Only seven weeks into 2021, medical cannabis is in the news in exciting ways. As medical marijuana grows in popularity, it becomes more mainstream – and the laws surrounding cannabis reflect that reality. One story affects us directly here in Florida, and one is more informational for the industry as a whole. Both indicate a growing acceptance in the community as a whole. 

Florida Floats Cannabis Bill 

Sen. Jeff Brandes (R) has resubmitted a bill aimed at legalizing the sale of cannabis to anyone 21-and-older. These sales would occur at the state’s current medical cannabis dispensaries, even though it could be sold as a recreational substance. Brandes filed a similar measure in 2020, but the legislation did not progress out of committee. 

  • The bill would permit any individual aged 21 or older to purchase up to 2.5 ounces of cannabis.
  • The bill would make underage cannabis possession a second-degree misdemeanor for the first offense and a first-degree misdemeanor on subsequent offenses. 
  • The bill would permit landlords and property owners to prohibit smoking or vaping cannabis on their property.
  • The legislation would limit edibles to 15% THC.
  • The bill includes criminal justice reforms, which would allow for dismissal or resentencing of crimes now legal under the new legislation.
  • The bill would tax recreational cannabis sales at a rate not yet determined, while the medical product would remain untaxed.  
  • The new law provides for municipal control. This means municipalities and towns will be able to set tax schedules on adult-use products.
  • While the legislation does not address the home cultivation of cannabis, it provides the study of the potential pros and cons of home growth. (to be conducted by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.)
  • New industry license classes will be offered, including the processing and transportation of medical cannabis.

CBD Kills Drug-Resistant Bacteria

In recent years, bacteria have become more resistant to antibiotics. In 2019, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that we should stop indicating that a post-antibiotic era was imminent – but that it had, in fact, already arrived. 

Hope is coming from an unexpected place, however. A study published recently in the Communications Biology journal indicates that CBD may be utilized to kill gram-negative bacteria, which have an extra outer membrane that makes it harder for antibiotics to penetrate. This bacteria is known to be responsible for illnesses such as gonorrhea, meningitis, and legionnaires disease.

The study was led by researchers at the Australia’s University of Queensland and Botanix Pharmaceuticals Limited. Researchers believe these findings could lead to the first new antibiotic class for resistant bacteria in 6 decades, based on CBD. Vince Ippolito, president and executive chairman of Botanix, described the research as a “major breakthrough that the world needs now.”

“The published data clearly establishes the potential of synthetic cannabinoids as antimicrobials,” Ippolito stated. “Our Company is now primed to commercialize viable antimicrobial treatments which we hope will reach more patients in the near future.”

Also in 2020, researchers at Canada’s McMaster University reported that cannabigerol (CBG) could eliminate MRSA, an infection known to be resistant to most conventional antibiotics, while a University of Southern Denmark study found that combining existing antibiotics with CBD could assist in the battle against antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

The study showcases the emerging and exciting potential of using cannabinoids to fight against resistant medical conditions. If you are interested in learning more about how medical cannabis can help you treat your qualifying medical condition, call Neurology of Cannabis in Sarasota. Dr. Daniel P. Stein is one of the country’s leading experts on using medical cannabis as a safe and natural alternative to traditional pharmaceuticals.