NORML is the oldest and biggest organization in cannabis reform with over 160 chapters in the US and 11 other countries. The website has over six million unique visitors a month. In addition to all their other functions, NORML is a clearinghouse for cannabis news and information. Here is a sample of the top cannabis news NORML reported on in March. Catch all national NORML news updates on the NORML New Release Page.

Study: No Correlation Between THC Blood Levels and Psychomotor Impairment

Thursday, 07 March 2019

Düsseldorf, Germany: The presence of low levels of THC in blood is poorly correlated with driving performance, according to driving simulator data published in the International Journal of Legal Medicine. German investigators assessed simulated driving performance in 15 subjects following the consumption of up to three cannabis cigarettes. Subjects manifested changes in driving performance, such as higher incidences of weaving and an inability to compensate for unforeseen events, for a period of three hours following cannabis administration. After three hours, subjects’ “driving performance and style no longer differed significantly” from baseline performance, authors reported.

Federal Agencies Weigh in on Legal Status of Hemp, CBD

Thursday, 07 March 2019

Washington, DC: Representatives from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) testified last week with regard to federal efforts to regulate domestic hemp production and the sale of certain hemp-derived CBD products. In December, Congress enacted legislation removing industrial hemp (defined as cannabis containing less than 0.3 percent THC) and products containing cannabinoids derived from hemp from the federal Controlled Substances Act. In Congressional testimony last week, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said that the Department is working to create federal hemp regulations by 2020. Under the provisions of the 2018 Farm Bill, US states that wish to license commercial hemp cultivation must submit their plan to the USDA. However, the agency is not reviewing any state-specific plans until it has finalized its own federal regulations. In separate testimony, outgoing FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb told Congress that the agency is considering various pathways to regulate hemp-derived CBD products, but cautioned that the process could take “two, three, [or] four years.”

Report: State-Licensed Marijuana Businesses Employ Over 200,000 Full-Time Workers

Thursday, 07 March 2019

Seattle, WA: The state-licensed cannabis industry gained over 64,000 new employees in 2018, and now employs over 200,000 full-time workers, according to data compiled by Whitney Economics and the online content provider The report, entitled Cannabis Jobs Count, identifies some 211,000 full-time jobs in the legal cannabis sector. This total increases to 296,000 jobs when ancillary employers are also included.

Study: Hair Tests Less Likely to Detect Cannabinoids Following Cosmetic Treatments

Thursday, 14 March 2019

Dudelange, Luxembourg: Cosmetic hair treatments, such as bleaching or perming, interfere with the detection of cannabinoids and their metabolites in hair, according to data published in the journal Forensic Science International. A pair of European researchers assessed the impact of various cosmetic treatments — including bleaching, perming, and dyeing — on 30 THC-positive hair samples. They concluded: “We found that any type of cosmetic hair treatment has an effect on cannabinoid concentrations in hair. … Bleaching and perming reduced all cannabinoids concentration in hair; THC was more affected than THC-COOH [the carboxy-THC metabolite], CBN [cannabinol] and CBD [cannabidol]. Bleaching caused strong chemical degradation on cannabinoids, while perming exerted more a leaching out effect. Permanent colorings in single applications had only little effects on cannabinoids.”

Case Studies: Cannabinoids Associated with Anti-Cancer Activity

Thursday, 14 March 2019

Stoke-on-Trent, United Kingdom: The administration of cannabidiol (CBD) is associated with anti-cancer responses in human subjects, according to a pair of recently published case studies. British investigators reported on the use of CBD in an 81-year-old lung cancer patient following his decision to decline chemotherapy treatment. Authors reported that the patients’ tumor size was reduced following the use of CBD extracts. They concluded: “[T]he data presented here indicate that CBD may have had a role in the striking response in a patient with histologically proven adenocarcinoma of the lung as a result of self-administration of CBD oil for a month and in the absence of any other identifiable lifestyle, drug or dietary changes. Further work is needed both in vitro and in vivo to better evaluate the various mechanisms of action of CBD on malignant cells, and its potential application in the treatment of not only lung cancer but also other malignancies.”

Congress: Over 25 Percent of House Members Sign on to Marijuana Banking Act

Thursday, 14 March 2019

Washington, DC: More than one-quarter of US House members have signed on to newly introduced legislation to facilitate greater access to banking for state-licensed cannabis operators. The 2019 version of the Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act was introduced last Thursday and now has 113 co-sponsors — the most ever for a marijuana law reform bill.

Florida: Medical Cannabis Smoking Ban Repealed

Thursday, 21 March 2019

Tallahassee, FL: Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis on Monday signed legislation, Senate Bill 182, repealing the state’s blanket ban on the inhalation of herbal forms of medical cannabis. Upon taking office, Gov. DeSantis demanded lawmakers rescind the ban, which he said was contrary to the provisions of the 2016 voter-initiated medical cannabis access law. The new law took immediate effect.

Study: Persistent Cannabis Use Associated with Reduced Body Mass Index

Thursday, 21 March 2019

East Lansing, MI: The use of cannabis over time is inversely related to obesity, according to data published in the International Journal of Epidemiology. A team of Michigan State University researchers assessed the relationship between cannabis use and body mass index (BMI) over time in a nationally representative sample of 33,000 subjects. Investigators reported that cannabis-using subgroups exhibited “appreciably attenuated BMI gain” over the trial period as compared to non-users and quitters, “with the largest attenuation seen in the ‘persistent use’ group.”

Study: Medical Marijuana Access Linked to Greater Employment Among Older Adults

Thursday, 28 March 2019

Baltimore, MD: The enactment of medical cannabis access laws is associated with better reported health outcomes among older Americans and greater labor participation, according to data published in The Journal of Policy Analysis and Management. A pair of researchers from the John Hopkins University School of Public Health in Baltimore and Temple University in Philadelphia assessed the relationship between medical marijuana laws and health in those ages 51 and older.