of ridesharing apps, such as Uber and Lyft, was made possible by 4G. With 5G,
ridesharing cars could one day navigate themselves — no human driver required.
cars are just one of the many potential applications of 5G, the next generation
wireless network that is steadily being rolled out across the United States,
and in other countries around the world.
are racing to have the fastest or largest 5G networks. And countries are
competing to be the first to deploy fully functional, nationwide 5G, because of
the many revolutionary innovations experts anticipate will be built on top of
wireless customers are going to have to wait a while to see any of the major
benefits 5G could one day bring. That’s because a lot goes into the network to
enable new technologies, including smart cities, remote surgeries and automated
major differences between 4G and 5G are faster speeds, higher bandwidth and
lower “latency,” or lag time in communications between devices and
servers. But those perks are going to require building out a lot of new
infrastructure and billions of dollars in annual investments.
one of the most highly anticipated elements of the next generation network.
expected to be nearly 100 times faster than 4G. With speeds like that, you
could download a two-hour film in fewer than 10 seconds, a task that takes
about seven minutes on 4G (no more panicking while trying to download your
in-flight entertainment on the tarmac before the plane takes off).
speeds have obvious consumer applications, including movie streaming and app
downloads, but they’ll also be important in many other settings. Manufacturing
experts talk about the possibility of putting video cameras throughout a
factory, and very quickly gathering and analyzing massive amounts of footage to
monitor product quality in real-time.
speeds are possible because most 5G networks are built on super-high-frequency
airwaves, also known as high-band spectrum. The higher frequencies can transmit
much more data, much faster than on 4G.
traveling on high-band spectrum can’t travel very far and have a hard time
getting through walls, windows, lampposts and other hard surfaces. That’s not
very convenient when we want the tiny computers we carry around everywhere to
continue working as we walk out of the subway station, down the street and into
In order to
compensate for those challenges, wireless carriers building high-band 5G
networks are installing tons of small cell sites (about the size of pizza
boxes) to light poles, walls or towers, often in relatively small proximity to
one another. For that reason, most carriers are deploying 5G city by city — for
the network to work, the city has to be full of those small cells.
probable that many buildings will get their own 5G cell sites to ensure the
network functions inside.
experienced that frustrating moment when you’re in a relatively small area with
a bunch of people — a concert, sports stadium or the airport during holiday
travel season — and you see the “spinning wheel of death” while
trying to open a webpage or play an Instagram video.
devices trying to use the network in one place can cause congestion. The
network infrastructure just can’t cope with mass numbers of devices, leading to
slower data speeds and longer lag time for downloads.
expected to solve that issue — and then some. The next generation network is
expected to have significantly more capacity than 4G. That will mean not only a
better connection for everyone’s phones, so you can more easily brag on social
media about being at the big game. It will make it possible to connect many,
many more devices to the network.
compare the 5G network to a new-and-improved freeway with more lanes for more
cars to drive on. This element of the update could create increased bandwidth
for the “internet of things” era, filled with connected toothbrushes,
kitchen appliances, street lamps and more.
A small but
significant difference exists between speed and latency, which is the time it
takes for devices to communicate with each other or with the server that’s
sending them information.
the amount of time it takes for your phone to download the contents of a
webpage. Latency is the time between when you send a text to a friend’s phone
and when their phone registers that it has received a new message. Although
latency is measured in milliseconds, all those milliseconds add up when sending
and receiving huge packets of information for something as complex as video —
or self-driving car data.
already low with 4G, but 5G will make it virtually zero.
be good for such new innovations as remote real-time gaming — helping people in
various parts of the world using wireless internet-connected devices play one
game and all be on exactly the same page at the same time.
It will be
essential for other technologies, such as self-driving cars, which will need to
send signals about their environment over the internet to a computer in the
cloud, have the computer analyze the situation and return signals to the car
telling it how to respond. To ensure the safety of self-driving vehicles (and
their passengers), that communication needs to be instantaneous.
The X-factor: Reliability
thing: The massive speeds and capacity and low latency of 5G relies on
high-band spectrum. But high-band spectrum, with its small coverage areas,
isn’t very reliable.
cities where carriers say they have deployed 5G, it can be hard to stay
connected to the network.
probable that for quite a while, even after 5G-enabled devices become more
widely adopted, people will use a mix of 4G and 5G. When you’re close to a 5G
tower, your device will connect and access the superfast speeds. When you’re
not, your device will revert back to running on 4G.
strategies for building out 5G provide greater reliability.
(TMUS) said last month it achieved a nationwide 5G network because, rather than
using high-band spectrum, T-Mobile used mostly lower frequency airwaves to
build its network. Those signals cover much wider areas and are better at
traveling through walls and trees, but “low-band spectrum” doesn’t
provide the dramatic benefits we think of when we think of 5G.
T-Mobile’s 5G network provides, on average, a 20% increase in download speeds
compared to 4G LTE, according to a company spokesperson. That’s a stark
difference from the 100 times-faster-than-4G speeds on high frequency 5G
Eventually, both lower and higher frequency 5G will cover much of the country and we’ll get the best of both worlds.
At a congressional hearing on Wednesday, federal regulators
recognized that valuable research into marijuana is being inhibited
cannabis’s current legal status and described previously unreported
steps they’re taking to resolve the issue.
The Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health held the meeting to discuss six cannabis reform proposals, including two that would federally legalize marijuana. Most of the hearing involved lawmakers pressing witnesses from the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) on the obstacles to marijuana studies that those officials claim are needed before pursuing broader policy reform.
Conversation was more limited when it came to legalization bills such as Judiciary Chairman Jerrod Nadler’s (D-NY) Marijuana Opportunity, Reinvestment and Expungement (MORE) Act, which was approved by his panel last year. That said, formerly anti-reform Rep. Joe Kennedy III (D-MA) did lead a powerful discussion about the failures of prohibition and the need to deschedule cannabis.
Kennedy announced that panel leadership has agreed to hold a second
hearing featuring the voices of people negatively impacted by marijuana
prohibition, which he said “has failed.”
Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Frank Pallone (D-NJ) said in
his opening statement that “while state laws and public perception
around cannabis and its derivatives have evolved over the years, much of
the federal framework that regulates cannabis has stayed the same.”
Today the @EnergyCommerce
Health Subcommittee is holding a legislative hearing on cannabis
policies for the new decade including proposals to decriminalize
marijuana and increase important research on cannabis, hemp and CBD. pic.twitter.com/uL8lkmmXdj
Watch the hearing, titled “Cannabis Policy For the New Decade,” below:
After being repeatedly asked about the limited supply of
research-grade cannabis and the lack of chemical diversity in those
plants cultivated at the nation’s only federally authorized
manufacturer, DEA Senior Policy Advisor Matthew Strait said the agency
is aware of the issue and is actively developing regulations to address
the problem by licensing additional growers.
“We actually have a draft regulation in place,” he said, adding that
it’s currently being reviewed by the White House Office of Management
and Budget (OMB) and that regulators have a call scheduled for Thursday
to discuss the proposed rule.
“We know that we have to probably do notice and comment rulemaking to
implement regulations on two matters: one is how we’re going to
evaluate all of our pending applications and two what additional types
of regulations might need to be in place in order to impose on those
that would grow,” he said. “That regulation is in draft form. I can’t
talk too much about it, but rest assured, we have submitted to OMB, it’s
been drafted and tomorrow some of us will be getting on a call to talk
DEA, FDA and NIDA witnesses all agreed under questioning that the
current supply of cannabis for study purposes is inadequate and that
researchers should be able to access a wider range of marijuana
Kennedy, who recently became a cosponsor of the MORE Act, followed up
on his opening remarks with a brief statement on his personal evolution
on the issue and frustration over policies inhibiting research.
“Meanwhile, millions of Americans—mostly
black and brown—have been locked up for non-violent drug offenses.
Meanwhile, desperate parents are forced to turn to a black market with
no concern for patient safety to get their children the relief that they
need. Meanwhile our cities and states are trying, and at times
stumbling, to put in place thoughtful and thorough regulatory frameworks
with zero support from federal partners. And meanwhile, a brand new
corporate industry is rising up, rife with predictable economic
injustices that spring up whenever government fails to regulate.
Prohibition has clearly failed and America isn’t waiting for its
He then asked NIDA Director Nora Volkow and FDA Deputy Director for
Regulatory Programs Douglas Throckmorton whether removing cannabis from
the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) would make it easier for researchers
to obtain and study it. Both said that the policy change would in fact
simply research, though Volkow said it “may have unintended negative
FDA and NIDA said their agencies would not be impacted if marijuana
was descheduled, and DEA’s Strait acknowledged that his agency would
because of its responsibility to enforce the CSA.
Subcommittee Chairwoman Anna Eshoo (D-CA) said researchers are “are
in a catch-22” under the current regulatory scheme because they “can’t
conduct research until they show cannabis has a medical use, but they
can’t demonstrate cannabis has a medical use until they can conduct
“It doesn’t make sense—at least to me,” she said.
Rep. Tony Cardenas (D-CA) said that the “United States Congress made a
mistake, and every Congress since has not had honest hearings and
honest dialogue and has not allowed—truly allowed—the researchers in
this great country to do the true research that needs to be done for us
to properly categorize cannabis in this country.”
“As a result of that, we have millions of individuals in this country
who have been subjected to incarceration and a criminal record that
otherwise they would have a much more productive and better life and
that as a society, we would be much better off, including the taxpayers,
if we were to actually get this right,” he said.
There were several exchanges throughout the hearing—which was requested by four Republican members last month—where lawmakers opposed to comprehensive reform argued that cannabis is a gateway drug and that legalization represents a public health threat.
Rep. Greg Walden (R-OR) brought cookies in plastic baggies and
distributed them to members. He then pointed to an image of a
THC-infused cookie that looks similar that are available in Oregon.
“Each of you, by the way, has a cookie in front of you. I have a
pizza stand opening in an hour out in the hallway,” he quipped. “Now
don’t worry, I didn’t get that carried away. You can actually eat these.
The question is, how do you know if your child stumbled upon it?”
Americans are consuming more cannabis &
policy decisions on this substance have been made in a virtual
information vacuum. States that have legalized marijuana, like OR, have
done so with far less info than they have on legal substances that are
easily abused, such as alcohol.
The congressman went on to say that descheduling marijuana “is a step too far and is something I cannot support.”
But there were other members who shared anecdotes about the
consequences of prohibition, particularly on patients who stand to
benefit from medical cannabis.
Rep. Morgan Griffith (R-VA), for example, recalled that in the 1980s,
he knew friends who would smuggle cannabis into a hospital for a man
suffering from cancer and who wanted to improve his quality of life to
spend time with his son. Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-MI) said her late
husband, former Rep. John Dingell (D-MI) experienced “great pain” and
was told that cannabis might treat it, but he declined in part because
of its status as a federally illicit substance.
Several other lawmakers, including Cannabis Caucus Co-Chair Barbara
Lee (D-CA), highlighted the hearing and remarked on its significance.
It’s past time to end cannabis criminalization
and repair the damage the racist and failed War on Drugs has done to
communities of color across the country. Thanks @EnergyCommerce for holding today’s important hearing to modernize our federal cannabis policies! #MarijuanaJusticehttps://t.co/9uLRi86obs
“Today, my [Energy Commerce] colleagues are holding a hearing on
legislation to remove marijuana from the list of Schedule I drugs and
allow for more research on the uses, impacts, and health benefits of
cannabis,” Rep. Mike Doyle (D-PA) said. “Looking forward to their
discussion on these bills!”
Including H.R. 3884, the MORE Act. This bill
would decriminalize marijuana, expunge the criminal records of
individuals with cannabis-related offenses, and establish a sales tax on
marijuana to create a fund helping these individuals to advance their
careers and education.
Watch below as my @EnergyCommerce
committee holds a hearing on legislation to remove marijuana from the
list of schedule 1 drugs and allow research on the health benefits of
“After years of working to advance cannabis reform in Congress, this critical hearing is an important milestone where another major congressional committee focused time and attention on our movement,” Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), who spoke to Marijuana Moment on Tuesday about his expectations for the hearing, said in a press release. “It was important to hear a number of senior members of Congress affirming the change that is taking place at the state level and affirming the contradictions that are created by the federal government being out of step and out of touch.”
With today’s @EnergyCommerce
hearing, another major cmte has focused time & attention on our
movement to bring federal cannabis policy into the 21st century &
end the failed war on drugs. This was an encouraging step on our
blueprint to legalize cannabis, but we need more action.
Pro-legalization group NORML also submitted written testimony for the hearing, stating that as “evident by the title of this hearing, our federal marijuana policies are stuck in the past.”
“It is time for Congress to amend them in a manner that comports with
our current political and cultural reality,” the organization said.
“For some 50 years, the cannabis plant has been improperly categorized
and criminalized by federal law. It is time to re‐examine and amend this
longstanding failed policy.”
Ahead of the hearing, a coalition of cannabis reform groups—including
the National Cannabis Industry Association, Cannabis Trade Federation
and Minority Cannabis Business Association—sent a letter to subcommittee leadership ahead of the meeting, encouraging members to take action on the various pieces of legislation.
BREAKING: Cannabis industry groups send letter
urging descheduling and federal regulation to increase research improve
public safety and address harms caused by prohibition.
“As organizations that collectively represent thousands of
state-legal cannabis businesses around the country, ancillary
industries, and our communities, we applaud your decision to hold a
hearing on cannabis policy so early in the new legislative session,” the
groups wrote. “This is a wonderful opportunity to continue the robust
and groundbreaking discussion on this issue that took place in Congress
last year and we commend your leadership in carrying it over into 2020.”
“As an industry, we understand that many
lawmakers have concerns about the impact of the changing legal status of
cannabis. We do not take these concerns lightly. These concerns
underscore the need to establish a legal federal cannabis framework, as
current federal policies can cause and exacerbate these concerns. We
welcome the opportunity to work with lawmakers and regulators to
determine the best paths forward as state and federal cannabis policy
In their written testimony, DEA, FDA and NIDA representatives
generally described the current state of federal marijuana policy,
unsurprisingly without advocating for changes to cannabis’s current
criminal status. That said, both DEA and NIDA seemed to at least
recognize that existing policies are inhibiting research into the plant
and signaled that changes are on the horizon.
Volkow wrote that the growing availability of cannabis products,
particularly with high concentrations of THC, “raise serious public
health concerns.” At the same time, however, “despite the public health
urgency, legal and regulatory barriers continue to present challenges to
advancing cannabis research.”
“Obtaining or modifying a Schedule I registration [for researchers to
study marijuana] involves significant administrative challenges, and
researchers report that obtaining a new registration can take more than a
year,” she said. “Adding new substances to an existing registration can
also be time consuming.”
“It would be useful to clarify aspects of the [Controlled Substances
Act] that have been sources of confusion and administrative burden for
the research community,” she said.
Additionally, Volkow acknowledged that the current situation, where the government has only authorized one facility to cultivate cannabis for researchers, “limits the diversity of products and formulations available to researchers and slows the development of cannabis-based medications.”
“Although the University of Mississippi supplies cannabis for
clinical trials, it does not have the capacity to manufacture a broad
array of cannabis-derived formulations for research or to supply these
cannabis products for commercial development,” she said.
Strait wrote that his agency remains committed to expanding the number of federally authorized cannabis manufacturers for research purposes, noting that DEA is reviewing the situation but that ” adjustments to DEA’s policies and procedures may be necessary under applicable U.S. law to be consistent with certain treaty functions.”
“In the near future, DEA intends to propose regulations that would
govern persons seeking to become registered with DEA to grow marihuana
as bulk manufacturers, consistent with applicable law, taking into
account recent changes in the Controlled Substances Act,” he said. “At present, a notice of proposed rulemaking is under review by the Office of Management and Budget.”
Volkow raised another issue, which other federal agencies have previously recognized, noting that “researchers supported by NIDA and other federal agencies are unable to access marketed cannabis products through state marijuana dispensaries.”
“There is a significant gap in our understanding of their impact on
health,” she said. “The recent outbreaks of e-cigarette or vaping
product use associated lung injury (EVALI), which has been linked to
informally-sourced THC-containing vape products, underscores the
critical importance of facilitating researcher access to different
A NIDA staffer told Marijuana Moment in an email last week that
“rigorous research is essential for understanding how the changing
cannabis landscape will affect public health, for guiding evidence-based
policy, and advancing therapeutics.”
“However, there are significant regulatory challenges to conducting research with marijuana and other Schedule I drugs,” the official said. “NIDA [has] been working with the DEA and FDA on ways to ameliorate these challenges, but there is nothing publicly available to share at this time.”
China is expected to report on Friday that economic growth slowed to its weakest in nearly three decades in 2019 amid a bruising trade war with the United States, and more stimulus steps are expected this year to help avert sharper slowdown.
While recent data have pointed to some signs of improvement in the
ailing manufacturing sector, and a newly-signed Sino-U.S. trade deal has
helped lift business confidence, analysts are not sure if the gains can
Analysts polled by Reuters expect the economy
to have grown 6.0 percent in the October-December quarter from a year
earlier, unchanged from the previous quarter’s pace, which was the
slowest since the first quarter of 1992, the earliest quarterly data on
For the whole of 2019, growth is expected to slow from
6.6% in 2018 to 6.1% — the weakest since 1990 — and cool further to 5.9%
in 2020, a separate Reuters poll showed, reinforcing views that Beijing
will roll out more stimulus measures.
Policy sources have told
Reuters that Beijing plans to set a lower economic growth target of
around 6% this year from last year’s 6-6.5%, relying on increased
infrastructure spending to ward off a sharper slowdown.
will release its fourth-quarter and 2019 gross domestic product (GDP)
data on Friday (0200 GMT), along with December factory output, retail
sales and fixed-asset investment.
Data on Tuesday showed China’s
exports rose for the first time in five months in December and by more
than expected, with imports also beating estimates, signaling a modest
recovery in demand as Beijing and Washington agreed to de-escalate their
prolonged trade war.
the pinch caused by the trade war, growth of China’s exports slowed to
just 0.5% last year from a near 10% gain in 2018, reflecting falling
The United States and China signed a partial trade
deal on Wednesday that will roll back some tariffs and boost Chinese
purchases of U.S. products. But most of the tit-for-tat levies imposed
by the two sides over the past 18 months remain in place and a number of
thorny issues are unresolved, raising the risk of a renewed flareup in
This year is crucial for the
ruling Communist Party to fulfill its goal of doubling GDP and incomes
in the decade to 2020, and turning China into a “moderately prosperous”
Ning Jizhe, head of the National Bureau of Statistics,
has said that gross domestic product is expected to approach 100
trillion yuan ($14.52 trillion) in 2019, with per capita GDP surpassing
$10,000 for the first time.
Growth of about 6% this year could be
enough to meet the long-term goal, but policy insiders say Chinese
leaders will have to ensure annual expansion of 5%-6% in the next
several years to overcome the so-called “middle income trap”, where
incomes rise to a certain level then stagnate.
Beijing has been
relying on a mix of fiscal and monetary steps to weather the current
downturn, cutting taxes and allowing local governments to sell huge
amounts of bonds to fund infrastructure projects.
also have been encouraged to lend more, especially to small firms, with
new yuan loans hitting a record 16.81 trillion yuan ($2.44 trillion) in
2019. But the economy has been slow to respond, and investment growth
has been stuck at record lows.
The central bank has banks’
reserve requirement ratios (RRR) – the amount of cash that banks must
hold as reserves – eight times since early 2018, most recently this
month, alongside modest cuts in its key lending rate.
Analysts polled by Reuters expect further cuts in RRR and key interest rates this year. But Chinese policymakers have repeatedly said they will avoid unleashing the kind of massive stimulus used in past downturns, which quickly juiced growth rates but left a mountain of debt.
Former Fed chair Janet
Yellen thinks it’s OK if the government adds to its $23 trillion debt
load – although there are strings attached.
“Even under current conditions, I think we can afford to increase federal spending or cut taxes to stimulate the economy if there’s a downturn,” said Janet Yellen, the former Federal Reserve chief, at the annual meeting of the American Economic Association, according to the Washington Post. “Chronic low interest rates create additional fiscal space.”
Yellen said that gives policymakers more room to embark on ambitious
spending that could juice the nation’s long-term economic development
“In a world of low real rates, there’s also a strong case for
programs to invest in infrastructure, education, research and
development, climate change mitigation – namely investments that would
elevate potential growth,” Yellen said, according to the Post.
It marks a shift in Yellen’s previous thinking about the national
debt and the future budget outlook. In 2017, when the debt stood at $20
trillion and Congress debated the GOP tax cut legislation, she said mounting level of federal spending “should keep people awake at night.”
The former Fed chair forms part of a growing collection of economists
who believe that targeted spending in programs – even if it adds to the
debt – may not be so harmful if it spurs growth in the long run,
especially in a competitive global economy. However, they do believe
that type of deficit-spending should be paid back eventually.
It underscores an evolving view of federal spending as low interest rates make it cheaper to finance government initiatives. Currently, the Fed’s benchmark interest rate stands around 1.75% as it was cut three times last year.
Some criticized the Federal Reserve for hiking rates prematurely in the 2010s after the recession and holding back economic growth.
The deficit in fiscal year 2019 neared $1 trillion, a 26% jump from the year before, swelled by the 2017 Republican tax cuts and rising government spending. The Congressional Budget Office projected last year the deficit will continue growing between 2020 and 2029.
Some progressive economists, such as Gabriel Zucman and Emmanuel Saez of the University of California at Berkeley, have called for additional taxes on the rich to pay for hefty spending programs in healthcare and education.
Both consulted with Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders in designing their plans for a wealth tax on the most-affluent Americans.
Starton Therapeutics CEO Pedro Lichtinger sat down with Proactive’s Christine Corrado at the Biotech Showcase 2020 in San Francisco. Lichtinger talks about how the New York-based company recently changed its name from ChemioCare, how the company is well capitalized to continue through Q1 to next year, its anticipate IPO, and recent ‘unprecedented results’ out of its in multiple myeloma therapy.