California cannabis business wants CNN’s Gupta to report on more than just CBD

United Patients Group, a cannabis information source that bills itself as “a discreet, safe, and professional online medical cannabis information resource for prospective and current patients, caregivers, and medicinal cannabis industry professionals,” issued a statement today. In it, John Malanca, the company’s owner, said that while they are “thrilled about CNN and Dr. [Sanjay] Gupta’s hard work,” something was missing.

In the first CNN special “Weed“, which aired last August on CNN, the well-respected Gupta stated that he had changed his mind about marijuana not being a medicine. The broadcast told the story of Charlotte Figi, a 5-year-old girl with Dravet Syndrome whose condition was dramatically improved by ingesting cannabis extractions high in cannabidiol (CBD), one of most prevalent cannabinoids in cannabis.

This past Tuesday, Gupta hosted “Weed 2: Cannabis Madness“, the follow-up featuring a family from New Jersey, likewise with a child who had intractable seizures, who traveled to Colorado to visit the Stanley Brothers and Realm of Caring for high-CBD extractions that could help their child.The specials are seen by some medical cannabis advocates as downplaying the importance of THC, the psychoactive compound in cannabis that makes you feel high. Malanca wants people to remember that cannabis isn’t just about CBD and seizures.

“Let’s not forget that cannabis treats many other serious ailments, including cancer.” Malanca founded United Patients Group after his father-in-law was diagnosed with Stage 4 lung cancer in 2010. Cannabis (not CBD-only) was used to treat the cancer and today, 80-year-old Dr. Stan Rutner is alive and cancer-free.

What do you think of CNN’s almost THC-free coverage?

Published by P. Aiden Hunt

Aiden Hunt is a creative writer and freelance journalist covering marijuana policy and other related issues. He has been published in print and online by outlets such as The Denver Post (The Cannabist),, The Hemp Connoisseur Magazine and Cronic Magazine. He is currently focused on literary creative nonfiction.

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