Week in Review: Medical Marijuana Use Doubles; Rick Ross Announces New Cannabis Partnership
ICYMI: Catch up on the week’s latest news from across the cannabis spectrum.
New Study Confirms Medical Marijuana Use Has Doubled in the US
A new study reveals that medical cannabis use has more than doubled in the last decade and is largely driven by state-level legalization, reports Marijuana Moment.
In 2013, the National Survey on Drug Use and Health added a medical marijuana question, specifically asking whether any cannabis use within the past 12 months was recommended by a doctor. The federally funded survey found that during the first year, 1.2% of respondents answered affirmatively and that figure rose to 2.5% by 2020.
The study’s authors, Greg Rhee, PhD and Robert Rosenheck, MD determined that over the course of a seven-year period, the number of Americans using medical marijuana increased at an average annual rate of 12.9%.
“This study documents a continued nationwide increase in use of cannabis for diverse medical purposes between 2013 and 2020,” they write in the paper, published online on March 12 as a pre-proof for the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.
“Living in a state that legalized medical cannabis remained significantly associated with greater odds of medical cannabis use.”
Rick Ross Partners With High Tolerance for New “Collins Ave” Strain
Rick Ross is paying homage to his Miami roots with the announcement of his new partnership with cannabis company, High Tolerance, to launch a new cannabis strain, Collins Ave, named after the popular South Beach thoroughfare, reports TMZ.
“High Tolerance is the best flower for all the ones who like to blow that good gas,” 47-year-old Ross said. “This is the best flower in the world… this is why I decided to team up with High Tolerance. They have the best flower on the streets. Shout out to Manny, the biggest.”
For his part, Manny, High Tolerance’s co-founder told TMZ that Ross is “a true cannabis connoisseur.”
The partnership sees Ross join an impressive line-up of musicians and celebrities who have become High Tolerance ambassadors, including A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie, ‘BMF’ star Lil Meech, Ghostface Killah and the late Drakeo the Ruler.
Those in the know might be somewhat perplexed by the hip hop star’s partnership with High Tolerance surprising, given his 2020 collaboration with fellow musician/entrepreneur Berner; Collins Ave was one of the three strains Ross launched with the Californian cannabis company, along with Pink Rozay, a reference to his involvement in Belaire Rosé and Lemon Pepper, reportedly his favorite flavor of Wingstop chicken wings.
The highly-anticipated release of Collins Ave is scheduled for June 1.
$20 Million in Funding Helps California’s Growers
In an effort to help limit the number of unlicensed cannabis grows and help cultivators restore and conserve their properties, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) has earmarked over $20 million in grant funding opportunities as part of its Cannabis Restoration Grant Program (CRGP).
The funding will be distributed to farmers through “non-profits, tribes, government agencies and other organizations that manage environmental projects for landowners,” the Record Spotlight reports and is earmarked for costs associated with things like permitting requirements, upgrading road crossings and restoration of the environment caused by illicit grows.
The organization announced the program in January, stating illicit cannabis grow practices, such as wildlife poaching, unlawful water diversions for irrigation, conversion of lands, banned pesticide use and more, have negatively impacted California’s environment and fish and wildlife.
According to Amelia Wright, CDFW Cannabis Program Director, the CDFW wants to help limit the number of unlicensed grows because, in a regulated market, cultivators typically work with state regulators to minimize environmental impacts.
“We’re excited about our new cannabis grant opportunities and look forward to funding a variety of projects that restore and protect California’s diverse natural resources,” Wright says.