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Reactions to messages about smoking, vaping and COVID-19: two national experiments

11/23/20--Results of this study indicate that messages linking smoking with COVID-19 may hold promise for discouraging smoking and may have the added benefit of also discouraging vaping. Read

Peter Thiel backs Berlin start-up making psychedelics in $125 million round

11/23/20--Billionaire tech investor Peter Thiel has backed ATAI Life Sciences, a Berlin start-up aiming to make psychedelic drugs to treat mental health disorders in a $125 million funding round. Described as a drug development platform, ATAI Life Sciences was set up to acquire, incubate and develop psychedelics and other drugs that can be used to treat depression, anxiety, addiction and other mental health conditions. Read

The Risks of Another Epidemic: Teenage Vaping

11/23/20--Although self-reported use of e-cigarettes by high school and middle school students decreased over the past year, Dr. Robert R. Redfield, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, cautioned, “Youth e-cigarette use remains an epidemic.” Read

E-cigarette use associated with asthma independent of cigarette smoking and marijuana in a 2017 national sample of adolescents

10/1/20--In a study examining health consequences of e-cigarette use in adolescence with asthma, results indicate that e-cigarette use was significantly associated with asthma in recent data on adolescents, controlling for several disease-relevant covariates. The results are consistent with studies based on previous generations of e-cigarettes and support the significance of e-cigarettes as a continuing public health concern. Read

Who is backing New Approach, the top cannabis legalization PAC?

11/3/20--New Approach PAC is the top backer of cannabis ballot measures. According to Cannabis Wire, the PAC has raised nearly $10 million in 2020, and it is backing every campaign for medical or adult use legalization in 2020, except in Arizona. New Approach’s top contributors include philanthropist Cari Tuna, Napster founder Sean Parker, and philanthropist Alexandra Cohen. Read

Cannabis company Aphria to acquire SweetWater Brewing for $300M

11/4/20--Canadian cannabis giant Aphria is expanding into the U.S. with its $300 million acquisition of SweetWater Brewing Company, according to a release. The deal is expected to close by the end of 2020. Based on volume, SweetWater Brewing is one of the biggest independent craft brewers in the U.S. Aphria has several medical and adult-use cannabis brands in Canada. Read

Why Canadian cannabis firm Aphria bought US craft brewer for $300M: Q&A with CFO Carl Merton

11/5/20--Aphria’s deal to buy Atlanta-based SweetWater Brewing Co. is believed to be the first time a large Canadian cannabis company reached across the border to buy a successful craft brewer. Marijuana Business Daily spoke with Aphria Chief Financial Officer Carl Merton about the rationale for the acquisition, and the company’s future plans in the U.S. market. Read

Broad range of studies show e-cigs increase lung disease risk by 40-50%

11/6/20--A systematic review and meta-analysis of results on respiratory disorder was conducted from studies of general-population samples in consideration of mapping the results to findings about biological processes linked to e-cigarettes in controlled laboratory studies. This study concludes that e-cigarette use has consequences for asthma and COPD, which is of significant concern for respirology and public health. Read

Biden embraces drug courts, but do they actually work?

11/2/20--Despite three decades of intensive research, experts remain deeply divided over the efficacy — and ethics — of drug courts. Drug courts essentially offer a choice to defendants whose alleged crimes are deemed to have been the result of a substance use disorder. Proponents say these courts are both a compassionate alternative to incarceration and a more efficient form of justice, achieving lower crime and recidivism rates for less money than traditional criminal processes. Read

Trends in the age of cigarette smoking initiation among young adults in the US from 2002 to 2018

10/6/20--In this repeated cross-sectional study including 71,756 young adults aged 22 to 23 years, the proportion of ever smokers who initiated cigarette smoking in early adulthood more than doubled between 2002 and 2018, and the proportion of daily cigarette smokers who transitioned to daily smoking in early adulthood also increased from 38.7% in 2002 to 55.9% in 2018. Read

Young adults as a tobacco control priority population in the US

10/6/20--This study by Barrington-Trimis et al used data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health to examine the proportion of young adult cigarette smokers (aged 22-23 years) who initiated smoking in young adulthood from 2002 to 2018. Barrington-Trimis and colleagues found that during this period with population-level declines in cigarette smoking among youth and young adults, the average age of smoking initiation and the proportion of new initiates and daily smokers who were young adults increased. Read

Canopy Growth rolls out its first CBD-spiked beverages

11/5/20--Canopy Growth announced Wednesday that it has launched its first line of CBD drinks, called Quatreau. It is being introduced onto the Canadian market in both CBD-only and "balanced" versions, with the latter containing both CBD and THC. Read


11/9/20--As published in Tobacco Tactics, the tobacco industry has long-standing interest in cannabis as a potential product. Internal industry documents reveal that since 1970, Philip Morris International, British American Tobacco, and RJ Reynolds have been interested in commercial cannabis manufacture. Furthermore, as sited in a recent Huffington Post article by Kevin Sabet, in the US where recreational cannabis is now legal in 11 states, 4 tobacco companies have leant their support to pro-cannabis groups lobbying for legalization. Read

Drop in political funding by MPP illustrates shift toward marijuana trade groups, MSOs

10/26/20--The Marijuana Policy Project has long been a leader in funding cannabis reform at the state and federal levels, but the current election season demonstrates that MPP’s role is shifting in a significant way – toward a more collaborative position with industry trade associations and large MJ companies. Read

Substance use disorder linked to higher COVID-19 risk

10/27/20--People with substance use disorder (SUD), particularly those with opioid use disorder (OUD) and Black individuals, are at an increased risk of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), according to a recent study coauthored by Nora Volkow, MD, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). Read

Rising rates of ED visits for suicidal ideation, suicide attempt

10/27/20--From 2008 to 2017, the rate of emergency department (ED) visits related to suicidal ideation or suicide attempt increased among all age groups 5 years or older, according to a recent report from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). Suicide, which ranks among the top 10 US causes of death, is a growing US public health problem, the report noted. The suicide rate in 2017 was 14 per 100 000 population, representing more than 47 000 deaths. Read

Marijuana legalization proponents outraising opponents 36-to-1 in 2020

10/27/20--Financial support for marijuana legalization, both medical and recreational, has grown significantly in 2020 compared to 2016. Proponents of state ballot measures have outraised opponents this election season by almost 36-to-1, a massive increase from four years ago when advocates outstripped the opposition by only 4-to-1. Read

Crooked Nine: Nine ways the tobacco industry undermines health policy

9/26/20--Crooked Nine outlines the nine ways the tobacco industry undermines the policies that reduce smoking and ultimately save lives. STOP researchers documented examples in nearly 30 countries and at the United Nations. This report will enable readers to predict what the industry will do and prepare accordingly, draw on lessons learned from around the world, and suggested actions to counteract the industry. Read

2.3% of US population reports current e-cigarette use

10/28/20--According to data published in JAMA Network Open, the prevalence of e-cigarette use increased from 2018 to 2019 among current, former and never adult smokers in the United States. Researchers examined the distribution of e-cigarette use among 135,211 adults (mean age, 47.5 years; 52% women) from the 2018-2019 Tobacco Use Supplement to the Current Population Survey to examine current e-cigarette use by demographic characteristics and cigarette smoking status. Read

US drug use survey uncovers both promising and concerning trends

10/27/20--According to the latest National Survey on Drug Use and Health, compiled by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, among people aged 12 years or older in 2019, 60.1% reported having used a substance during the past month. Yet, the proportion of adolescents aged 12 to 17 years who reported consuming alcohol in the past month declined from 17.6% in 2002 to 9.4% in 2019. During that period, past-month cigarette use decreased from 26% to 16.7% among people aged 12 years or older. Read

Teen boys link marijuana use with more, better sex

10/28/20--Teen-age boys exposed to pro-cannabis advertising and social media posts are more likely than female peers to associate marijuana use with improving sexual activity, new research from Washington State University suggests. Read

A look inside this year’s adult-use legalization campaigns

10/28/20--Activists working on measures in Arizona, Montana, New Jersey and South Dakota discussed voter education, COVID, legal challenges and more during the NORML 2020 Conference. Read

New evidence on substance use disorders and COVID-19 susceptibility

10/5/20--When Dr. Nora Volkow initially reported that there is reason to be concerned that people with substance use disorders (SUDs) may be particularly vulnerable to COVID-19 and its most adverse health outcomes, there was very little data to directly support that hypothesis at that time. Now there is greater confidence to speak on this issue. Patients with SUDs or potentially compromised lung health from smoking and vaping should be monitored closely to best prevent the most adverse complications of the virus. Read

Online popularity of JUUL and Puff Bars in the USA: 2019–2020

11/4/20--The popularity of Puff Bar on Google Search suggests that users may replace cartridge-based vaping products with disposable e-cigarettes in the circumvention of the partial flavour ban. Continuous surveillance and further assessment are needed to prevent potential loopholes in tobacco regulation. Read

New review offers evidence-based advice for addressing cannabis use and cannabis use disorder

11/2/20--A new review provides practical advice for physicians on how to care for patients using cannabis and those with cannabis use disorder. The review offers evidence-based answers to frequently asked questions about cannabis use, including the health consequences, medical benefits, legal issues, and available treatments. In the Clinic: Care of the Patient Using Cannabis is published in Annals of Internal Medicine. Read

State medical societies concerned with state governments’ efforts to legalize recreational recreational marijuana

10/30/20--The medical societies of Delaware, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, and Pennsylvania are again joining together to express mutually shared concerns about state governments’ efforts to legalize marijuana for recreational use. Read

Content analysis of instagram posts by leading cannabis vaporizer brands

10/19/20--According to a study, cannabis vaporizer companies reach thousands of consumers through brand-owned social media accounts. Strategies to promote their products on these channels include posts that may appeal to sociodemographic groups and leveraging social media influencers and other companies to increase overall reach. Read

Global burden of 87 risk factors in 204 countries and territories, 1990-2019

10/17/20--The Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries, and Risk Factors Study (GBD) 2019 provides a standardized and comprehensive assessment of the magnitude of risk factor exposure, relative risk, and attributable burden of disease. Read

Reduce your risk of serious lung disease caused by corona virus quitting smoking and vaping

10/18/20--As of April 28, 2020 there were 19 peer reviewed papers that had data on smoking and COVID disease progression, 17 from China, 1 from Korea, and 1 from the US. This peer reviewed meta-analysis of these 19 papers found that smoking was associated with more than a doubling of odds of disease progression in people who had already developed COVID. Read

Tracing the racist tactics of the tobacco industry

10/16/20--In a calling to end Big Tobacco’s racism, truth partnered with Black community members and activists to launch its latest campaign Read Between the Lies. Led and promoted by Black voices, the campaign includes videos featuring Black voices reading and reacting to actual quotes from tobacco industry executives revealing the deliberate and exploitive ways they target the Black community. Read

Tobacco Explained

10/20/20--Thousands of internal tobacco industry documents released through litigation and whistleblowers reveal the most astonishing systematic corporate deceit of all time. Tobacco Explained is a survey of the documents, 1,200 relevant and revealing quotes grouped under common themes. Read

Youth e-cigarette use drops, more warnings issued

10/20/20--According to the 2020 National Youth Tobacco Survey, conducted by researchers at the FDA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, youth e-cigarette use declined by a third after 2 years of increases. It showed that 19.6% of high school students (3.02 million) reported e-cigarette use, down from 27.5% (4.11 million) in 2019. Among middle school students, 4.7% (550 000) reported e-cigarette use compared with 10.5% (1.24 million) in 2019. Read

Uncovering genetic roots of marijuana use disorder

10/23/20--A large study exploring possible genetic influences on cannabis use disorder has identified two regions in our DNA—one newly identified and a second that replicates a past finding—that appear to contribute to one's risk of becoming dependent on marijuana. Read

A large-scale genome-wide association study meta-analysis of cannabis use disorder

10/20/20--The aim of the study was to conduct a large genome-wide association study (GWAS) to identify novel genetic variants associated with cannabis use disorder. The findings support the theory that cannabis use disorder has shared genetic liability with other psychopathology, and there is a distinction between genetic liability to cannabis use and cannabis use disorder. Read

Jay-Z launches his very own cannabis line called Monogram

10/24/20--On Friday, Jay-Z launched a cannabis line called Monogram in partnership with California cannabis company Caliva. Although this is his first official line of cannabis with Caliva, Jay-Z joined the company in 2019 as its chief brand strategist. Read

Infant ingested marijuana edible

10/24/20--An infant was taken to the emergency room at Geisinger Medical Center after ingesting a marijuana edible, Bloomsburg Police reported. Dylan R. Coble, who was charged with felony child endangerment, told officers during an interview he left a marijuana edible on a desk within reach of the child while working from home. Coble told police he had a state-issued medical marijuana card, according to the criminal complaint. Read

Drop in political funding by MPP illustrates shift toward marijuana trade groups, MSOs

10/26/20--Although The Marijuana Policy Project has long been a leader in funding cannabis reform at the state and federal levels, the current election season demonstrates that MPP’s role is shifting in a significant way – toward a more collaborative position with industry trade associations and large MJ companies. Read

Substance use disorder linked to higher COVID-19 risk

10/27/20--People with substance use disorder (SUD), particularly those with opioid use disorder (OUD) and Black individuals, are at an increased risk of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), according to a recent study coauthored by Nora Volkow, MD, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). Volkow and her coauthors conducted a case-control study of deidentified electronic health records for nearly 73.1 million unique patients, including 12 030 with diagnosed COVID-19. Read

US drug use survey uncovers both promising and concerning trends

10/27/20--Among people aged 12 years or older in 2019, 60.1% reported having used a substance during the past month, according to the latest National Survey on Drug Use and Health, compiled by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. The most commonly reported substance used in the past month was alcohol, consumed by 50.8% of survey respondents, followed by tobacco, used by 21.1%. In addition, 13% used an illicit drug. Read

Rising rates of ED visits for suicidal ideation, suicide attempt

10/27/20--From 2008 to 2017, the rate of emergency department (ED) visits related to suicidal ideation or suicide attempt increased among all age groups 5 years or older, according to a recent report from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). Overall, males were more likely than females to present to an ED because of suicidal ideation or a suicide attempt, although females aged 10 to 19 years had higher rates of ED visits for suicidal ideation or suicide attempt, with the highest rate of such visits among females aged 15 to 19 years  Read

Canopy Growth and Acreage Holdings announce ilitial plans to launch THC-infused beverages in the U.S. next summer

10/1/20--Canopy Growth Corporation and Acreage Holdings, Inc. announced today that Acreage has developed a plan to market Canopy Growth’s diverse beverage portfolio in the United States. Leading with legal adult-use markets in Illinois and California, Acreage anticipates launching Canopy Growth’s select, sessionable THC beverage formulations in summer 2021. In addition to selling products in its own dispensaries, Acreage will access existing distribution channels through strategic corporate relationships. Read

Number of THC-exposed newborns increases after recreational marijuana legalized

10/3/20--There was a 32.5% increase in tetrahydrocannabinol-exposed newborns at a Michigan hospital following the legalization of recreational marijuana in the state, according to a study presented during the AAP National Conference & Exhibition. Researchers said the finding suggests that pregnant women are more likely to smoke marijuana if it has been legalized for recreational use. Read

Tobacco giant Altria is securing technology in new frontier: Marijuana

10/2/20--Public records indicate that tobacco giant Altria has been trying to claim a long-term stake in the marijuana industry by patenting cannabis technology. The parent company of cigarette brands including Marlboro and Parliament filed two patent applications for vaporizer devices specifically designed for cannabis, according to United States Patent and Trademark Office filings. Read

Trajectories of Nicotine and Cannabis Vaping and Polyuse From Adolescence to Young Adulthood

10/6/20--In this cohort study, the prevalence and type of nicotine vaping and cannabis vaping developmental trajectories from late adolescence to young adulthood were similar. Polysubstance vaping was common from late adolescence to young adulthood, particularly among those reporting more frequent vaping use. The findings suggest that public health policy and clinical interventions should address polysubstance vaping in both adolescence and young adulthood. Read

Cannabis ads and store location influence youth marijuana use

10/8/20--Advertising and location of cannabis retailers influence adolescents’ intentions to use marijuana, according to a new study in the Journal of Health Communication by Washington State University researchers. The research shows regular exposure to marijuana advertising on storefronts, billboards, retailer websites and other locations increased the likelihood of adolescents using marijuana. Read

Study finds older adults using cannabis to treat common health conditions

10/7/20--University of California San Diego School of Medicine researchers report that older adults use cannabis primarily for medical purposes to treat a variety of common health conditions, including pain, sleep disturbances and psychiatric conditions like anxiety and depression. The study, published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, found that of 568 patients surveyed, 15 percent had used cannabis within the past three years, with half of users reporting using it regularly and mostly for medical purposes. Read

Youth’s proximity to marijuana retailers and advertisements: Factors associated with Washington state adolescents’ intentions to use marijuana

10/8/20--The current study explored the influences of advertising exposure, numbers of marijuana retailers, distance to retailers, and constructs from the integrative model of behavioral prediction, including outcome beliefs, perceived norms, and efficacy, on youth’s intentions to use marijuana in a state in which the use of recreational marijuana is legal. Read

Is cannabis being used as a substitute for non-medical opioids by adults with problem substance use in the United States?

10/8/20--According to a prospective cohort study, among US adults with problem substance use who use non‐medical opioids, the odds of opioid use appear to be approximately doubled on days when cannabis is used. This relationship does not appear to differ between people with moderate or more severe pain versus less than moderate pain, suggesting that Cannabis is not being used as a substitute for illegal opioids. Read

A PBR seltzer spiked with THC hits shelves, aiming at the ‘canna-curious’

10/7/20--Cans of lemon seltzer spiked with the psychoactive ingredient in cannabis – and branded with the famous Pabst Blue Ribbon logo — are rolling out in California, in a new sign of the growth of THC-infused drinks. The new seltzer is non-alcoholic, but it contains 5mg of THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, along with purified water, lemon concentrate, sugar and other flavors. Read

With eye on election and beyond, marijuana industry spends millions on lobbying

10/12/20--According to an article published in Marijuana Business Daily, if Congress moves closer to passing a bill to legalize marijuana, it’s likely lobbying efforts and spending will intensify, given that a crucial question is how the federal government would regulate a national cannabis industry. Read

Genetics: The Blueprint of Health and Disease

10/12/20--Family studies that include identical twins, fraternal twins, adoptees, and siblings suggest that as much as half of a person's risk of becoming addicted to nicotine, alcohol, or other drugs depends on his or her genetic makeup. Finding the biological basis for this risk is an important avenue of research for scientists trying to solve the problem of drug addiction. Read

Smoking on TV: Attorneys general call on Hollywood unions for help kicking the habit

10/5/20--The National Association of Attorneys General is asking several major Hollywood talent unions to help "protect young audiences from tobacco use" by limiting its exposure in streaming shows. Support from the Directors Guild of America, Producers Guild of America, Screenwriters Guild of America, Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, and International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees has been requested for this effort. Read

Assessment of Changes in Alcohol and Marijuana Abstinence, Co-Use, and Use Disorders Among US Young Adults From 2002 to 2018

10/12/20--The findings of this study suggest that US colleges and communities should create and maintain supportive resources for young adults as the substance use landscape changes, specifically as alcohol abstinence, marijuana use, and co-use increase. Interventions for polysubstance use, alcohol use disorder, and marijuana use disorder may provide valuable opportunities for clinicians to screen for prescription drug misuse. Read

More young adults are abstaining from alcohol

10/12/20--Between 2002 and 2018, the number of adults aged 18-22 in the U.S. who abstained from alcohol increased from 20% to 28% for those in college and from about 24% to 30% for those not in school, say researchers at the University of Michigan and Texas State University. And alcohol abuse among both groups decreased by roughly half. Read

Investing and Prosecution of Cannabis-Impaired Driving Cases

10/14/20--The National District Attorneys Association’s National Traffic Law Center(NTLC), a resource designed to benefit prosecutors, law enforcement, judges, and criminal justice professionals, has prepared the Investigation and Prosecution of Cannabis-Impaired Driving Cases Monograph. Given that cannabis-impaired driving is becoming increasingly prevalent, this guide offers information to educate about the signs and symptoms of cannabis impairment so they law enforcement officers and prosecutors may effectively prosecute these types of impaired driving cases. Read

Burden of cannabis use and disorder in the U.S. veteran population: Psychiatric comorbidity, suicidality, and service utilization

10/14/20--Using data from a nationally representative sample of veterans, a study was conducted to evaluate associations of lifetime cannabis use and CUD with psychiatric problems, suicidality, and treatment utilization. It has been concluded that cannabis use and CUD are associated with substantial psychiatric and suicide-related burden among veterans, highlighting the need for screening, education, and treatment to mitigate potential cannabis-related harm. Read

Prenatal cannabis exposure linked to cognitive deficits, altered behavior

10/14/20--According to a new study by neuroscientists in Washington State University’s Integrative Physiology and Neuroscience unit that provides a rare look at the effects of using cannabis during pregnancy, regular cannabis exposure in rats during pregnancy may cause their offspring to have long-term cognitive deficiencies, asocial behavior, and anxiety later in adulthood. Read

Who are 2020’s top marijuana legalization campaign donors? We’ve got all the data

10/13/20--In most of the five states with cannabis legalization measures on the 2020 ballot, public campaign finance data indicates that prohibitionists are hurting for cash. Read

Dear Abby: Mom, who recently quit smoking pot, wonders how to make up for lost time

9/18/20--Dear Abby was presented with a question from a mother who recently stopped smoking after 20 years. She regrets all the time she missed with her family during that time and is seeking advice to establish a good relationship with family members. In response, Dear Abby states: You have already taken the first step in making it up to your family by admitting your smoking was hurting them and quitting. The next step will be to apologize to each of your family members for your behavior and let them know you know it was wrong and hurtful and that it won’t continue. Read

CBD drug is approved for a third form of epilepsy

9/15/20--Epidiolex, is the only FDA-approved drug with CBD as an active ingredient, was approved to treat seizures associated with tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC) in patients aged 1 year or older. TSC is a genetic disease that causes benign tumors to grow throughout the body. Read