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The first card for the cannabis industry; Amazon launches more cards

6/14/19--Columbia Care, a multi-state operator for medical marijuana, is launching the first credit card for the cannabis industry. Whereas, major credit card issuers like Mastercard and Visa are hesitant about entering the cannabis industry until federal laws change. As a result, many dispensaries are unable to process credit card payments for their products. Read

Two congressional hearings next week on marijuana

6/14/19--Next week, the two key committees will hold hearings on various aspects of federal marijuana policy. The first will be held on Wednesday, June 19th, in the Small Business Committee, entitled Unlocked Potential? Small Businesses in the Cannabis Industry. The second hearing is to be held on Thursday, June 20th, in the Veterans Affairs Committee to discuss various bills that are pending regarding medical cannabis programs and veterans access. Read

Potent pot, vulnerable teens trigger concerns in first states to legalize marijuana

6/16/19--The first two states to legalize recreational marijuana are starting to grapple with teenagers’ growing use of highly potent pot, even as both boost the industry and reap huge tax windfalls from its sales. As more than a dozen states from Hawaii to New Hampshire consider legalizing marijuana, doctors warn of an urgent need for better education — not just of teens but of parents and lawmakers — about how the products being marketed can significantly affect young people’s brain development. Read

Marijuana damages young brains

6/16/19--Numerous studies show that marijuana can have a deleterious impact on cognitive development in adolescents, impairing executive function, processing speed, memory, attention span and concentration. The reason the adolescent brain is so vulnerable to the effect of drugs is that the brain is still developing in adolescents and young adults until age 25. Read

How cannabis advocates are turning bad science into the next anti-vaccination movement

5/10/19--According to marijuana advocate Steve DeAngelo, marijuana is the most effective medicine for most elderly health complaints and most other health complaints for every age group. However, as Dr. Francis Keefe, of Duke University Medical Center’s Pain Management Program noted almost 20 years ago, pain perception is influenced by mitigating factors, including psychological, social, and cultural norms. An article published in Pot Network states, in part, that marijuana advocates have an anti-science problem. It’s not that they don’t believe the science, it’s that they pick and choose which science to accept. Read

This school Is teaching a “Safety-First” drug class

4/17/19--Public schools in America tend to focus their drug education around a seemingly simple idea: "just say no" “ that instructs teenagers to abstain from alcohol, tobacco, and marijuana. Now, there is a different approach to drug curriculum — telling teenagers the truth about illegal substances with a "safety first" mentality. Read

‘I’m too high. Something’s wrong.’ Teens caught vaping marijuana in scary new trend

5/3/19--Students are vaping in the presence of teachers, and they typically don’t realize a student has indulged until the teen confesses. There is no telltale odor, and the handheld devices used are small enough that a surreptitious student can indulge in class. Compounding the trouble, experts say, is the potency the devices can deliver, giving a student a much more intense high than expected. Read

Opioids: Leading cause of pregnancy-related death in new Utah moms

5/9/19--A new study at the University of Utah Health found that drug-induced death is the most common cause of pregnancy-associated death in Utah. Postpartum women who have previously or currently struggle with substance abuse are at greater risk of overdosing. Read

Walmart, Target quietly exploring CBD product lines

5/12/19--Big-box retailers aren’t selling CBD yet, but they’re busy getting ready for the day when they can. The New York Post has learned that top executives at major chains such as Walmart and Target have been quietly meeting with makers of drinks, gummy bears, topical creams and oils that are infused with cannabidiol, or CBD. Read

NY lawmakers race the clock, Minnesotans mobilize for adult use, earnings watch & more

5/13/19--This week, Marijuana Business Daily featurs notable stories and events to watch for in the coming days: New York adult-use marijuana legalization supporters are working feverishly to get a final bill together by June 19. In Minnesota, the push to legalize adult-use marijuana ramps up this week. And, Canadian risk-management and security services firm 3 Sixty RiskSolution plans to release its earnings results for the first quarter. Read

Cassidy puffs up what stats say about teen marijuana use

5/12/19--Among the issues taking center stage in Springfield is whether Illinois should join a growing number of states in lifting a prohibition on recreational marijuana. One Democratic lawmaker who is in support of the plan is state Rep. Kelly Cassidy, a Chicago Democrat. She believes marijuana should be sold in venues that are highly regulated. Furthermore, Cassidy stated, "In states that have legalized, you see steady decreases in youth use if you do it right." Read

Design’s new leaf

5/7/19--Marijuana-inspired objects and décor are becoming more elite. With dozens of states having legalized marijuana for medicinal or recreational use, or both, in recent years, designers are seizing the opportunity to define the look of a growing industry and lifestyle. And as the drug loses its outlaw, déclassé status, going from “weed” to a “flower”. Read

It’s all the rage! Exploring the nuances in the link between vaping and adolescent delinquency

5/6/19--The findings of a study examining the relationship between vaping different substances and adolescent delinquency while accounting for traditional forms of nicotine and marijuana use suggest that there may be something criminogenic about vaping among adolescents. However, the strength of the relationship between vaping and delinquency is contingent on what is being vaped, with marijuana vaping being most heavily correlated with delinquency. Read

Sarasota family sues JUUL and tobacco giants

5/6/19--Sarasota County county residents Jared and Erin NesSmith and their daughter are suing e-cigarette maker JUUL Labs and two tobacco giants for allegedly breaking federal laws by intentionally targeting teenagers while falsely denying doing so. The family is seeking damages under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act and for fraud, product liability, and deceptive trade practices for themselves and potentially thousands of other unnamed plaintiffs in the suit. Read

Mitch McConnell’s campaign team is selling cocaine-themed t-shirts

5/9/19--Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s (R-Ky.) reelection campaign team is raising money by selling a cocaine-themed T-shirt. The garment features a depiction of McConnell alongside what appears to be a cloud of coke dust. “Cartel Member,” is emblazoned on the back. Read

Hepatotoxicity of a cannabidiol-rich cannabis extract in the mouse model

4/30/19--The goal of this study was to investigate Cannabidiol (CBD) hepatotoxicity in 8-week-old male B6C3F1 mice. CBD exhibited clear signs of hepatotoxicity, possibly of a cholestatic nature. The involvement of numerous pathways associated with lipid and xenobiotic metabolism raises serious concerns about potential drug interactions as well as the safety of CBD. Read

Charlotte’s Web announces appointment of Deanie Elsner

4/29/19--Adrienne "Deanie" Elsner, former President of U.S. Snacks division at Kellogg Company, will join the Charlotte's Web Holdings as its Chief Executive Officer effective May 15, 2019. The leadership addition is one of several appointments made to support Charlotte's Web's growth and evolution into a dominant global CPG brand. Read

Who’s who in your local cannabis industry? That may be a secret

4/24/19--Depending on where marijuana-based businesses are located, publicly available information on who’s selling legal marijuana in select cities can be scarce, as is information about how they were approved to operate. Proponents of access to information, certain members of the media, and some interested citizens maintain that the public should know who’s profiting from this highly regulated industry. Read

Mike Tyson launching marijuana company

4/12/19--Planet 13, one of the leading Nevada cannabis companies, announced it has signed an agreement with Mike Tyson's cannabis venture, Tyson Ranch, to be the exclusive launch partner of Tyson Ranch products in Nevada. 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  

Joe Biden applauds anti-marijuana speech at opioid forum

4/15/19--During an opioid forum, professor Bertha Madras claimed that patients who consume marijuana experience the same levels of pain and don’t decrease their opioid use, and she also characterized legislative efforts to allow patients with opioid use disorder to access medical marijuana as “disrespectful”—a rant that Biden enthusiastically applauded. The tacit endorsement of the panelist’s anti-cannabis speech appears to signal that Biden remains opposed, or at least skeptical about, changing marijuana policies. Read

The leader of the DOJ marijuana working group has a message for regulators: Slow down

4/13/19--In an exclusive interview, US Attorney Billy Williams weighs in on banking, hemp, overproduction, black-market diversion—and marijuana regulators who fail to think things out. Williams’ advice to lawmakers and regulators considering legalization? “Slow down, wake up, and get serious about what you’re doing.”  Read

Regular cannabis users require up to 220% higher dosage for sedation in medical procedures

4/15/19--Researchers in Colorado examined medical records of 250 patients who received endoscopic procedures after 2012, when the state legalized recreational marijuana. They found patients who smoked or ingested cannabis on a daily or weekly basis required 14% more fentanyl, 20% more midazolam, and 220% more propofol to achieve optimum sedation for routine procedures, including colonoscopy. Read

Indicators of despair rising among Gen X-ers entering middle age

4/15/19--Indicators of despair -- depression, suicidal ideation, drug use and alcohol abuse -- are rising among Americans in their late 30s and early 40s across most demographic groups, according to new research. These findings suggest that the increase in 'deaths of despair' observed among low-educated middle-aged white Baby Boomers in recent studies may begin to impact the youngest members of Generation X more broadly in the years to come. Read

The Marijuana Policy Project helped bring the US to the brink of legalization. Now what?

4/16/19--During a one-on-one interview with Cannabis Wire co-founder Alyson Martin, Steve Hawkins, the new executive director of the Marijuana Policy Project, talks equity, federal legalization, and the organization’s role in the booming, multibillion dollar global cannabis industry, while also discussing the future of the Marijuana Policy Project organization, which has been on the ground floor of marijuana legalization in the US since the 1990s. Read

Acute illness associated with cannabis use, by route of exposure

4/16/19--According to an observational study conducted to describe and compare adult emergency department (ED) visits related to edible and inhaled cannabis exposure, visits attributable to inhaled cannabis are more frequent than those attributable to edible cannabis, although the latter is associated with more acute psychiatric visits and more ED visits than expected. Read

Was ‘Reefer Madness’ right?

3/21/19--Reefer Madness portrayed cannabis as a powerful drug capable of sending users into psychotic, violent rages. In Alex Berenson's book Tell Your Children: The Truth About Marijuana, Mental Illness, and Violence, he argues that the connections between marijuana and mental health are being ignored amidst the headlong rush to legalization. Read

Beyond Massachusetts, states struggle to limit marijuana behemoths

3/21/19--Massachusetts is not the only state struggling to limit the dominance of large marijuana companies. Maryland bars companies from owning more than one store. In December, the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission expressed concern about a “proliferation” of management agreements, saying it had objected to at least a half-dozen that appeared to skirt state regulations. But the commission announced in January it will wait for guidance from the state’s Legislature before taking further action. Read

Doctors oppose legalizing marijuana in New York and three other states

3/22/19--Groups representing doctors in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Delaware released a rare joint statement opposing the legalization of recreational marijuana in their states. “We have serious concerns about the lack of scientific evidence that supports recreational marijuana use by adults and young adults. Most importantly, not enough research has been done to prove marijuana is safe,” the presidents of the four state medical societies said. Read

Marijuana motifs go from hippie to high (jewelry, that is)

3/22/19--With the legalization of marijuana in Canada, as well as in 10 states and the District of Columbia in the United States — and with every state but Idaho having passed some sort of marijuana legalization law — it was only a matter of time before jewelers picked up the vibe. Read

History of lifetime marijuana use is associated with better cognition and worse real-world functioning in schizophrenia spectrum disorders

3/20/19--According to a study designed to examine the effect of cannabis on psychopathology, cognition and real-world functioning in SSD patients, lifetime cannabis use is associated with better working memory and processing speed and worse real-world functioning in the area of socially useful activities in patients with schizophrenia-related disorders. Clinicians should, therefore, be aware of it to provide patient-centered care in their daily clinical practice. Read

Highway Accident Brief: Collision between passenger train and refuse truck at active grade crossing, Crozet, Virginia

3/20/19--The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of the crash in Crozet, Virginia, was the truck driver’s decision to enter an active grade crossing and his inaction when he encountered obstacles while attempting to cross the railroad tracks, most likely due to his impairment from the combined effects of the drugs marijuana and gabapentin. Read

The Marijuana Delusion

3/25/19--Even as the legalization push gains momentum, scientific journals report mounting evidence of the drug’s harmful psychological effects and social consequences, and pockets of resistance to the pot movement are emerging. According to Steven Malanga, senior editor of City Journal, the inherent contradiction of a country facing growing addiction problems in tandem with states rushing to legalize marijuana has not been lost on everyone. Read

Marijuana manufacturers flock to CBD e-commerce amid ongoing legal confusion

3/20/19--The dominant sales channel for CBD – e-commerce – is becoming a major draw for marijuana manufacturers, who are using hemp-derived CBD to tap into new revenue and a wider consumer base. They’re doing this despite repeated warnings from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that it is illegal to include CBD in food, cosmetics or dietary supplements. Read

Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue issues warning for hemp farmers

3/20/19--As the hype around hemp ramps up and states issue record numbers of licenses to farmers wanting to capitalize on opportunities the new crop may offer, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue said he isn’t so sure hemp will be the cash crop everyone is hoping for. Perdue also predicted that hemp farmers would likely avoid further pursuits into the cannabis market. Read

Medical marijuana laws linked to health and labor supply benefits in older adults

3/19/19--A study that examined older Americans' well-being before and after medical marijuana laws were passed in their state found reductions in reported pain and increased hours worked. The study suggests medical marijuana laws could be improving older Americans' health. Read

CVS joins cannabis wellness trend by adding CBD products

3/21/19--CVS Health Corp. this week will begin selling products infused with the trendy, non-intoxicating hemp component at more than 800 of its stores as part of a distribution deal with marijuana company Curaleaf Holdings Inc. The company’s CBD products will be available in about 800 stores to start and hopes to expand to more. Read

No, CBD-infused jelly beans definitely won’t get you high. Here’s why.

3/18/19--The cannabis-derived product, CBD, is appearing in jelly beans — designed by David Klein, the man who created Jelly Belly candies. Klein told the website that he doesn’t want to make any unfounded health claims about his new product but is sure that it “will help the world.” Read

ABCD study completes enrollment, announces opportunities for scientific engagement

12/3/18--The National Institutes of Health announced today that enrollment for the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study is now complete and, in early 2019, scientists will have access to baseline data from all ABCD Study participants. Read

Hemp testing confusion snarls Farm Bill interstate commerce guarantee

3/5/19--The 2018 Farm Bill promised protection for hemp transportation but left states with no uniform way to test THC content. As the industry awaits a national testing standard to determine what is hemp and what is marijuana, some states are talking about updating outdated testing methods for themselves. The updated tests won’t eliminate the problem of varying state testing methods, but they would eliminate the simple yes-or-no on whether the plants contain THC. Read

Senators are angry that marijuana sentences are longer than Paul Manafort’s

3/8/19--A lot of people, including U.S. senators, are picking up on the sentencing disparity that exists between repeatedly defraud financial institutions and the government versus non-violent marijuana offenses and the illegal possession of marijuana in a prohibition state. 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

Medical marijuana gaining traction as alternative to prescription drugs

2/27/19--Overall, the number of countries that have already moved to legalize marijuana on some level has prompted other countries to consider marijuana for medicinal use as well. According to data compiled by Imarc Group, the global medical marijuana market was estimated to become more than 11 billion dollars (US) in 2017. Read

Could medical marijuana help older people with their ailments?

2/28/19--According to a preliminary study, medical marijuana may bring relief to older people who have symptoms like pain, sleep disorders or anxiety due to chronic conditions including amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Parkinson's disease, neuropathy, spinal cord damage and multiple sclerosis. The study not only found medical marijuana may be safe and effective, it also found that one-third of participants reduced their use of opioids. Read

Junk food purchases increase after recreational marijuana legalization

2/28/19--A study released this month from assistant professor of economics Michele Baggio found a link between state recreational marijuana legalization and increased consumption of certain high-calorie foods, suggesting there may be something more substantial to the urban myth of "the munchies." The trend was consistent across the three legalizing states included in the study. Read

What Trump said in private conversations about cannabis revealed

2/25/29--President Trump immediately rebuked then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions on the day that he rescinded Justice Department guidance on federal marijuana enforcement priorities, Senator Cory Gardner revealed. According to Gardner, there was an obvious disagreement between the president and the attorney general on this issue. Apparently, this isn’t something Trump supports, but it was too late to reverse the decision. Read

Why the legal cannabis industry loves the Ford Transit van

2/27/19--In order to transport both marijuana and cash, a nondescript-looking Ford Transit cargo van has emerged in US states (and Washington, DC) where marijuana is legalized. Though not as rugged as the armored cars banks use, the Transits used by marijuana businesses undergo all kinds of security upgrades that get them close enough. Read

10 things we know (as in, actually have published evidence for) about marijuana and health

3/1/19--Considering the many controversies over marijuana, Nutrition Action Healthletter's Senior Nutrition Scientist Caitlin Dow presents a summary of the (limited) science on marijuana products, as well as 10 things that should be known about marijuana. Read

Trump Administration wants more input on marijuana rescheduling

3/1/19--The Trump administration is asking the public to submit comments to help inform the U.S.'s position on the potential global reclassification of marijuana. The comments received will be considered in preparing the United States' position on proposals for a meeting of the United Nations Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) in Vienna, Austria. That means people who submit input could play a role in shaping how the U.S.'s United Nations representative votes when the decision comes up in the key international narcotics body. Read

FDA head reveals new details about agency’s CBD regulation plans

2/27/19--Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Scott Gottlieb revealed new details about plans to pursue alternative pathways for CBD regulation and also acknowledged that federal prohibition drives research into medical marijuana overseas on Wednesday. Read

Association between cannabis use and complications related to Crohn’s Disease

3/2/19--Crohn’s disease is an idiopathic inflammatory process that is occasionally associated with complications. The anti-inflammatory effect of cannabis in intestinal inflammation has been shown in several experimental models. This study concluded that cannabis use may mitigate several of the well-described complications of Crohn’s disease among hospital inpatients. These effects could possibly be through the effect of cannabis in the endocannabinoid system. Read

Optimism mixes with distrust: Cannabis industry reacts to Trump’s new attorney general

2/15/19--Donald Trump's choice for new Attorney General, William Barr, has been confirmed by the United States Senate. Barr signaled that marijuana entrepreneurs had less to fear from him than they did under former Attorney General Jeff Sessions. With Barr in charge, many in the industry hope that legal marijuana will mature further. Yet, according to Barr’s statements, there is little chance he will legalize marijuana at the federal level. Read

Teen pot use fell in states that legalized medical marijuana

2/14/19--A new study suggests that fewer teen marijuana users are in states that have adopted medical marijuana laws. States with medical marijuana laws had 1.1 percent fewer teenage pot smokers than states without such laws, researchers said. Researchers analyzed survey data gathered between 1999 through 2015 from 45 states, including more than 860,000 students. Read

Cannabis business news you may have missed for the week ending Feb. 15

2/15/19--U.S. Congressional hearing on marijuana banking boost industry's hopes for reform, California announces the National Guard Troop will combat marijuana grows, legal marijuana sales top $6 billion in Colorado -- plus other important news from around the marijuana industry. Read

Is smoking marijuana safe? Why we can’t let Big Weed bury the risks the way Big Tobacco did

2/13/19--Millions of Americans died from smoking-related illnesses before legal and political pressure forced the industry to admit the truth. Now, the risk of history repeating itself, with a different drug and a new generation of conflicts of interest — but, sadly, some of the same companies. According to Alex Berenson, author of  "Tell Your Children: The Truth About Marijuana, Mental Illness, and Violence," marijuana is another addictive smoked product, and even as its use rises, we are still trying to figure out exactly how dangerous it might be and how to discourage its use. Read

How much is too much weed? New vaporizers take out the guesswork

2/1/19--GoFire Inc., a Colorado startup, says it’s solved one of the emerging problems in the legal marijuana industry: how to get the dose exactly right. The company has developed a high-end vaporizer, backed by patents, that doles out a precise amount of marijuana oil — 2.5 milligrams — that is heated, turned into vapor, and inhaled. Read

Worsening of overdose crisis predicted: Limits of focusing on prescription opioids

2/1/19--A study from investigators at the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) Institute for Technology Assessment projects that the opioid overdose epidemic in the U.S. is likely to increase in coming years, and that measures based on restricting access to prescription opioids will have a minimal impact in reducing overdose deaths. Read

Marijuana, cocaine may play role in young Americans’ rising stroke rate

2/4/19--The number of younger adults having strokes is rising. New research suggests growth in illegal drug use could be playing a role. According to a new study, although alcohol and cigarette use in the stroke victims remained stable over the two-decade study period, drug use rose dramatically, from 4.4 percent in 1993-1994 to 30.3 percent in 2015. It's necessary for doctors to increase their efforts to get young adults to understand the health consequences of using drugs. Read

Genetic study of impulsiveness reveals associations with psychiatric disorders

2/4/19--Impulsiveness and substance use share a genetic basis, according to genome-wide association studies published in JNeurosci by academic and industry researchers. With more than 20,000 participants, the research represents the largest genetic analysis of impulsive personality traits to date. Read

Depressive symptoms and suicidality in adolescents using e-cigarettes and marijuana

1/24/19--A study recently published in the Journal of Addiction Medicine reports that youth with single and dual e-cigarette and marijuana use had increased odds of reporting depressive symptoms and suicidality compared to youth who denied use. There is a need for effective prevention and intervention strategies to help mitigate adverse mental health outcomes in this population. Read