Cannabis might only now be gaining regulatory and mainstream acceptance as an alternative treatment for a range of illnesses, but its medicinal use is far from new. Ancient Indian, Chinese, Egyptian, and Islamic civilizations all employed it medicinally for centuries. Today, it’s used to help treat and relieve symptoms related to cancer, chronic pain, depression, migraines, epilepsy, and Alzheimer’s, among others.
To date, cannabis has approval for medicinal use in over 20 countries and 36 US states. However, legislation is moving quickly, and more US states are opening up to therapeutic, if not recreational, cannabis use.
Conservative US States Are Moving Forward on Medical Cannabis Legislation
This week, the push to legalize medical cannabis in North Carolina cleared two more legislative hurdles, and the final bill could reach the Senate as early as next week.
Under the revised bill, patients in the state could legally purchase medical cannabis from approved suppliers with a prescription from their physician recommended cannabis as a treatment option for one of more than a dozen approved medical conditions. The prescribing physician will be required to have proof of a ten-hour training, up from three hours proposed in the original bill.
A new state commission will issue licenses to sell medical cannabis. In all, ten medical cannabis supplier licenses will be allotted, each allowing up to four dispensaries. The bill includes restrictions on where and when medical cannabis can be sold, preventing centers from opening near schools and limiting late-night hours.
This bill is not only welcome news for those in the state who have been eagerly waiting for legal US medical cannabis to hit the market but also good news for North Carolina, which will be collecting 10% of gross revenues.
NC now joins fellow conservative southern states Alabama and Kansas in the push for legalized medical cannabis, and Texas, which is looking to expand existing programs.
US Federal Government Contemplating Use of Medical Cannabis
Federal and Californian governments are exploring allowing the use of medical cannabis in hospitals and healthcare facilities. The move would enable patients suffering from chronic illness some relief and has received widespread Senate and Assembly support.
Under current legislation, it is at the hospital’s discretion whether or not to allow medical cannabis use, leaving some patients seeking alternative treatments out on a lurch. While cannabis has been legal in California for medicinal use since 1996, the drug remains a Schedule I listed narcotic, a classification that includes drugs like heroin and MDMA. This disjoint between drug classification and legalized medical cannabis is causing some hospitals to fear losing federal CMS funding should they offer the drug to patients.
After a nearly identical bill was vetoed, California Democratic Senator Ben Hueso’s has revived the legislation, this time seeking clarification in a letter sent to Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Thus far, the information provided by both suggests there would be no penalty for hospitals and healthcare facilities choosing to offer medical cannabis to their patients.
According to a description on Hueso’s website, the bill, dubbed Ryan’s Law, “would provide relief, compassion and dignity to Californians during the most vulnerable time of their lives by allowing the use of medical cannabis in healthcare facilities for Californians who are terminally ill,”
What Could Prevent Medical Cannabis in the US
Medicinal cannabis has caught the attention of businesses leaders, governments, and companies exploring the drug’s therapeutic and medicinal ability. Medical cannabis has been the subject of countless clinical trials, scientific studies, and R&D research, with an estimated $1.5 billion spent on cannabis research since 2000. And as the commercialization of the US medical cannabis market continues to expand, investment in this market is all but certain to increase.
But despite all the progress the US medical cannabis market has made, significant hurdles remain.
The medical benefits of cannabis have been well-established; however, cannabis use also comes with the potential for adverse side effects that certain groups opposed to cannabis legalization have used to highlight the dangers of the drug.
Long-term cannabis use has been linked to addiction, chronic psychosis-related health problems, cognitive impairment, altered brain development, bronchitis, and poor educational outcomes.
Conservative Christian groups against legalizing medical cannabis argue that the safety and efficacy of cannabis haven’t been sufficiently researched and that allowing medical use opens up the doors to legalized recreational cannabis.
Product consistency is another issue presented by medical cannabis. While other commercially available medicines come with labels accurately describing the contents, medical cannabis exists in a grey area. Current labels provide potency ranges; however, plant variations make it nearly impossible to provide exact details.
And these dosage inconsistencies present a major problem for medical cannabis users.
But One Budding Tech Company May Have the Solution: GCAC
Their innovative Efixii software tracks each plant from seed through sale, providing detailed information on each batch, including plant potency, to medical professionals, researchers, and regulators. The secure blockchain-based platform collects, stores, and analyzes data from cultivators and consumers. This not only helps to improve the efficiency and constancy of medical cannabis but also enables producers to target specific products based on user preferences, opening significant market opportunities for medical cannabis companies using the software.
By nature, cannabis plants vary in quality and potency, presenting a significant challenge for consumers, medical professionals, and regulators. However, the Ethereum blockchain-powered Citizen Green Efixii platform solves these problems by providing the data needed to certify medical cannabis products based on quality, efficiency, and constancy.
GCAC’s Citizen Green Efixii is the first of its kind solution for the medical cannabis market. Throughout each stage of the growing and production process, the software records essential information which can be used to ensure best practice growing, regulatory compliance, and improved consumer experience, and ultimately, better patient outcomes.
GCAC Invited to Join Renowned Cannabis Council
Earlier this month, GCAC was invited by the Canadian Chamber of Commerce to join the National Cannabis Working Group and the International Cannabis Council.
Launched in 2019, the National Cannabis Working Group (NCWG) Chamber of Commerce members include 70 of Canada’s leading publicly traded cannabis companies, encompassing licensed cultivators, processors, retailers, and other related associations. Together, these industry professionals advocate for public cannabis policies that promote a robust, competitive economic environment.
As part of its membership, GCAC will be providing consultations for Health Canada. Participation in the NCWG also includes involvement with the International Cannabis Council (ICC), a division of the NCWG focused on bilateral cooperation with like-minded international trade organizations, and the OECD (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development).
“This opportunity will not only showcase the value of using truthful cannabis efficacy data when cannabis companies license our Efixii technology but also act as a resource for regulators and medical professionals across the globe. This invitation is a further endorsement of what GCAC has always held as our core vision-better outcomes for medical cannabis patients,” said GCAC’s CEO Brad Moore on what this opportunity means for the future of the Company.
Disclaimer: The company described in this article is a customer of NAI Interactive Ltd. This material is for informational purposes only and is not intended as a recommendation or offer or solicitation for the purchase or sale of any securities or financial instruments, or for transactions involving any financial instrument or trading strategy.