dispensing – for medicinal and potentially recreational use. Eyes are constantly on watch for the latest moves by the Federal government to allow more clinical trials that would allow more doctors and dispensaries the nod to help more patients especially with cancer and systemic diseases like ms. It looks like the process may be loosening up due to the number of studies becoming available.

Massachusetts stands as one of 21 states with medical marijuana programs, and also Washington D.C., Alaska and Hawaii. Jane Heatley, marijuana business owner on Cape Cod was interviewed along with Tim Shaw also applying for a dispensary in  Massachusetts by South Coast Today. Apparently, “…compared to other states, Massachusetts is the strictest in terms of regulation of the industry.” Presently Massachusetts applicants are allowed only three licenses a piece. “I believe Massachusetts has the strictest lab testing parameters for heavy contaminants in the nation and I think our state tends to be very strict in general with the program, which is a good thing. If you read other state requirements, they don’t protect the patients as well,” Jane Heatley said.

On its website, the National Cancer Institute now also acknowledges evidence from preclinical studies that indicate abilities of cannabis to kill cancer cells, address pain relief, relieve nausea/vomiting, stimulate appetite, and ease anxiety. These findings are found under the following for animals and some apply also to humans: Anti-tumor Effects, Antiemetic Effects, Appetite Stimulation, Analgesia, and Anxiety and Sleep.

A direct quote from the National Cancer Institute’s updated FAQ page about cannabis:

“Studies in mice and rats have shown that cannabinoids may inhibit tumor growth by causing cell death, blocking cell growth, and blocking the development of blood vessels needed by tumors to grow. Laboratory and animal studies have shown that cannabinoids may be able to kill cancer cells while protecting normal cells

The NCI also states on its site: “… potential benefits of medicinal Cannabis for people living with cancer include antiemetic effects, appetite stimulation, pain relief, and improved sleep. Although few relevant surveys of practice patterns exist, it appears that physicians caring for cancer patients in the United States who recommend medicinal Cannabis do so predominantly for symptom management.[2].”

According to the National Cancer Institute — the federal government’s principal agency for cancer research and training — to study cannabis in the U.S., “researchers must file an Investigational New Drug (IND) application with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), receive a Schedule I license from the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), and gain approval from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA).”