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Aurora Cannabis Board appoints Nelson Peltz as Adviser

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Source of Image: www.auroramj.com/

The Aurora Cannabis company has taken on a new adviser, Nelson Peltz, who in the past, has been connected with popular consumer brands like Heinz, The Procter & Gamble Company and the Snapple Beverage Corporation as well.

Edmonton based, Aurora hopes to gain from his extensive experience to build their own brand expertise, especially at a time when business is booming.

They had made this announcement about their strategic collaboration via a press release published in the media on Wednesday. A move like this could make Aurora a big brand in the mainstream consumer packaged products industry. Peltz’s main work will be to look for business that have positive potential for the brand and advice them on appropriate global expansion strategies.

Who is Nelson Peltz?

He’s the current CEO and a founding partner of the Trian Fund Management Investment Firm. The firm already owns Snapple and Wendy’s. He is also part of the board that runs Sysco, Procter & Gamble and Madison Square Garden.

In their statement, Aurora had mentioned that Nelson is a business visionary that’s recognised globally and holds an exceptional track record of being able to generate accelerated and profitable growth as well as share holder value.

According to Forbes, Peltz has a net worth of US$1.6 billion and the head of the Triangle Industries Inc packaging company too.

Peltz’s take on the job

He has commented in a statement about the Aurora company, saying that they had a solid execution track record, well differentiated from their peers and has managed to achieve integration across their entire value chain.

Continuing on, he described Aurora as ready to move onto the next levels in an array of industry verticals and that Aurora, among several Canadian licensed producers, have what it takes to be leaders in the development of global cannabis, especially in a time when regulations are favourable and with a sound operating model.

What’s the industry’s take on this?

Purpose Investments, CIO, Greg Taylor, said that this deal clearly suggests that some kind of new beverage or consumer product could be brought to the table.

He had told the Yahoo Finance team in Canada that this was the good news that Aurora had been looking for. The company had struggled to close some other deals and that this possible beverage deal could be the best one yet. Adding this much needed outside expertise could take them to the next level and that Peltz as the new adviser should make this more likely.

The company’s main rivals have been trying to launch their own deals on board too and have approached American brands to do that. The more recent one is the $5 billion investment between beverage brand Constellation Brands and Canopy Growth Corp.

Then you’ve also got Cronos Group Inc.’s tie-up with the Altria Group Inc., a popular tobacco group.

With Aurora knowing that what they have to offer could be big in the upcoming years and with Peltz’s history of success in the consumer products industry, it seems like a win-win situation for the company and its stakeholders.

Ivan is a Cannabis Journalist, who has a degree in Nutrition Sciences from University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center. When he is not writing about the latest news and info about cannabis, he prefers reading his daughter a story or hanging out with his wife at Starbucks or her favorite restaurant.

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California welcomes Cannabis Restaurants and Cafes with ‘flower’ and ‘budtender’ service

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Cannabis restaurants are coming to California

Just like any good chef planning to open a brand new restaurant, Andrea Drummer wants to get her work done just right. But her plantain-mango salsa with lamb chops will not be matched with beer or wine. 

Instead, a “budtender”- widely popular in the industry as ganjiers, as in ganja sommeliers- will assist guests at the soon-to-open Lowell Farms cannabis cafe to pair their meal with the perfect amount of farm-to-table cannabidiol. 

Drummer said that a kush is slightly bit more pungent, so it tastes better with a stew or a meal like meat or beef product. A lightly lemon profile goes well with a fish. One of her personal favourites, Blue Dream, tastes really good with both sweet and savory. Drummer tells that she has done done it with bread puddings, and with ice cream, but she’s also tried it with octopus. 

When the vintage-like, rustic, hemp-filled cafe with 220-seat capacity will open, it will be the first of its kind in the United States: a cozy place for tourists and locals to relish high-quality meals and smoke a joint in public. Other restaurants are soon to follow. 

But if they are planning to incorporate weed on the menu, restaurateurs in the city will have to work their way through a complicated workflow of regulations. The progressive city had approved an ordinance in 2017 and allowed businesses for this purpose. 

Jackie Subeck said that they are building the boat as they’re on the water, with cannabis. Subeck plans to launch a cannabis cafe, spa, clinic and serves as the chairwoman of the cannabis legislative subcommittee for the West Hollywood Chamber of Commerce. 

States that have legalized cannabis for recreation will watch the town pull it off. In Mayallowing cannabis lounges, Colorado Gov. Jared Polis (D) signed a bill. Cannabis restaurants may eventually become as normal as wine bars if legalization remains apace.

Sean Black, the co-founder of Lowell Herb Co., the cannabis organization launching the cafe said that whatever West Hollywood will be doing now will be followed by other blue states, three years later. 

According to the proposition 64, cannabis is legalized in California, but consuming cannabis in public is still banned. 

When a research session on the subject was held by the West Hollywood City Council in 2017, it was determined that access to locations for smoking was an issue of social equity.

John Leonard, the city’s community and legislative affairs manager said that many people in the city are renters, and they may not be allowed to smoke cannabis in their apartments. These people who stay on rent are forced to smoke in their cars or public places, and run a higher risk for getting arrested for that. 

But this wasn’t the only reason why cannabis was legalized for smoking in public by the council. 

Leonard said that people enjoy the nightlife in West Hollywood, so the cannabis legalization was sort of a natural evolution, that people can easily enjoy while staying in the West Hollywood in a hotel, or they could go out to cafes or bars to smoke a joint, and now they can go for cannabis consumption as well.  

Cannabinoid, a hemp-derived compound was legalized from the federal government in December 2018 under the Farm Bill Act. The substance was removed from the list of Controlled Substances and made legal for production, processing, distribution and consumption. 

CBD is widely popular for its medical benefits. From treating stress, anxiety, depression, sleeplessness to reducing acute pains, aches, inflammation, swelling, irritation, CBD has been used by numerous people for various health ailments. 

There are public places for marijuana use elsewhere in California and Colorado, but there are many lounges connected to dispensaries or vape clubs that resemble a dingy cellar. These places are quite different from what West Hollywood had in mind when it launched applications for 16 on-site consumption licenses in May 2018. 

The process drew a lot of attention and more than 300 applicants, who were scored on multiple factors such as social equity and innovation. The top eight participants in each of the five categories were permitted to proceed. 

Drummer’s application was amongst the highest scorers in the category for cannabis consumption in lounge (vaping, smoking and edible), featured a “bright and airy oasis” with tableside “flower” service- hand-rolled cannabis buds into joints. Drummer also called for a full-fledged menu infused with cannabis, which Drummer has been creating for several years as  a private chef for her clients including comedian Chelsea Handler. 

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HOLY SMOKE Nate Diaz puffs cannabis oil with fans before UFC 241 fight

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The fans favourite Nate Diaz makes his octagon return on Saturday competing with Anthony Pettis, his old rival in his home of California. Diaz hasn’t fought since August 2016 when he lost to Conor McGregor in a majority decision at the UFC 202. The Stockton native reminded his fans of his unique personality by smoking a cannabidiol on the stage. 

After his rematch defeat to The Notorious, Diaz infamously smoked CBD oil-which was banned by the United States Anti-Doping Agency at the time. However, the USADA has made cannabidiol legal in and out of the competition. 

Diaz took advantage of the updated rules by producing his own Game Up Nutrition CBD line. The UFC also signed an agreement with Aurora Cannabis to assist fighters in taking supplements after a fight to treat aches and pains.

Diaz told ESPN that he was the pioneer for the UFC fighters to have the once prohibited drug legal.

Diaz said if they saw how he landed a great CBD deal for the UFC. He further stated that CBD is now present in every sport and athletic competition- from football to basketball to wrestling rings, CBD is legal and UFC is paid out!

He added that everyone has jumped on the CBD bandwagon because of him. He apparently started the CBD movement, says Diaz. 

His brother Nick was given a five-year ban after he failed the post-fight drug test for marijuana metabolites after his loss to Anderson Silva in 2013. 

In a pre-fight drug screening, Silva tested positive for oxazepam, drostanolone, temazepam and androstane, and the fight was proclaimed a no contest. Nick spent about four months appealing his failed marijuana test and gradually got it reduced to 18 months with a £82,000 fine.

However, the MMA veteran has not battled since the middleweight battle at UFC 183 after all the time spent appealing the decision. Because Nick failed to pay his NSAC penalties, in his high-profile battles with McGregor he was not qualified to corner his brother.

What is CBD? 

CBD or cannabidiol is a hemp derived compound which is an anti-inflammatory chemical with healing capabilities. There are many medical benefits of using CBD, as claimed by several patients who have used it to treat their anxiety, inflammation, stress, depression and other ailments. 

The federal government in the United States legalized hemp-derived cannabinoids under the Farm Bill in december 2018, thereby removing CBD from the list of controlled substances. According to the federal regulations, CBD products are legal for production, processing, sales and consumption, however the maximum limit for THC is 0.3% per unit. If any product contains traces of THC amounting to more than 0.3%, the product will be considered illegal. 

Many states have legalized hemp derived CBD, but there is still some hesitation among consumers about the safety and effects of CBD. There is not much evidence that backs up the medicinal claims of CBD. 

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) held a public meeting in May to discuss the regulatory framework for CBD and its other products. The meeting was attended by several renowned scientists, researchers, law enforcement officials, consumers, business leaders and many others. 

The agency is yet to declare any official statement about CBD’s regulatory framework, however it has warned companies not to market or advertise their CBD products as a treatment to prescription drugs or with medicinal benefits. 

It recently issued a warning letter to Curaleaf for advertising their CBD products claiming medical benefits, which is strictly prohibited by the agency. A spokesperson from the FDA said that the agency is highly concerned about the health of consumers and want to ensure that CBD is a safe product to consume in any form. Till the time the agency clears off CBD as a safe substance, companies have to take additional precautions to ensure they are not violating any regulations laid out by the FDA. 

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NHS blocks Cannabis-based medicines for routine use, demands for more evidence for its medical claims

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Despite of the government legalizing cannabis-based drugs, the compound has been in a controversy ever since it was removed from the list of Controlled Substances Act. The NHS has finally declared its say in the matter and blocked CBD as there is negligible science and evidence to support the medical claims of CBD. 

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Nice) called for fast-tracked clinical trials yesterday after concluding that it could not recommend medicinal products that are CBD-based for regular usage. 

Sajid Javid decriminalized drugs last November following the high-profile campaign in support of Alfie Dingley, a child with severe epilepsy whose mother was forced to seek treatment abroad. However, without the approval by Nice, only a handful of doctors are qualified and willing to recommend CBMPs (cannabis-based medical products), meaning the medicines are almost impossible to get in practice. 

Patient charities were devastated after hearing the conclusion of Nice, saying that it denies the chance of effectivement treatment using cannabis-based medicines to hundreds if not thousands of people. 

Any accompnying report by the NHS England blamed the “rapid-rescheduling” of CBMPs in last year for leading to high expectations from the patients and their families that they could access cannabis-based medicines and drugs on the NHS. 

Apart from blocking the regular use of cannabis-based medicines for epilepsy treatments on the NHS, the Nice draft guidance also denied to recommend Sativex, another cannabis-based epilepsy medicine, based on tha fact that it is not cost-effective. 

But the organization approved Nabilone, a synthetic based cannabis-based medicine for treating cancer patients battling with side-effects of chemotherapy. 

Chemotherapy is often known to cause physical as well as mental stress in patients. Many people feel intense pain and depression post their chemo treatment. 

Hannah Deacon’s son, Alfie Dingley is one of the two patients with an NHS prescription. Deacon said that there are hundreds of thousands of people around the world who are using cannabis-based medicines to get better and improve their health. Not only are these patients having a positive impact on their medical conditions but it is also improving their lifestyle and health overall. 

She pointed out that Canada, the United States and many G7 countries have legalized mecial cannabis. She further added that UK is persistently pushing for reinventing the wheel for no reason, and the people who suffer from their decisions are patients in dire need of a treatment. 

CBPMs were redesignated from Schedule 1 to Schedule 2 of the Misuse of Drugs Regulations last year, which implied that specialist doctors can recommend and prescribe them to patients. However, in the absence of Nice guidelines, they may be personally liable if anything goes in the opposite direction.

Chief pharmaceutical officer at NHS, Dr. Keith Ridge said that without sufficient evidence to back up the medical claims of cannabis based medicines, they are trying to provide balanced potential benefits against significant harms when deciding whether or not to prescribe medical cannabis to children who suffer from severe epilepsy. 

Nice is considered to be as one of the most rigorous agencies in the world because of its staunch regulations and high demands for copious evidence from clinical trials before they allow drugs as effective, safe and cost-effective. 

NHS England pledged to begin “one or more” randomized control trials associated with CBMPs for children with severe treatment-resistant for epilepsy. It will also provide full genome sequencing to all the children that are under consideration for treatment with medical cannabis. 

However, the Medical Cannabis Clinicians Soceity accused the Nice committee of being biased against cannabis as it is wrong to apply the same standards for evidence regarding CBMPs as other drugs. 

Genevieve Edwards, from the MS Society, said that MS is painful, relentless and disabling and not a single patient with MS has gained any significant beneift from medical cannabis since it was legalized nine months ago. 

The drug approved for routine use by the NHS is Nabilone, a cannabis-based drug which is a synthetic product that resembles the effects of THC, tetrahydro cannabinoid, the chemical responsible for making people ‘high’ while smoking pot or weed. 

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