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NYU’s Groundbreaking CBD/Epilepsy Study, WA’s Mushroom Legalization in Peril, & MD Pushes for Social Equity

Cesar Gallegos

by Cesar Gallegos

February 24, 2023 08:00 am ET Estimated Read Time: 5 Minutes
NYU’s Groundbreaking CBD/Epilepsy Study, WA’s Mushroom Legalization in Peril, & MD Pushes for Social Equity

An NYU study found that CBD could help those with epilepsy, Washington’s mushroom legalization bill hit a major roadblock, and Maryland is looking to include social equity in its forthcoming recreational market.

NYU Reveals Findings of Groundbreaking CBD/Epilepsy Study

CBD’s potential to help those with epilepsy has been on the radar of the scientific community for many years. Unfortunately, it hasn’t been possible to do more than an exploratory study on the topic due to prohibitions on cannabis and its research. Thankfully, those regulations were recently eased, allowing scientists to finally look into cannabis’ healing potential — including CBD’s effect on epilepsy.

This new CBD-epilepsy study comes from NYU’s Grossman School of Medicine. The study first used several rodent brain models to explore the biological mechanisms behind seizures. After looking at these models, researchers confirmed the findings of earlier studies that singled out lysophosphatidylinositol’s (LPI) role in causing seizures. LPI is a chemical that — in a healthy brain — amplifies nerve signals in the hippocampus. When disease is present in the brain, however, LPI can be hijacked and misused, leading to seizures.

So where does CBD fit into all this? According to the NYU study, CBD can block the seizure-causing signals caused by disease-hijacked LPI. CBD can do this because LPI, like CBD, operates in the cannabinoid system of the brain. Though CBD’s ability to regulate the cannabinoid system is a well-known fact, its effect on LPI had not been documented before this study.

With these initial findings in the books, researchers can now begin the process of trying CBD’s effectiveness on human subjects. Make sure you check in with Veriheal to stay up to date on the latest cannabis research news.

What do you think of this new CBD study from NYU? Do you expect similar results when human trials take place? Let us know in the comments!

Washington’s Gov. Puts Damper on Mushroom Legalization Bill

There’s some major drama in the Evergreen State, and it all has to do with mushrooms. Last month, Washington legislatures introduced SB 5263 — a psilocybin legalization bill with wording similar to Oregon’s mushroom bill. SB 5263 sought to allow Washington residents 21+ to use psilocybin with the support of a trained facilitator. Further, the bill also outlined the regulations necessary to establish the manufacturing and service center side of the mushroom market. Unfortunately, things quickly fell apart once the Senate Labor and Commerce Committee got its hands on the bill.

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The committee completely stripped the bill, leaving nothing but the promise to “provide advice and recommendations on developing a comprehensive regulatory framework for access to regulated psilocybin” behind. With no timelines included in the revision, many advocates are fearful the bill may die in purgatory.

Advocates at the Psychedelic Medicine Alliance Washington (PMAW) blame Governor Jay Inslee for SB 5623’s abrupt revision. In an email blast to supporters, the organization stated, “Gov. Inslee forced the Senate to amend SB5263 to remove Psilocybin Services and has turned it into an unnecessary research bill.” PMAW’s email continued by stating their disappointment in the governor’s decision which came “Despite strong bipartisan support and broad public support for increased access to alternative medicines.”

Sen. Jesse Salomon similarly shared his disapproval of the unexpected revision. The senator said he would be “going over the implications of the amendment and, frankly, sorting out how I feel about it.” Still, the Senator made sure to clarify that he had not lost hope and that the changes simply meant the state would need to take a different approach to psilocybin legalization. “I think the key is demonstrating this is not a scary future if we move the broader policy,” Salomon said. “Clearly, the only way for us to do that now is in steps.”

Maryland Prioritizes Social Equity Ahead of Rec. Market Opening

Maryland’s recreational cannabis market is slated to open for business on July 1st. In the meantime, legislators are putting the final touches on the rules that will regulate the new market. Based on the details that have been released thus far, it seems that regulators are making sure to prioritize social equity with these regulations.

Before we dive into these social equity-centric regulations, let’s first take a look at the program as a whole. At opening, Maryland’s recreational cannabis market will have a 6% sales tax — in line with the state’s general sales tax. This 6% cannabis tax will then increase to 10% in 2028. The hope is that this low tax rate keeps the legal market competitive with the black market.

Now, let’s talk about social equity. In an effort to make up for the major lack of a social equity element when the state legalized medical cannabis — legislators are pushing to establish an Office of Social Equity (OSE). The office would have access to the Community Reinvestment and Repair Fund to help aspiring cannabis business owners from areas affected by the war on drugs get their foot in the door. Social equity applicable “areas,” in this case, refers to zip codes with 175%+ cannabis arrest rate.

What do you think of Maryland’s efforts to prioritize social equity? Do you think Maryland is doing enough to help those hurt by the war on drugs? Let us know in the comments!

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