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A Bronx Zoo Tiger Tests Positive for Coronavirus

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The four-year-old Malayan female tiger is believed to be the first known case of an infected COVID-19 animal, in the US.

The tiger, named Nadia, was housed at the Bronx Zoo, in New York City. The Zoo has claimed that the National Veterinary Services Laboratory in Iowa had confirmed the test results. It is believed that an infected asymptomatic zookeeper has infected Nadia and six other big cats. Symptoms such as dry cough were shown by the cats late last month after being exposed to the unidentified employee.

While isolated instances of pets testing positive for the COVID-19 have existed elsewhere in the world, experts are stressing over the fact that there is no evidence regarding the sickness or spread of the disease.

Mr. Calle has intended to share the findings, with other zoos and institutions that are currently working on the research regarding the transmission of COVID-19. According to Mr. Calle, Nadia was tested out of an abundance of caution, and knowledge gained about the COVID-19 will be ensured to be contributed to the world’s increasing understanding of the COVID-19.

According to the Zoo, a full recovery is expected by the three African lions, two Amur tigers, Nadia, and her sister Azul, who also showed symptoms.

There was a decrease in appetite in the big cats, but they were bright, alert, and interactive otherwise, under veterinary care

The zoo has claimed to monitor all animals closely while explaining that the development of the virus in animals such as tigers and lions is not known, as several species can potentially react differently to new infections.

While no symptoms have been shown by the zoo’s other big cats, it is also reported that all tigers that are showing symptoms, were initially housed in the zoo’s Tiger Mountain area.

The Wildlife Conservation Society in New York City runs all four zoos, including Bronx Zoo that has been closed since March 16, to the public. The protection of animals and caretakers at all the facilities has called for new measures.

It is believed that the coronavirus ( called Sars-CoV-2, which causes the disease COVID-19) originated in wild-life, and was eventually passed to humans through a live animal market in Wuhan.

While researchers know about how the pandemic is spread by human-to-human transmission, the infection of Nadia has caused researchers to question human-to-animal transmission.

Less than a handful of isolated reports of companion animals, that were tested positive for the COVID-19, have been found, with the inclusion of two dogs in Hong Kong.

According to the Zoo, no evidence of infected cases of COVID-19 has been found in the US by animals, with the inclusion of pets dogs and cats.

Furthermore, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the World Organization for Animal Health have reported that no evidence exists regarding the infection of coronavirus in pet dogs or cats. Additionally, the World Organization for Animal Health has reported that further studies are being conducted for a better understanding of the issue, and urges limitation of contact of an infected person, with pets.

Among the experts that have responded to the report, is Dr. Sarah Caddy, Veterinarian and Clinical Researcher at the University of Cambridge. According to Dr. Sarah Caddy, the infection of the tiger with a seemingly fairly low dose of the virus, seems surprising, with the assumptions of no continual close contact between the tiger and the asymptomatic zookeeper.

The virus has been warned to pose a threat to some wildlife such as the great apes, according to conservation experts. The experts further explained the need for an attempt to take measures to ensure the reduction of the risk of wild gorillas, chimps, and orangutans.

 

 

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Cannabis reforms in Mexico – Will it join Canada and Uruguay?

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New cannabis reforms in mexico have legalized adult-use will legalize adult-use marijuana upon approval.

The Mexican Senate has finally granted approval to cannabis reforms in the region after stalling the debate for almost two long years.

Earlier this month, senators were circulating a draft bill on the issue in hopes of getting these cannabis reforms moved to the full Senate floor for approval. Luckily for them, a joint hearing session was finally held today after being delayed for months due to the pandemic.

The Senate floor has cast 82 votes in favor of the bill, while 18 votes were cast against it.  Moreover, about 7 senators abstained from voicing their opinion on the issue.

Although a big accomplishment for legalization advocates, the bill still has to surpass major hurdles before reforms can be fully implemented. Upon success, these changes will make Mexico the third country to fully legalize adult-use marijuana after Uruguay and Canada.

Many legalization advocates are hoping that lawmakers would now use this opportunity to devise policies that could have positive impacts on society. According to some, this move can be a ‘historic opportunity’ to ‘repair the harms of prohibition’ inflicted upon the residents of the community.

Moving forwards, the legalization bill still has to gain approval from the lower legislative chamber and get signatures from President Andrés Manuel López Obrador. This will only be possible if the President doesn’t have any reservations about the legislatures proposed through the bill and signs it into the law.

Supreme Court issues deadline for cannabis reform implementation

In October of 2019, the Supreme Court had granted an extension to legislators to thoroughly review the issue. When senators were unable to reach a consensus, the new deadline was moved to April 2020. However, due to restrictions on in-person meetings, the process was delayed once again and another extension was granted.

For now, the new deadline set by the Supreme Court is December 15th. Senate President Eduardo Ramirez is hopeful that this time the legislative reforms would be achieved within the due date set by the court.

Cannabis Legalization Efforts in Mexico

The issue of cannabis legalization was brought to light when President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador assumed office in 2018. According to Senator Olga Sanchez Coredo, the prohibition of marijuana has claimed thousands of lives, fed violence, and magnified poverty in the nation. “We don’t want more deaths. It will be a major contribution to bringing peace to our beloved country.”

This announcement was in line with Supreme Court rulings that lifted the legal ban on the drug. Prohibition of the drug was deemed unconstitutional after this ruling. All other courts had to follow suit because as per Mexican law if the chamber of the Supreme Court has the same ruling on any matter five or more times, the decision becomes a compulsory precedent for all other courts and judges.

Proposals Made in the Cannabis-Reform Bill in Mexico

Although the legislative process has been distraught with a lot of delays, it has made some noticeable progress nonetheless.

Earlier in March, a joint meeting was held between the members of Justice, Health, Legislative  Studies, and Public Safety Committees. During this meeting, the Mexican Senate Committees signed off the bill that made the following proposed cannabis reforms:

  • There would be separate regulations on THC products that would not be applicable to hemp and CBD. 
  • Adults 18 or above can possess and cultivate marijuana for personal use. The possession limit is set at 28 grams, although holding up to 200 grams is still decriminalized.
  • Public consumption of the drug would be legal, provided it is carried out in completely smoke-free zones.
  • These adults will be allowed to grow up to 20 registered plants; provided the cumulative yield stays under 480 grams per year.
  • Medical marijuana patients will be allowed to cultivate more than 20 plants upon proper request applications.
  • There will be a 12% tax imposed on cannabis sales, with part of the proceeds allocated towards substance abuse treatment.
  • The Mexican Institute of Regulation and Control of Cannabis would responsible for moderating and licensing marijuana businesses.

Although the legislative changes depict significant flexibility of law, advocates demand more to be done. One of their major concerns is the high level of penalties that will be imposed on individuals for rule violations. They are also pressing for ensuring equal opportunities in the industry for all.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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CBD – A Blessing for Athletes

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CBD is being used by athletes to soothe a number of problems including muscles relaxing, sleep moderation and pain relief.

Out of the many users of CBD, sportsmen, and athletes are an expanding market of interest for businesses. The popularity has been so high that in September of 2019, a group of athletes joined together to launch MotiveCBD, a brand dedicated to meet the needs of this profession.

MotiveCBD has introduced products that are aimed at helping athletes improve their performance and recover from strenuous physical activity. According to Corey Poches, founder and CEO of MotiveCBD, “We provide a line of consistently-tested CBD products, formulated to fit any routine, that helps athletes of all ages, shapes, and sizes recover from sports-related conditions.”

The existence of a complete line of CBD products dedicated fully to sportsmen and athletes shows that there is a big demand for it. For those who still doubt its therapeutic benefits, here are a few accounts by professional sports personalities who believe in its efficacy:

Teal Stetson-Lee: Professional Cyclist

Hailed as Nevada’s first cannabis-backed professional athlete, Teal Stetson Lee is not only a user of CBD but also a partner in companies that sell it. She took a huge leap of faith by associating herself with KYND Cannabis Company and the MYT Dispensary at the peak of her professional career. She believes it was necessary to take this stance to help shatter the stigma associated with the drug.

When it comes to using CBD, she believes that its tinctures and creams are very helpful in soothing sore muscles and healing injuries.

Kerri Walsh Jennings: Olympic Beach Volleyball Player

Kerri Walsh is a three-time gold medalist and professional beach volleyball player. She is a brand ambassador of cbdMD. In the ad campaigns of this company she can be seen applying their topical lotion on her elbows, probably to ease the pain. She also uses some products of cbdMD to help her sleep and improve her overall well-being.

Judith Hagger: Professional Triathlete

When asked to describe her experience with a product of the CBD company she endorses,  Judith Hagger her three words: supportive, strengthening, and therapeutic. She has also been using the products by Spirit of Hemp as a sleeping aid and muscle relaxant.

How Does CBD actually work for Athletes?

Having gone over real-life examples of athletes who use CBD for relief from different conditions, let’s look at the science behind it.

The undeniable natural bond between cannabinoids and cannabis

The endocannabinoid system of the human body is a very complex system of different chemical processes. As it was discovered comparatively recently to other body mechanisms, scientists are still struggling to understand its actual nature.

From what is known today, the ECS has three important components: cannabinoids, receptors, and enzymes. Its main role is to maintain a state of homeostasis in the body and ensure a smooth function of other physiological processes.

The cannabinoids that make-up the ECS hold a striking resemblance to the cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant. Therefore, by feeding exo-cannabinoids to the ECS, a lot of imbalances that occur in the body can be successfully resolved.

This explains why CBD and other cannabis derivatives work effectively to soothe neuropathy, arthritis, seizures, and other physical ailments. Its effectiveness in treating extreme and rare types of seizures has been so effective that the FDA eventually approved Epidiolex for treatment.

Are there any risks with using CBD?

The best part about using CBD for soothing any condition is that it is safe. Most people confuse it with THC, the psychoactive component of the cannabis plant that causes a euphoric feeling in users.

To clear this misconception, let’s begin from the top. The cannabis family produces two strains of plants: hemp and marijuana. CBD can be extracted from both of these sources. Here’s the twist, CBD derived from hemp contains a fairly low percentage of THC than that derived from marijuana. Although both have the same CBD structures, hemp provides a more purified version.

This is why hemp-derived CBD products are legal all across the USA. These products can contain THC concentration that is as low as 0.3% – a safe window. This makes it free from side-effects like addiction and dependence for the users. So if you are an athlete or someone who loves strenuous exercises, go get your favorite brand of CBD.

 

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Argentina’s first cannabis medicine to debut in 2021

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First cannabis medicine in Argentina increases hope for the cannabis industry.

It’s been eleven years since marijuana was decriminalized in Argentina. Lawmakers in the country have been reluctant in granting the industry a green signal for the longest time now. However, this year Argentina has finally gotten the ball rolling for its industry by announcing the launch of its first-ever cannabis medicine.

Argentina’s National Administration of Drugs, Foods and Medical Devices has recently authorized Laboratorio Alef Medical Argentina to launch Convuidiol. The contract is going to be valid for the next five years. During this period, Alef Medical Argentina will continue to provide high quality and international grade cannabis medicine to the market.

Argentina’s First-Ever Cannabis Medication

Convupidiol is going to embark on its journey as a debutant locally produced cannabis medicine in Argentina. Just like Epidiolex, it is going to be among the very few cannabis-infused drugs that are approved by the FDA. It is expected to reach patients by the start of next year if everything goes according to plan.

Derived from parts of the cannabis plant, each milliliter of the medication will contain around 100 mg of CBD. It will be available in the form of an oral solution and sold in 35 ml bottles. Its inactive ingredients include pharmaceutical-grade sesame oil and a vanilla flavoring for an enhanced taste.

Convupidiol will be used to treat certain types of seizures. It is considered safe for use by children as young as 2 years old. All those above this age are eligible to use the medicine upon approval from certified physicians.

Being the first of its kind type of product in Argentina, Convupidiol is setting the path straight for other similar products. If the legislation shows more flexibility, the market of cannabis and its derivatives can bring a welcoming change in the country’s economy.

Argentina’s Marijuana Laws

It takes a lot of time before legislative changes can take effect and show their impact on the economy. The launch of Convupidiol in Argentina is a classic example that reflects the scenario.

Although the medicinal usage of marijuana was legalized in the country in March of 2017, it took almost four years for the first cannabis medicine to be produced. Ideally, it would have been a great progressive step if productions of cannabis medicine were to start immediately. In contrast to this, sources have claimed that Alef Medical Argentina has yet to obtain approval for its first batch of production.

The move is expected to improve prospects within the cannabis industry but experts believe there is still a long road ahead. According to a report, the local legal cannabis market in Argentina only meets about a fraction of the demand of the population. A majority of these needs are met with imports under a special scheme that allows the ‘compassionate-use’ of medical marijuana products.

“This is a solution for cannabis companies that want to export to individual patients in countries such as Brazil or Argentina but face the logistical and economic impracticality of having to obtain at origin an export permit for each individual shipment,” says Bruno Guella, MD of MVD Free Airport.

Barriers in the industry

The progress of practical steps to relax laws in the cannabis industry has been very slow in Argentina. One of the most historic moves by the government was perhaps a unanimous approval to legalize medicinal usage of cannabis in the country. All 58 senators who were present during the voting session on cannabis legalization favored it.

Although the new laws do permit medical usage of marijuana, only limited strains are qualifiable to pass the legal barrier. Not all cannabis derivatives are permitted to be used, even medicinally. In addition, only a limited number of qualifying medical conditions make a patient eligible to receive treatment through marijuana. This has created many barriers for those outside the list of qualifying conditions to get access to treatment.

In addition to this, cultivation, resale, and production of the plant are strictly prohibited for personal recreational use. Those found committing the crime can be jailed for 15 years on top of paying fines. Only government authorized agencies can permit or process cultivation, production and resale of the drug.

However, the legislature makes a provision for importing certain products.

The costs associated with the import of products have forced many patients to depend on the illicit drug market.

 

 

 

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