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Congressional briefing calls for improved regulation of CBD

12/6/19--On Dec. 5, the National Association of County Behavioral Health & Developmental Disability Directors (NACBHDD), together with the National Association for Rural Mental Health (NARMH) and the National Association of Social Workers (NASW), hosted a Congressional briefing for Hill staff on the need for improved regulation of cannabidiol (CBD) products by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Read

Mass. health officials concede lung patients may have used illicit vapes, too

12/6/19--State health officials conceded Friday night that six Massachusetts patients suffering from probable cases of vaping-related lung illnesses may have used illicit marijuana vapes in addition to legal ones, a surprising revision from the day before when officials suggested products sold at licensed cannabis retailers were to blame for the ailments. Read

Flavors of e-cigarettes used by youths in the United States

11/5/19--Adolescent e-cigarette use has increased substantially since 2016.1 To counteract such trends, public health agencies are considering regulatory restrictions of e-cigarettes in flavors popular among youths.2,3 Whether certain flavors warrant inclusion or exemption from regulatory policies is unclear because recent estimates of the specific e-cigarette flavors adolescents use are lacking. Read

e-Cigarette use among youth in the United States, 2019

11/5/19--In a cross-sectional survey conducted in 2019 that included 19,018 participants to examine the estimated frequency of the current (past 30-day) use of e-cigarettes among US high school and middle school students in 2019, the findings indicate that the prevalence of self-reported current e-cigarette use was high among US high school and middle school students. Read

Association between adolescent blunt use and the uptake of cigars

12/6/19--In a cohort study of 1825 US adolescents, ever vs never blunt use at age 14 years was significantly associated with progression to current cigar use across the following 24 months. Blunt use was not significantly associated with the number of days of cigar use across follow-up. Meaning These findings highlight the risk that blunt use may pose for subsequent cigar use among adolescents. Read

Not just counterfeit: Legal THC vaping products linked to lung illnesses

12/6/19--New evidence shows that legitimate THC vaping products are also making people sick, meaning that illegal, off-brand vapes aren't the only products to blame for the current outbreak of vaping-related illnesses. The Massachusetts Department of Public Health reports that at least six patients suspected of having the vaping lung illness purchased THC products at licensed marijuana dispensaries in that state. Read

Juice WRLD allegedly popped pills on private jet, 70 lbs. marijuana seized

12/9/19--TMZ reports that the private jet Juice WRLD flew on to Chicago was loaded down with 70 pounds of marijuana ... and cops say people on the plane told them the rapper had popped several pills prior to suffering seizures. Several members of Juice's team aboard the flight told them Juice had taken "several unknown pills" prior to the seizures which led to him getting rushed to a hospital. Read

Men who regularly smoke cannabis have increased risk of developing testicular cancer, study claims

12/1/19--A new study has found that men who regularly smoke cannabis have an increased risk of developing testicular cancer. Research by a team of US-based scientists linked long-term use of the drug with higher rates of the disease - which is diagnosed in 2,400 in the UK each year. Read

Study outlines concerns around natural psychoactive substances

12/3/19--New research finds that over a period of 17 years, people in the United States increased their use of natural psychoactive substances, believing them to be safe. This has led to many reports of adverse symptoms in adults and children alike. Read

What you need to know (and what we’re working to find out) about products containing cannabis or cannabis-derived compounds, including CBD

11/25/19--The FDA is working to answer questions about the science, safety, and quality of products containing cannabis and cannabis-derived compounds, particularly CBD, through ongoing efforts including feedback from a recent FDA hearing and information and data gathering through a public docket. Read

In states where recreational marijuana is legal, problematic use increased among adults and teens

11/13/19--Problematic use of marijuana among adolescents and adults increased after legalization of recreational marijuana use, according to a new study from NYU Grossman School of Medicine and Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health. Read

Study reveals urban hotspots of high-schoolers’ opioid abuse

11/14/19--A new study has found that in several cities and counties the proportion of high-schoolers who have ever used heroin or misused prescription opioids is much higher than the national average. Read

Vote to federally legalize marijuana planned in congress

11/16/19--A key congressional committee plans to hold a historic vote on a bill to end the federal prohibition of marijuana next week. The legislation, sponsored by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), would remove cannabis from the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) and set aside funding to begin repairing the damage of the war on drugs, which has been disproportionately waged against communities of color. Read

Cannabis use during methadone maintenance treatment for opioid use disorder

11/20/19--Rates of cannabis use among patients receiving methadone maintenance therapy are high, and cannabis use may be associated with outcomes of methadone maintenance therapy. Study results indicates no consensus among cannabis use associated with reduced opioid use or longer treatment retention when used during methadone maintenance therapy in patients with opioid use disorder. Read

Trump retreats from flavor ban for e-cigarettes

11/17/19--In September, President Trump said he was moving to ban the sale of most flavored e-cigarettes as vaping among young people continued to rise. However, advisers say the president pulled back from proposed restrictions intended to curb teenage vaping after he was warned of the political fallout among voters. Read

Study finds link between male marijuana use and miscarriage risk

11/17/19--According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 1 in 20 women in the U.S. report using marijuana while pregnant. The CDC says the THC ingested could cause the baby to develop health problems. Additionally, some studies have suggested a link between marijuana use and lower sperm quality, indicating that a father's use could also play a role in a baby's development. Read

Car crashes in pot-legal states have soared

11/13/19--Car crashes in the first three states to legalize recreational marijuana have soared as law enforcement and regulators struggle to define driving high, let alone determine how to fight it. Colorado, Oregon, and Washington saw a combined 5.2% increase in the rate of police-reported crashes after legalizing recreational marijuana, compared with neighboring states where such sales are illegal, according to data compiled and analyzed by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Researchers tallied crash rates between 2012 and 2016. Read

SAFE Banking Act shouldn’t harm children

11/8/19--The marijuana industry is lobbying hard for the Secure and Fair Enforcement Banking Act (SAFE) of 2019. Its stated purpose is “to increase public safety by ensuring access to financial services to cannabis-related legitimate businesses.” What’s been lost in the congressional debate over the bill, so far, is the safety of children. Congress can demand key safeguards for children that the industry has so far resisted. Read

Money spent on beer ads linked to underage drinking

11/18/19--Advertising budgets and strategies used by beer companies appear to influence underage drinking, according to new research. The findings show that the amount of money spent on advertising strongly predicted the percentage of teens who had heard of, preferred and tried different beer brands. Read

Juul disregarded early evidence it was hooking teens

11/5/19--Juul executives knew young people were flocking to its breakthrough e-cigarette shortly after it went on sale in 2015, a former manager tells Reuters. Its nicotine blend was so potent, engineers devised a kill switch to limit the dosage – but the idea was shelved. Following the product’s launch, it took nearly three years – and pressure from regulators and U.S. senators – before Juul in April 2018 announced what it called a “comprehensive strategy” of measures to curb youth sales. Read

MAPS to open psychedelic clinics? Let’s hope so

11/20/19--MAPS has taken the reign on the number of trained therapists, in addition to steering the research, regulatory, and public education for the past 30+ years. MAPS is considering whether to get involved in creating a network of psychedelic psychotherapy clinics, initially with MDMA and adding ketamine and cannabis and one day psilocybin, etc. Read

Curaleaf reports third quarter 2019 financial and operational results

11/19/19--Curaleaf, a leading vertically integrated cannabis operator in the U.S., today reported its financial and operating results for the third quarter ended September 30, 2019. Read

Specialists call for ‘aggressive’ measures against e-cigarettes

11/14/19--After uncovering a key mechanism that could explain how e-cigarettes harm the lungs, brain, and cardiovascular system, a team of researchers now calls for much stricter regulation of these electronic devices. evidence has increasingly come to light that the liquid that goes into an e-cigarette and the materials of the devices themselves contain dangerous levels of toxic substances that can harm health. Read

Cannabidiol products are everywhere, but should people be using them?

11/20/19--Although the CBD market has exploded in recent months, with products ranging from bath salts to coffee and tea to maple bacon–flavored dog biscuits, research suggests that many actually do not contain CBD. And the compound’s murky status raises a host of questions: Is it safe? Is it effective? Is it legal? Is it a dietary supplement or a drug? Read

Co-founder of Steamboat pot shop promoted to COO of international cannabis company

11/13/19--Kevin Fisher, the co-founder of Steamboat Springs’ first marijuana dispensary, has been appointed second in command as the chief operating officer for Parallel, a global company with headquarters in Georgia. His goal as COO is to expand markets across the world and develop new ways for customers to consume marijuana. Read

Using weed regularly raises the risk of heart problems for young people, studies find

11/14/19--Younger people with cannabis use disorder are at an increased risk of heart rhythm problems, according to a new presentation at the American Heart Association Scientific Sessions. A second presentation says that young people who use weed frequently are at a higher risk for stroke. Read

Marijuana use potentially linked to increased risk of stroke and heart arrhythmia

11/12/19--People who frequently use marijuana are at an increased risk of stroke, and individuals diagnosed with cannabis use disorder are more likely to be hospitalized for heart arrhythmia, according to two preliminary studies that will be presented at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2019. Read

From ‘Veronica Mars’ to toxic vapes: The rise and fall of Honey Cut

11/8/19--By creating a new category of “thickening” vape cartridge additives, Honey Cut became a nationwide phenomenon. Its formula—and copycat products just like it—suddenly turned up last year in illicit THC vape cartridges nationwide. The company itself appeared to be a kind of corporate ghost ship. Its name was attached only to a website and a P.O. box. Nobody knew who founded Honey Cut, who ran it, or who profited from it... until now. Read

High numbers of youth report using prescription opioids in the past year

11/8/19--A new analysis of US data finds an unexpectedly high prevalence of prescription opioid use among youth. As recently as 2015-2016, 21% of adolescents and 32% of young adults said they had used these drugs in the past year. Nearly 4 percent and 8 percent, respectively, reported misusing opioids. Read

Insights on the effects of cannabidiol on severe form of epilepsy

11/7/19--Results from a study published in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology may help explain why cannabidiol -- a chemical component of marijuana with no psychoactive properties -- reduces the frequency of seizures in patients with a severe form of epilepsy. The effect may be explained by a drug-drug interaction between cannabidiol and the anti-seizure medication clobazam. Read

Cross-pollination drives growing disputes between marijuana, hemp farmers

11/14/19--Marijuana growers say that cross-pollination from hemp farms can cost them thousands because it can render flower products unmarketable. Read

CBD and THC use during early pregnancy can disrupt fetal development

11/5/19--A new study led by Scott Parnell, PhD, assistant professor of cell biology and physiology in the UNC School of Medicine, and published in Scientific Reports, a Nature Research journal, shows how a one-time exposure during early pregnancy to cannabinoids (CBs) – both synthetic and natural – can cause growth issues in a developing embryo. This is the first research to show such a connection in mammals. Read

Public health consequences of e-cigarettes

11/11/19--With support from the Center for Tobacco Products of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine convened an expert committee to conduct a critical, objective review of the scientific evidence about e-cigarettes and health. The resulting report, Public Health Consequences of E-Cigarettes, provides an overview of the evidence, recommends ways to improve the research, and highlights gaps that are priority focus areas for future work. Read

Juul’s vaping products should be completely pulled off the market, says ex-FDA chief Gottlieb

11/11/19--Former FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said Monday that Juul Labs’ products should be removed from the market, citing two studies that showed the scope of teen use of its e-cigarettes and flavored pods. Gottlieb, who has criticized Juul in the past, said that Juul does seem to “have cleaned up what they’re doing” in terms of marketing to young people, “but it’s hard to unring that bell.” Read

e-Cigarette use among youth in the United States, 2019

11/5/19--In a cross-sectional survey conducted in 2019 that included 19 018 participants, the prevalence of self-reported current e-cigarette use was 27.5% among high school students and 10.5% among middle school students, with many current e-cigarette users reporting frequent use and most of the exclusive e-cigarette users reporting use of flavored e-cigarettes. Read

Big dope: how marijuana benefited from one of the slickest PR campaigns in history

11/14/19--According to an article published in The Spectator USA, marijuana’s effects on the minds of many of its users are permanent. They may give it up entirely, but the damage has been done, and there’s a simple reason for this. Marijuana has been the beneficiary of one of the slickest, most sustained advertising campaigns in human history. Not only do millions believe it is some sort of medicine. Most people, even law enforcers, describe it as a ‘soft’ drug. Read

In states where recreational marijuana is legal, problematic use increased among adults and teens

11/13/19--Problematic use of marijuana among adolescents and adults increased after legalization of recreational marijuana use, according to a new study from NYU Grossman School of Medicine and Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health. Read

Association between recreational marijuana legalization in the United States and changes in marijuana use and cannabis use disorder from 2008 to 2016

11/13/19--Findings in a multilevel, difference-in-difference survey study with 505 796 respondents comparing marijuana use before and after the legalization of recreational marijuana in the United States, revealed that the proportion of respondents aged 12 to 17 years reporting cannabis use disorder increased from 2.18% to 2.72%, while the proportion of respondents 26 years or older reporting frequent marijuana use increased from 2.13% to 2.62% and those with cannabis use disorder, from 0.90% to 1.23%. Read

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