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Kroger, the largest grocery chain in the US, is lobbying on hemp

2/10/20--Grocery store giant Kroger, which has a large footprint in the midwest and south, is lobbying the federal government on hemp. It's the first company of its kind to do so, and indicated it is lobbying on “issues related to the regulation of topical products containing CBD oils and hemp derived products following the implementation of the 2018 Farm Bill,” according to its Q4 2019 disclosures. Read

Preclinical study links human gene variant to THC reward in adolescent females

2/12/20--A common variation in a human gene that affects the brain's reward processing circuit increases vulnerability to the rewarding effects of the main psychoactive ingredient of cannabis in adolescent females, but not males, according to preclinical research. As adolescence represents a highly sensitive period of brain development with the highest risk for initiating cannabis use, these findings in mice have important implications for understanding the influence of genetics on cannabis dependence in humans. Read

Prevalence of electronic cigarette use among adolescents in New Jersey and association with social factors

2/12/20--In a survey study of 4183 respondents examining factors associated with use of electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes), including JUUL, among high school students, inclusion of a JUUL use measure produced higher estimates of current use than assessing the use of e-cigarettes or JUUL alone, and 88.8% of youth reported using the JUUL brand. In addition, current use of other tobacco products, endorsing a tobacco brand on social media, having tobacco-branded merchandise, having close friends who used JUUL, and seeing JUUL used on school grounds were significantly associated with current and frequent e-cigarette use, inclusive of JUUL. Read

Medical Cannabis

2/11/20--Medical cannabis refers to preparations of the cannabis plant that patients use to treat medical conditions, and it has been used for medicinal purposes for thousands of years by many civilizations. As of January 2020, 33 states and the District of Columbia had put laws into place so physicians can certify the use of “medical marijuana,” or medical cannabis, for debilitating medical conditions—although cannabis remains illegal federally. Read

What should I know about medical cannabis?

2/11/20--The JAMA Internal Medicine Patient Page outlines pertinent details about medical marijuana, it's use, the dangers, and how it's regulated in the United States. Read 

‘Dabbing’ concentrated THC is troubling new trend among teens

2/14/20--NBC’s Gabe Gutierrez joins TODAY to inform parents about a much more potent way to use marijuana called “dabbing” that is getting more popular among teens.  Read

Why Canopy Growth’s sales grew as Aurora Cannabis struggled to sell more weed

2/14/20--Canopy Growth Corp. logged fiscal third-quarter net revenue of C$123.8 million ($93.5 million), well higher than the FactSet consensus of C$105 million reflecting strong year-over-year and sequential growth. Whereas, Canadian cannabis companies like Aurora Cannabis Inc. have struggled to produce those types of results of late. Read

Nuclear missile guards under investigation for marijuana use

2/15/20--Security guards at an Air Force base responsible for protecting strategic nuclear missiles in three states are under investigation for alleged marijuana use. They are part of the same security force whose members were caught using the hallucinogen LSD four years ago. Those under investigation have been removed from their duties until the probe is completed, the Air Force said. Read

Study: Frequent marijuana users make riskier decisions

2/15/20--A study using a card simulation where participants try to earn as much money as possible by choosing from different decks found that participants who used marijuana at least five times a week in the past year were prone to choosing decks with large rewards but larger losses, leading them to have a low net score for the task. Those who reported minimal to no use of marijuana chose decks with small rewards and small losses, but scored a high net score by the end of the task, researchers note. Read

Hemp rules give Minnesota farmers little room for error with law enforcement

2/17/20--Hemp farming drew heavy interest from Minnesota farmers as a fast-growing market for CBD oil emerged from nowhere. More than 500 growers and processors secured licenses under the state’s industrial hemp pilot program last year, but the business is perilous, and the rules give farmers little room for error. In fact, thirty growers in Minnesota were ordered to destroy their crops in 2019 after they tested too high for THC. Read

Proposed class action targets CBD maker over ADA website accessibility

2/7/20--Last month, a putative class action lawsuit was filed in New York federal court against Charlotte’s Web, Inc., a Colorado-based maker of cannabidiol (“CBD”) oils, balms and gummies claiming that its website is not accessible to visually impaired shoppers, in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”). Read

Cans suck the THC buzz out of pot drinks. Where does that leave Canopy Growth?

2/13/20--Scientists have determined that liners inside aluminum cans can cause cannabis drinks to lose their potency. By the time a pot drink is put in a can, shipped, stored in a warehouse, displayed in a store, and consumed, the THC buzz may have diminished or disappeared. Canopy Growth has been the most active in the drinks category among Canadian licensed producers with the vast majority packaged in cans. Read

What a father learned after losing both sons to drug overdoses

2/2/20--Steve Grant, who lost both of his children to drug overdoses, his older son at 21 years old and his younger one, five years later, at 24, tells their story in his recent book in hopes of his experience helping others. Read

Booze ads on social media stir controversy

2/2/20--Health concerns are sparking restrictions on advertising alcohol on billboards and television, but on social media—which transcends national borders—lax age controls and the use of influencers make booze marketing hard to police. Read

3 marijuana stocks that could be millionaire-makers

2/2/20--According to an article by Keith Speights published in The Motley Fool, stocks with the greatest likelihood of building fortunes tend to have small market caps and huge market opportunities. The marijuana stocks Speights believes investors can buy right now that hold the potential to be millionaire-makers are: Valens, Organigram, and Innovative Industrial Properties. Read

Mayor Pete’s ‘Plan B’ to legalize marijuana involves flying Air Force One around the country

2/2/10-- 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg recognizes that there are disagreements on the issue of marijuana legalization within Congress. Ideally, Buttigieg's would like to work with members of Congress from across the aisle on the issue, but if that approach doesn't work, he would put his hyperbolic “Plan B” into action for legalization by visiting the home district of any member standing in the way of his own voters and have a conversation with the voters about why this needs to happen. Read

This week’s top cannabis news: CEO departures at MedMen and Sundial, Stocks in red, good policy news

2/1/20--To summarize, Sundial Growers and MedMen lose their CEOs, and in other news, the Southern University and A&M College launched its own hemp-derived CBD product line, ALAFIA, in partnership with Ilera Holistic Healthcare. In the capital markets, stocks were mostly down in marijuana. Lastly, Australia launched its new cannabis laws, allowing people to grow their own marijuana and hold up to 50 grams of dried flowers, but maintain the sale of adult use marijuana prohibited. Read

There could be a link between marijuana use and heart health

2/3/20--A study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology examined the possible interactions marijuana may have with drugs typically prescribed for cardiovascular issues, and the way marijuana chemicals may affect the heart at a molecular level. Current evidence is limited, and what little there is does not suggest a clear link between marijuana use and cardiovascular events. More high quality research is necessary to determine precisely how and why marijuana affects cardiovascular health — if it does at all. Read

Is teen drug use related to brain size?

2/3/20--Recently, researchers found another connection between how using drugs in your teens can affect brain development. NIDA for Teen reports that teens who use nicotine, alcohol, and marijuana have two brain areas that are smaller than average when they become adults. Although other factors could also be involved, this particular correlation is worth knowing about and is being studied by scientists. Read

Indicted Parnas associate was set to partner with VA on cannabis research

2/3/20--Ukraine-born cannabis investor Andrey Kukushkin, who was working on a medical cannabis research deal with the Department of Veterans Affairs, is facing federal charges over an alleged plot to trade political donations for help obtaining marijuana licenses around the country. Kukushkin was indicted alongside the businessmen Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman and their associate David Correa. All four men have pleaded not guilty. Read

White House releases 2020 National Drug Control Strategy

2/3/20--Today, White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) Director Jim Carroll released the Trump Administration’s National Drug Control Strategy, which establishes the President’s priorities for addressing the challenge of drug trafficking and use. Read

Marijuana during labor: A survey of maternal opinions

2/3/20--Seemingly, there is increasing use of marijuana during pregnancy, and online accounts indicate that women are considering use of marijuana for labour pain. According to the survey, one third of women would consider the use of marijuana for labour pain, although many are unsure of its effects. Furthermore, most women would feel comfortable discussing this topic with their obstetrician, but the number and attitudes of women who would consider this are unknown. Read

Whoopi & Maya cannabis company ceases operations

2/3/20--The celebrity marijuana company Whoopi & Maya has ceased operations. The company has stopped selling, manufacturing and marketing its products that were geared to women due to an irreconcilable split between the principles. Read

The role of cannabidiol (CBD) in chronic pain management: An assessment of current evidence

2/3/20--Given the growing challenges in chronic pain management coupled with the ongoing consequences of the opioid epidemic, pain management practitioners are looking into more effective, innovative, and safer alternatives to treat pain. The use of CBD and its potential role in pain management was investigated by examining recent literature, but based on the available literature, it was deemed difficult to make a recommendation for the use of CBD in chronic pain management. Read

An overview of cannabis use in pregnancy

1/15/20--Physicians have seen some of the outcomes associated with marijuana use in pregnant individuals. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that 16.2% of pregnant women between the ages of 18 and 44 are daily. Estimates also indicate that between 2009 and 2016 cannabis use among pregnant females has nearly doubled, with young age being positively correlated with use. Read

Marijuana may accelerate the growth of this common cancer — study

1/14/20--In a new study, scientists lay out the evidence for a potentially deadly affect of THC on the body — accelerating the growth of a common cancer. According to Joseph Califano, researcher at the University of California, San Diego and study co-author, there is convincing scientific evidence that daily marijuana use can drive tumor growth in HPV-related head and neck cancer. Seemingly, doses used recreationally activate a cancer-causing pathway. Read

Birth and early developmental screening outcomes associated with cannabis exposure during pregnancy

1/17/20--A study comparing birth and early developmental screening outcomes for infants with and without in utero cannabis exposures may adversely impact fetal growth during pregnancy. Read

Real risks associated with cannabis exposure during pregnancy

1/17/20--A new study from researchers at Western University and Queen's University definitively shows that regular exposure to THC, the main psychoactive ingredient in cannabis, during pregnancy has significant impact on placental and fetal development. Read

Can cannabis cure cancer?

1/16/20--As published in JAMA Oncology, a thorough review by the US National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine found moderate evidence of no statistical association between cannabis use and the development of lung and head and neck cancers. Furthermore, limited evidence of a statistical association was found between cannabis use and the development of nonseminomatous testicular carcinomas without good support for a causative effect. Read

With alcohol consumption down among millennials, big businesses see opportunities for THC-infused beverages

1/14/20--Cannabis-infused beverages are a relatively small slice of the $11.3 billion in U.S. cannabis sales in 2018. Fortune Business Insights estimated global sales of cannabis-infused beverages totaled $174 million in 2018. The continuing federal prohibition of cannabis has kept risk-averse global brands from investing in the U.S. market. However, brewers that have already developed zero-alcohol alternatives to their traditional offerings are now preparing cannabis-infused versions of those products. Read

Major Canadian pot companies facing proposed class-action lawsuits in the U.S.

1/19/20--Some of Canada's biggest cannabis producers are facing proposed class-action lawsuits in the United States after investors were hit with steep financial losses in the stock market. Although the allegations vary, each pot producer is accused of misleading investors or failing to disclose certain problems with their businesses. When those problems became publicly known, the lawsuits claim, share prices plunged and investors were stuck with losses. Read

Hemp states running pilot programs in 2020 starting to ask for deadline extensions

1/16/20--Six state agriculture departments have opted to run their 2020 hemp production programs under the existing rules; however, state agriculture officials in several of those states say their pilot programs’ expiration dates could lead to serious problems. Recommendations to the USDA have been made to extend the agency grant deadline to state pilot programs through the end of the 2020 calendar year. Read

Large-scale marijuana operation with Mass. ties shipped drugs in golf cart boxes, Feds say

1/19/20--William P. Murphy and Claudio Cardaropoli, co-conspirators in a $20 million nationwide marijuana trafficking ring, often shipped drugs in boxes purporting to contain golf carts, according to an FBI agent who testified at a hearing in U.S. District Court. Both have been charged with marijuana trafficking conspiracy, money laundering, and drug distribution. Read

Study: College binge drinking down, pot use up in legalized states

1/19/20--A recently published study shows students are turning to marijuana over alcohol in states where weed is legal. Conducted by Oregon State University, the study concludes that states where marijuana was legalized by 2018, including Colorado, had a rise in occasional and frequent pot use by college students, who were 18 percent more likely to have used marijuana in the past thirty days than in states where marijuana is still illegal. Read

Newborn’s death linked to acute marijuana toxicity

1/15/20--A recently published report describes the case of an 11-day-old female neonate who died due to acute marijuana toxicity and highlights the need for more research on the impact of marijuana use on pregnancy outcomes. The cause of death was specifically declared to be “extensive necrosis and hemorrhage of the liver and adrenals”, which was deemed to be caused by maternal use of marijuana. Read

‘High Times’ will open two cannabis dispensaries

1/21/20--High Times is getting into the retail game by opening two cannabis dispensaries in Las Vegas and Los Angeles. These flagship dispensaries will carry a variety of High Times-branded merchandise alongside locally sourced cannabis products that have previously won awards at Cannabis Cup events. Read

Appeals Court rules that New Jersey company must cover employee’s medical cannabis costs

1/17/20--An appeals court in New Jersey has ruled that an employer must reimburse a former employee for the cost of medical cannabis in a move that could have far-reaching effects for the industry. Steve Schain, senior attorney at Hoban Law Group, views the New Jersey ruling as a monumental moment for the medical cannabis industry and its patients for other reasons, too; namely, that it may encourage private insurance companies—and perhaps even government insurance—to also cover medical cannabis. Read

Philip Morris steps up vaping plan, keeps close ties with Altria

1/20/20--Philip Morris Chief Executive Officer Andre Calantzopoulos announced that the company is getting ready to launch a new vaping device, IQOS Mesh, early this year. Calantzopoulos states there “will be consolidation in the market for e-cigarettes” and Philip Morris wants to be on the forefront with its IQOS brand. Although Philip Morris’s merger talks with Altria failed last year amid mounting controversy over the health effects of Juul, it hasn’t given up on a potential reunion with sister company Altria Group Inc. at some point in the future. Read

2 million people with heart disease report using marijuana, Brigham and Women’s doctors find in new study

1/20/20--More than 2 million people with heart disease in the United States have used or are using marijuana, researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital found in a new study that called for more research about the drug’s potential cardiovascular risks. Although the researchers did not conclude that marijuana causes heart disease, “observational studies have linked marijuana use to a range of cardiovascular risks, including stroke, arrhythmia and diseases that make it hard for the heart muscle to pump properly,” the hospital in a statement. Read

New York Times editorial board: Joe Biden

1/14/20--The editorial board of The New York Times conducted an interview with former vice president Joe Biden. He candidly discussed several matters, including policy issues, as well as what he considers mistakes of the 2016 Clinton campaign, and his current opposition to the federal legalization of marijuana. Read

More dogs falling prey to THC poisoning. Vets say legal marijuana is a key factor.

1/10/20--Dog poisoning from ingesting cannabis is sharply on the rise. The Schaumburg-based American Veterinary Medical Association reports that cannabis-related calls to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals’ pet poison-control hotline rose 765% during the same period from 2018 to 2019. Also, the Pet Poison Helpline has reported an increase of more than 400% in cannabis poisoning calls over the past six years. Read

Cannabis confusion pushes states to ban smokable hemp

1/9/20--The rise of hemp products so similar to marijuana has caught some lawmakers by surprise, and some state lawmakers, alarmed by how difficult it is for law enforcement officers to tell the difference between hemp bud or joints and illegal pot products, are cracking down on smokable hemp. Read

Marijuana detected in homicide victims nearly doubles

1/8/20--Researchers at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health assessed the time trends in alcohol and marijuana detected in homicide victims and found that the prevalence of marijuana almost doubled, increasing from 22 percent in 2004 to 42 percent in 2016. The findings are published in Injury Epidemiology. Read

Newfound cannabis compound may be 30 times more potent than THC

1/10/20--Two newfound cannabinoids have been discovered in the glands of the Cannabis plant, and one of them may be at least 30 times as potent as the high-inducing compound THC. However, it's still unknown if it causes a high or has medical benefits. Read

Birth and early developmental screening outcomes associated with cannabis exposure during pregnancy

1/7/20--According to a study comparing birth and early developmental screening outcomes for infants with and without in utero cannabis exposures, exposure to cannabis during pregnancy may adversely impact fetal growth. Read

Driving under the influence of marijuana and illicit drugs among persons aged ≥16 Years — United States, 2018

12/20/19--According to a report published by the CDC, during 2018 approximately 12 million (4.7%) U.S. residents aged ≥16 years reported driving under the influence of marijuana, and 2.3 million (0.9%) reported driving under the influence of illicit drugs other than marijuana during the past 12 months. Thus, further indicating that the use and co-use of alcohol and drugs has been associated with impairment of psychomotor and cognitive functions while driving. Read

FDA to ban all e-cigarette pod flavors except tobacco and menthol

1/1/19--The Food and Drug Administration plans to ban the sale of fruity flavors in cartridge-based e-cigarettes, but the restriction won’t apply to tank vaping systems commonly found at vape shops, according to people familiar with the matter. Read

Vitamin E Acetate in bronchoalveolar-lavage fluid associated with EVALI

12/20/19--The causative agents for the current national outbreak of electronic-cigarette, or vaping, product use–associated lung injury (EVALI) have not been established. Detection of toxicants in bronchoalveolar-lavage (BAL) fluid from patients with EVALI can provide direct information on exposure within the lung. Results from the performed study indicate that Vitamin E acetate was associated with EVALI in a convenience sample of 51 patients in 16 states across the United States. Read

Adolescent addiction expert weighs in on proposed ban on flavored e-cigarette pods

1/1/20--NPR's Mary Louise Kelly talks with Dr. Sharon Levy, a pediatrician and an adolescent addiction expert with Boston Children's Hospital, about the FDA's proposed ban on most flavored e-cigarette pods. Read

These states now have legal weed, and which states could follow suit in 2020

1/1/20--Recreational marijuana use became legal in just one more state, Illinois, with the start of the New Year on Wednesday. More states could follow suit in 2020, with several states set to put recreational marijuana on the ballot. On January, 1, 2020, Illinois became the 11th state to legalize recreational marijuana, and several states are expected to vote on recreational marijuana use measures in 2020. Read

The true cost of cannabis: Why don’t its illnesses, deaths command media headlines?

1/3/20--USA Today health policy writer Jayne O'Donnell started covering vaping lung injuries from high-potency THC in August, then added the link between cannabis and mental illness, as well as marijuana, psychosis, and other mental illness. O'Donnell indicates that this type of coverage presents a pretty solitary place to be. According to former Food and Drug Administration chief Scott Gottlieb, the news media seemed to lose interest once it became clear that the culprit to vaping lung illnesses was THC and not nicotine. Former New York Times business reporter Alex Berenson adds that the human cost of cannabis is too high — and that the press is too pro-pot. Read

Content analysis of online product descriptions from cannabis retailers in six US states

1/1/20--A current study published in the International Journal of Drug Policy examining how cannabis products are described on US cannabis retailer websites concludes that online cannabis retailers are making potentially unsubstantiated product claims. Future work should examine the potential for these claims to inform consumer behavior. Regulations should ensure that cannabis labeling does not mislead consumers or promote unsafe use. Read

CCC and DPH enter ‘data-sharing agreement,’ but withhold names of pot dispensaries linked to potential vaping illnesses

12/10/19--The Cannabis Control Commission and the Department of Public Health have agreed to share data with each other to investigate whether six probable cases of vaping-related lung illnesses are linked to state-licensed marijuana retailers, as health officials had suggested last week. Read

Commission amends quarantine order to permit sale of marijuana vaporizer devices and newly manufactured marijuana vaping products

12/12/19--The Cannabis Control Commission has issued an amended quarantine order for vaporizer devices and products manufactured by Marijuana Establishments and Medical Marijuana Treatment Centers in Massachusetts. The order permits the sale of devices used to vaporize flower for adult and medical use of marijuana, devices designed to vaporize concentrate that do not contain usable marijuana, and regulated vaporizer products that are manufactured starting Thursday which pass screens for vitamin E acetate as well as other contaminants required under the Commission’s testing protocols. Read

Surface detection of THC attributable to vaporizer use in the indoor environment

12/9/19--The goal of this study was to determine whether cannabinoids can be quantitatively detected on room surfaces exposed to side-stream cannabis vapor, making these surfaces possible sources for third-hand exposure. Study results show that in a room in which cannabis was administered by vaporization, surfaces tested positive for THC at quantifiable levels. This study represents a first step in understanding how side-stream cannabis vapor deposits in the environment and may result in tertiary exposure to users and bystanders. Read

Scientists discover key neural circuit regulating alcohol consumption

12/12/19--New research gathered by UNC School of Medicine scientists, and published in the Journal of Neuroscience, pinpoints a specific neural circuit that when altered caused animal models to drink less alcohol. Read

Association between adolescent blunt use and the uptake of cigars

12/6/19--In this 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. These findings highlight the risk that blunt use may pose for subsequent cigar use among adolescents. 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

Six with lung illness linked to regulated marijuana vapes, state says

12/5/19--Six Massachusetts patients with probable — but not confirmed — cases of vaping-related lung illnesses reported using regulated products from state-licensed marijuana companies, state health officials revealed Thursday night. The patients represent a small fraction of the 90 probable and confirmed cases of vaping-related lung illnesses flagged so far by the state Department of Public Health, but mark the first time state authorities have explicitly linked the lung illnesses to cannabis vapes purchased at legal stores and dispensaries. Read

Cannabis (marijuana) and cannabinoids: What you need to know

12/5/19--People often use the words “cannabis” and “marijuana” interchangeably, but they don’t mean exactly the same thing. As reported in a fact sheet produced by the NIH - National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, the word “cannabis” refers to all products derived from the plant Cannabis sativa. Whereas, the word “marijuana” refers to parts of or products from the plant Cannabis sativa that contain substantial amounts of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Read