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Teen vaping didn’t cool Juul’s celebrity push

9/28/19--The Sundance Film Festival last year was evidence to some that Juul was more interested in being seen as cool than it was in its stated mission of offering adult smokers an alternative to cigarettes. Juul’s efforts to court celebrities and social-media influencers are part of a range of practices under investigation by both the Food and Drug Administration and the Federal Trade Commission. Read

Federal prosecutors conducting criminal probe of Juul

9/23/19--Blamed for a rise in vaping among teenagers, the Federal Trade Commission, the Food and Drug Administration and several state attorneys general are investigating its marketing practices. The FTC’s probe is focused on whether Juul used social-media influencers and other marketing techniques to appeal to minors, while the FDA is conducting a more wide-ranging investigation, covering marketing and outreach as well as the high nicotine content of Juul’s refill pods. Read

Juul tried to position itself as a responsible actor. It backfired.

9/22/19--Juul Labs Inc. pursued a strategy to win over Washington. But the e-cigarette maker wound up further alienating regulators, helping to thrust the once-soaring startup into a crisis that threatens its business. Read

Juul CEO exits; Altria, Philip Morris end talks in vaping fallout

9/25/19--The chief executive of e-cigarette startup Juul Labs Inc. abruptly stepped down on Wednesday, as U.S. efforts to combat underage vaping threaten to upend the trendy alternative to smoking. Juul, which is the target of several federal investigations, replaced Chief Executive Kevin Burns with an executive at Altria, which owns a 35% stake in the e-cigarette makes. Read

Juul prepares staff shake-up amid U.S. crackdown

9/24/19--Juul Labs Inc. is preparing a staff restructuring, as the e-cigarette maker braces for slower sales following a mysterious vaping-related illnesses and a proposed U.S. ban on flavors that make up more than 80% of its sales. The move underscores the pressure faced by one of the country’s most valuable startups. While Juul plans to continue its expansion, the company will scale back the pace of its hiring and some jobs will be eliminated. Read

Sales of illicit vaping products find home online

9/20/19--A market for illicit marijuana-vaping products and the tools to create counterfeits is thriving online. Instagram, Amazon.com, Facebook, and other tech companies say they have policies against any illegal or inappropriate sales and remove offenders from their sites. Web sales of products used to make marijuana-containing vape cartridges are legal under certain circumstances, but doctors and industry experts warn about the potential health risks from buying such items online, particularly those that end up being counterfeit. Read

Pot Industry underestimates old-school dealers

8/19/19--In the United States where marijuana is legal, traditional drug dealers are still formidable competitors. The black market will also loom large for investors. The U.S. marijuana market is huge, yet it still remains to be seen how much business remains in the hands of illegal dealers. Read

Andy Capp’s Fries get 4/20 buzz

4/12/19--Conagra Brands, the food company widely admired in the industry for its track record of turning around aging brands, sees opportunity for the Andy Capp’s line of snacks, named after the layabout star of the British comic strip. Read  

Legalized marijuana hits hurdles in Albany

3/21/19--The effort to regulate and tax adult-use marijuana has hit stumbling blocks in Albany amid disputes over revenue, who will have access to licenses, and an intensifying counteroffensive by marijuana opponents. Read  

Cannabis drinks confront a serious buzz kill—They taste terrible

3/10/19--Cannabis drinks are hitting the global market, promising anxiety reduction, pain relief and better sleep. One thing none of them tout is taste. Read

If weed is medicine, so is Budweiser

1/17/19--Ten states and the District of Columbia have legalized recreational marijuana use, and another eight look likely to do so in 2019. In an editorial published in The Wall Street Journal by Peter Bach, Director of the Center for Health Policy and Outcomes at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, Bach states that although he is in favor of the move, he is troubled by the gateway to it, and we should not pretend that legalized marijuana is therapeutic. Read

Marijuana comes to your coffee and candy—but is it legal?

9/12/18--Companies are selling a growing number of products that contain cannabidiol, or CBD, a chemical found in hemp. It’s being added to everything from gumdrops to beverages, as marketers claim benefits such as pain relief and stress reduction. Read

New partners in weed startup: Jimmy Buffett and Wrigley Scion

9/11/18--Singer Jimmy Buffett and billionaire William “Beau” Wrigley Jr. are getting behind a U.S. marijuana startup, joining other companies betting on the increasingly crowded marijuana industry. Mr. Buffett will license his Coral Reefer brand to Surterra Holdings Inc. for a line of cannabis products including vape pens, gel caps, edibles, and lotions. Read

Jeff Sessions struggles to get planned marijuana crackdown going

6/10/18--Attorney General Jeff Sessions vowed to use federal law to get tough on marijuana, announcing in January he was ending Obama-era protections for the nascent pot industry in states where it is legal. Six months into his mission, he is largely going it alone. In fact, Mr. Sessions’ own prosecutors have yet to bring federal charges against pot businesses that are abiding by state law. Read

Legalizing pot is a bad way to promote racial equality

8/9/27--According to an article by Jason L. Riley of The Wall Street Journal, Senator Corey Booker believes drug legalization would address racial disparities. However, violent offenses, not drug offenses, drive incarceration rates. Data from 2015, the most recent available, show that about 53% of people in state prisons were imprisoned for violent crimes, 19% for property crimes, and 16% for drug crimes. Given that blacks are also overrepresented among those arrested for property and other nonviolent offenses, merely altering U.S. drug laws would effect little change in the racial makeup of people behind bars.

Against all odds, the U.S. tobacco industry is rolling in money

4/23/17-Far fewer Americans are smoking, and yet U.S. tobacco revenue is soaring due to years of steady price hikes. Americans spent more at retail stores on cigarettes in 2016 than they did on soda and beer combined, according to independent market-research firm Euromonitor International. Read

FDA cracks down on online sales by e-cigarette industry

fb-square-english-spanish9/15/16--A month after assuming regulatory oversight over e-cigarettes, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has cracked down on online sales by the industry, issuing 24 letters to websites for illegal sales to minors. Read