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USDA Domestic Hemp Production Program

11/6/19--On October, 31, 2019, USDA formally issued an interim final rule establishing the USDA Domestic Hemp Production Program. The following video is a basic overview of the program. Read

Hank Investigates: Vaping marijuana poisonous puff

11/6/19--Investigative reporter Hank Phillippi Ryan’s exclusive story reveals if you vape what’s in some cartridges you could be breathing in a deadly gas. Doctors across the country are seeing alarming symptoms like chronic coughing, pneumonia and even death, and Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker is so concerned about vaping that he put an emergency ban in place to stop all Massachusetts stores from selling any vaping products. Read

CBD interest among Americans surpasses nearly all other health products: ‘This generation’s snake oil’

10/28/19--Cannabidiol, better known as CBD, has undergone a meteoric rise in popularity over recent years. One of the features that makes CBD so appealing is its ability to be ingested or taken in a variety of ways. Still, most major U.S. health leaders, organizations, and departments have remained largely silent on CBD’s proposed benefits mostly due to an overall lack of data on just how popular the oil is, statically. Read

The opioid crisis, corporate responsibility, and lessons from the tobacco master settlement agreement

11/1/19--The opioid crisis has accounted for 770 000 deaths in the United States over the past 20 years, and this crisis has contributed to the decline in US overall life expectancy for 3 consecutive years. Responsibility for holding corporations accountable for their role in the opioid epidemic—and ensuring they contribute to solutions—falls primarily to state attorneys general who are responsible for protecting the public and can act individually or as a group through lawsuits or negotiations when public health is threatened. Read

Woman charged in Clintonville marijuana, THC vape bust

10/31/19--Criminal charges have been filed against Brooke L. Schweitzer, 19, in connection to an alleged THC vaping operation in Clintonville. Police swept the home and found what they called a "marijuana grow operation." They found harvested mature plants in the basement and dried marijuana leaves around the home. Read

Mass. medical marijuana patients say Baker lacks authority to ban cannabis vapes

11/1/19--Governor Charlie Baker announced an emergency statewide ban on the sale of all vaping products Sept. 24, contending the broad policy was needed to protect public health amid an outbreak of vaping-related lung illnesses. However, medical marijuana patients say they’re suffering after losing access to the quick symptom relief provided by vapes sold at licensed marijuana stores and dispensaries. Read

Why marijuana dividend stock Innovative Industrial (IIPR) fell 18% in October

11/2/19--Shares of Innovative Industrial Properties (NYSE:IIPR) declined 17.7% in October, according to data from S&P Global Market Intelligence. The stock's return was also negative 17.7%, since no dividends were paid during the month. Innovative Industrial stock's subpar showing in October is being attributed to continued weakness in the overall cannabis sector rather than to company-specific happenings. Read

Packers LB Za’Darius Smith cited for possession of marijuana, speeding

11/2/19--Green Bay Packers outside linebacker Za’Darius Smith has been cited for possession of marijuana or synthetic marijuana and speeding, according to documents filed in Wisconsin Circuit Court in Racine via ESPN. Smith, who was driving and traveling with teammates Rashan Gary and Kingsley Keke, was not high and none had marijuana on their person; however, when the car was searched, the officer found three hollowed-out cigars filled with marijuana and a vape device. After writing a citing, the three were released by the officer. Read

Active cannabis marketing and adolescent past-year cannabis use

11/1/19--According to a study published in Science Direct, youth who engage with cannabis promotions and brands had higher odds of past-year cannabis use. After adjusting for several possible confounders, youth who liked or followed a cannabis business on at least one social media platform had 5 times higher odds of past-year cannabis use. Read

Juul’s meltdown costs tobacco giant Altria $4.5 Billion

10/31/19--Altria, one of the world’s largest tobacco companies, said it had devalued its investment in the vaping company Juul Labs by $4.5 billion, a move that reflects deepening turmoil in the e-cigarette industry. The company pointed to recent bans on vaping, a $7 billion industry, across the United States and the “increased likelihood” that the Food and Drug Administration would “remove flavored e-vapor products from the market.” Read

Cannabis use disorder is declining among young adolescents and young adults

10/31/19--The prevalence of cannabis use disorder decreased in 2002 to 2016 among frequent users. Changes in social attitudes and the traits of frequent users may explain the decline, according to researchers. This is one of the first studies to examine the general health profile of people using cannabis daily or almost daily and the trends in the prevalence of cannabis use disorder in this population. Read

Juul knowingly sold tainted nicotine pods, former executive says

10/30/19--Siddharth Breja, a former top executive of Juul, is alleging that the e-cigarette giant sold at least one million contaminated mint-flavored nicotine pods — and refused to recall them when told about the problem in March. Breja claims he was fired in retaliation for whistle-blowing and objecting to the shipment of the contaminated and expired pods and other illegal and unsafe conduct that “has jeopardized and continues to jeopardize public health and safety and the lives of millions of consumers, many of them children and teens.” Read

Value of Portland’s billion-dollar marijuana deal slashed

10/30/19--The Massachusetts company buying Oregon’s biggest marijuana business restructured the transaction and dramatically reduced its value. Instead of nearly $1 billion, the deal could now be worth less than $300 million – though Portland-based Cura Cannabis has the opportunity to earn back some of what’s been lost if it hits newly established sales targets next year. Read

Top Juul marketing exec resigns as vaping health concerns continue

10/29/19--Juul Labs Chief Marketing Officer Craig Brommers resigned Tuesday, as concerns continue to rise about the health risks associated with vaping. Brommers joined the company in April as its first CMO, and Juul reportedly will not replace Brommers’ position. Read

The seven “Universal” symbols for cannabis products

10/27/19--Last week, cannabis regulators in Maine unveiled the universal symbol that must appear on all cannabis products sold for adult use in the state. Rather than create their own symbol from scratch, the Office of Marijuana Policy decided to adopt the symbol that’s already being used in Massachusetts. Read

Behind the scenes of CDC’s vaping investigation

10/25/19--Given the scope and the mysterious nature of vaping-related illnesses, the CDC set up an incident command center to coordinate its response. In elevating an issue like this, the CDC has directed about 140 scientists and other staff to step away from their normal work and give their full attention to the crisis. Read

Marijuana company NETA settles trademark lawsuit with wood business Boise Cascade

10/25/19--Boise Cascade Company and New England Treatment Access reached a settlement in a federal lawsuit, in which the lumber company had alleged that NETA was ripping off their trademarked logo. The Idaho-based lumber company Boise Cascade, which has a distribution center in Westfield and an administrative office in Billerica, sued the Franklin-based marijuana company NETA in April in U.S. District Court in Boston. Read

As Russian money poured into cannabis, Giuliani allies scrambled to partake

10/23/19--Russian investors have flocked to the U.S. cannabis industry in recent years. One venture involving associates of Rudy Giuliani drew the scrutiny of federal investigators. Read

The incredibly large lobbying footprint of Greenwich Biosciences

10/23/19--Greenwich Biosciences, the United States subsidiary of the British GW Pharmaceuticals, registered to lobby in every single state in the country—including ones where all forms of cannabis are prohibited—over the last three years. Greenwich has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars in 2019 alone on its state-level lobbying activities, mostly on issues related such as “scheduling of FDA approved cannabidiol drugs,” “drugs and controlled substances,” “pharmaceuticals,” “healthcare,” and “health insurance,” according to lobbying disclosures. Read

Seven indicted in drug trafficking conspiracy at Savannah seafood market

10/17/19--The owner of a Savannah seafood restaurant, along with three family members and three others have been charged in a drug trafficking conspiracy that alleges the store was used as a front for the sale of marijuana and THC vape pens. Read

Study: Legalized recreational marijuana has little effect on crime in two states

10/17/19--A study by researchers at several universities finds that crime statistics haven’t changed much in two U.S. states that legalized recreational marijuana use and sales. The study focused on Colorado and Washington, the two first states to legalize recreational marijuana, and looked specifically at property-related and violent crimes. Read

The push to unionize cannabis workers, explained

10/14/19--On Friday, California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed into law a requirement that all cannabis stores enter into so-called “labor peace agreements” as soon as they have 20 or more employees. Labor unions have been pushing for these agreements in recent years, as more and more states decriminalize marijuana. They say they want to make sure the $6 billion industry doesn’t exploit workers, who are often paid below the minimum wage or given marijuana instead of wages. Read

Vaping THC results in similar brain activity to schizophrenia: study

9/26/19--A new study by University of Guelph researchers shows that vaping cannabis can cause prolonged changes in brain activity. The study suggests that brain activity in rats exposed to the vaporized compound once is similar to those with schizophrenia and cannabis-induced psychosis. Read

High-flying marijuana vapes take hit from health scare

9/26/19--Vaping products, one of the fastest-growing segments of the legal marijuana industry, have taken a hit from consumers as public health experts scramble to determine what's causing a mysterious and sometimes fatal lung disease among people who use e-cigarettes. Read

THC products may play a role in outbreak of lung injury associated with e-cigarette use, or vaping

9/27/19--The latest findings from the investigation into lung injuries associated with e-cigarette use, or vaping, suggest THC products play a role in the outbreak. Most of the people (77%) in this outbreak reported using THC-containing products, or both THC-containing products and nicotine-containing products, according to a report published today in the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR). Read

CDC, states update number of cases of lung injury associated with e-cigarette use, or vaping

9/26/19--CDC today announced the updated number of confirmed and probable cases of lung injury and deaths associated with e-cigarette product use, or vaping. As of September 24, 2019, 805 confirmed and probable patient cases of lung injury associated with e-cigarette product use, or vaping, were reported by 46 states and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Read

Florida, Georgia see first vaping-related deaths as nationwide toll hits 12

9/26/19--Health officials in Florida and Georgia this week announced the first vaping-linked deaths in their respective states, as officials raised the number of fatalities nationwide to 12. In an update on Thursday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also raised the number of confirmed or probable vaping-related illnesses to 805. Read

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

Dr. Sanjay Gupta on medical marijuana: We are in an age of wisdom, but also an age of foolishness

9/27/19--According to Dr. Sanjay Gupta, we are in an age of wisdom, but also an age of foolishness. Gupta further states that great strides have been made with with medical marijuana, but some of the same mistakes that led cannabis to be vilified and misunderstood in the first place have been repeated. Read

Miley Cyrus-backed cannabis cafe brings Amsterdam to Hollywood

9/28/19--Lowell Cafe, America’s first lounge to allow consuming cannabis, opens on Monday in West Hollywood. For the first time in the country, customers will legally be able to order pot that can be smoked in pre-rolled joints or vaped -- even as the industry is grappling with a spike in lung damage and deaths linked to vaping. Read

Cyanide detected in bootleg marijuana vape pens: report

9/27/19-- NBC News tested 10 THC vape pens from unlicensed dealers and all 10 tested positive for a myclobutanil, pesticide that can turn into hydrogen cyanide when burned. “You certainly don’t want to be smoking cyanide,” Antonio Frazier, the vice president of operations at CannaSafe, told NBC News. “I don’t think anyone would buy a cart that was labeled hydrogen cyanide on it.” Read

As crisis looms, Oregon officials propose vaping ban

9/28/19--The Oregon Health Authority is recommending that Gov. Kate Brown ban for six months the display and sale of all vaping products, both nicotine and cannabis based. The recommendation is one of six related to curtailing use of vaping products across the state and comes after state officials, including the governor, urged consumers to voluntarily stop using vaping products. Read

Lawsuit filed in B.C. Supreme Court seeks class action, damages against e-cigarette giant Juul

9/30/19--A notice of civil claim filed in B.C. Supreme Court claims e-cigarette giant Juul targets minors with misleading advertising by claiming its products are safer and healthier than smoking. In documents filed today naming Juul Labs Canada and Juul Labs Inc., plaintiffs Jaycen Stephens and Owen Mann-Campbell say they were 18 years old when they started using Juul e-cigarettes in 2018. Read

Outbreak of lung injury associated with e-cigarette use, or vaping

10/10/19--As of October 8, 2019, 1,299 lung injury cases associated with the use of e-cigarette, or vaping, products have been reported to CDC from 49 states, the District of Columbia, and 1 U.S. territory. Twenty-six deaths have been confirmed in 21 states, and all patients have reported a history of using e-cigarette, or vaping, products. Read

A vape ban would crush Oregon cannabis oil extractors. Gov. Kate Brown may do it anyway.

10/2/19--The announcement by health officials last week of a second Oregon death in an outbreak of respiratory illnesses has pressed the governor to the brink of issuing a six-month ban on all vaping products. Read

Cigarettes, N.H., Craigslist: How the vaping public is contending with Baker’s ban

10/3/19--Within hours of Governor Charlie Baker’s emergency ban last week on vape sales, products that consumers and medical marijuana patients had relied on for years suddenly disappeared from store shelves. Now, the Baker administration is facing a series of lawsuits and protests, part of a growing backlash from critics who insist the hastily conceived ban will ultimately harm, not improve, public health. Read

Why it’s time to pull the plug on e-cigarette ads

9/24/19--The corporations that own CNN, CBS, TNT, TBS and other major broadcasting brands have announced that they will not air advertisements for e-cigarettes amid the ongoing investigation of vaping-related lung illnesses that have sickened hundreds of Americans and killed seven people. Read

Baker ban on vaping sales expected to survive first legal challenge in US District Court in Boston

10/4/19--Governor Charlie Baker’s four-month ban on all vaping product sales was expected to survive its first major legal challenge after a federal judge in Boston seemed cool to arguments seeking a temporary halt to the ban. Baker’s ban is considered one of the strictest vaping regulations nationwide. Read

Queer roots and major players in Georgia’s medical marijuana boom

10/4/19--Many LGBTQ people are at the center of the growth of the marijuana industry. Colton Griffin, CEO of Flourish, an Atlanta-based company that helps medical marijuana companies monitor logistics, is one of the LGBTQ people playing a role in Georgia’s booming medical marijuana business. Read

Vaping Illness Update: FDA warns public to stop using Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)-Containing vaping products and any vaping products obtained off the street

10/4/19--In its continued efforts to protect the public, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is strengthening its warning to consumers to stop using vaping products containing THC amid more than 1,000 reports of lung injuries—including some resulting in deaths—following the use of vaping products. Read

Marijuana reform should focus on inequality

10/5/19--Each state that reforms its marijuana laws must decide how it will allocate production rights. Currently, states severely restrict the number of licenses awarded to cannabis growers, ensuring corporate domination of the industry. Rules favor well-connected corporate growers rather than independent farmers, much less independent farmers of color. Read

Snoop Dogg draws thousands in Ontario for marijuana dispensary grand opening

10/6/19--Thousands of people crowded Hotbox Farms in Ontario Saturday for the dispensary's grand opening, and to see artist Snoop Dogg perform live. Hotbox Farms is the third dispensary to open in Ontario, and the opening comes as Oregon Governor Kate Brown announces a temporary ban on flavored vaping products. Read

Vaping deaths shine light on California’s dark cannabis underworld

10/6/19--It’s still unclear what is causing the lung damage that has hospitalized 805 people and killed 18. But most of the cases have been traced back to illicit products, health officials say. In a cluster of 12 cases treated in the Central Valley’s rural Kings County, where cannabis is illegal, every patient vaped using cannabis or cannabis oil devices bought from an illicit “pop up” shop. Read

The first publicly available annotated genome for cannabis plants

9/30/19--The annotated genome allows, for the first time, the use of classical genetics and proteomics tools for the interrogation of these plants. Furthermore, the presence of an annotated genome within the NCBI Genome browser now permits any researcher with a web browser to manually examine or BLAST genetic sequences, vastly reducing the resources required to create primers to amplify genes from the plants or microbial contaminants that may affect them. Read

Mass. marijuana vape sales drop sharply amid health crisis

9/19/19--Revenue from sales of marijuana vaporizers at licensed cannabis stores in Massachusetts has plunged 25 percent amid widespread consumer health concerns about the devices, according to data provided to the Globe by the Cannabis Control Commission. Experts said the change, which is almost certainly because of warnings from state and federal authorities that vaporizers are probably the cause of a mysterious outbreak of lung ailments. Read

As vaping-related lung illnesses worsen, public holds e-cigarettes like Juul culpable

9/19/19--Amid a multitude of reports about severe lung illnesses associated with vaping, federal health agencies have urged everyone to avoid electronic cigarettes and cautioned that pointing blame at any one brand, chemical, or substance in isolation is premature. Read

FDA issues proposed rule for premarket tobacco product applications

9/20/19--Today, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued a proposed rule to set forth requirements related to the content, format and FDA’s review and communications procedures for premarket tobacco product applications (PMTAs) as part of the agency’s continued commitment to its oversight of e-cigarettes and other tobacco products. Read

American Bar Association hosts cannabis executives in Illinois

9/20/19--The American Bar Association hosted a roundtable discussion in Chicago on Thursday during which executives from some of the cannabis industry’s biggest companies debated current trends in the industry and weighed predictions about what’s next. Read

Senate committee approves McConnell’s push for a fast, lenient FDA policy on CBD

9/20/19--The Senate Appropriations Committee approved Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s additions to the 2020 Senate Agriculture Appropriations Bill. If implemented, the bill will require the Food and Drug Administration to pick up speed on developing more permissive guidance on hemp-derived CBD products, paving the way for increased business opportunities. Read

There will be lawsuits: Legal fallout from vape cart crisis is coming

9/18/19--The reports of injuries and deaths, a mysterious lung disease, contaminated products, and heightened public health concerns due to vaping have generated international headlines, and captured the attention of state and federal lawmakers. Legal experts expect that lawsuits will soon follow as a result vape-related injuries—and soon. Read

A national survey of marijuana use among US adults with medical conditions, 2016-2017

9/20/19--This survey study using data from 169,036 participants in the 2016 and 2017 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System surveys found that, compared with adults without medical conditions, adults with medical conditions had a significantly higher prevalence of current and daily marijuana use, were more likely to report using marijuana for medical reasons, and were less likely to report using marijuana for recreational purposes. Read

Pulmonary illness related to e-cigarette use in Illinois and Wisconsin

9/6/19--In July 2019, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services and the Illinois Department of Public Health received reports of pulmonary disease associated with the use of e-cigarettes (also called vaping) and launched a coordinated public health investigation. Results indicate that although the features of e-cigarette use responsible for injury have not been identified, this cluster of illnesses represents an emerging clinical syndrome or syndromes. Additional work is needed to characterize the pathophysiology and to identify the definitive causes. Read

Vaping-Induced Lung Injury

9/6/19--The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported in late August 2019 that at least 215 acute, severe respiratory distress cases have been identified, spanning 25 states, and more recently at least 2 deaths have occurred. Although more investigation is needed to determine the vaping agent or agents responsible, there is clearly an epidemic that begs for an urgent response. Read

Imaging of vaping-associated lung disease

9/6/19--Lung injury associated with vaping has been recognized in the medical literature, and a case series of such injuries is now published in The New England Journal of Medicine. Four imaging patterns have been identified that correlated with pathological findings attributable to vaping, including acute eosinophilic pneumonia, diffuse alveolar damage, organizing pneumonia, and lipoid pneumonia. In addition, some cases were associated with variegated imaging patterns. Read

More teens are vaping marijuana than ever before, expert warns

9/7/19--Illnesses and even deaths, that doctors believe could be linked to vaping, have been topping the headlines. According to Dr. Wilson Compton Deputy Director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, it's happening in middle and high schools across the country, and more and more youth are reporting use of these butane hash oil or other marijuana vaping products than ever before. Read

Interactive effects of PTSD and substance use on suicidal ideation and behavior in military personnel

9/2/19--Results from a study examining the unique and interactive effects of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms and days using alcohol, opioids, and marijuana on PTSD symptoms, suicidal ideation, and suicidal behavior indicate suggest marijuana, especially for military personnel experiencing elevated PTSD symptoms may negatively impact suicidal thoughts and behavior. These results are relevant to suggestions that medical marijuana could be used in treating or augmenting treatment for PTSD. Read

Vape cart additive makers pull products as others go dark

9/6/19--After a rash of suspected vape pen-related lung disease cases nationwide, the chemical makers responsible for selling new cannabis additives appear to be reacting. On Monday morning, officials at the federal Centers for Disease Control reported that as many as five deaths and 450 cases of suspected acute respiratory distress syndrome have been associated with vaping THC products. Illicit market vape carts tainted with unapproved additives are a leading suspect in the outbreak. Read

Black market pot entered CannTrust facility, flowed into legal market last year: Sources

9/6/19--Senior operating staff working at CannTrust Holdings Inc.’s Pelham, Ont. facility late last year brought marijuana seeds from the black market into production rooms, leading to some illicitly-grown pot flowing into the legal market, according to internal company documents obtained by BNN Bloomberg and four sources directly familiar with the matter. Read