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Juul sees long road back to growth

6/11/20--Since K.C. Crosthwaite took the helm of the e-cigarette maker nine months ago, Juul has halted most of its U.S. advertising, cut more than 1,500 jobs, stopped selling sweet and fruity flavors in the U.S. and put the brakes on its international expansion. And he doesn’t plan to get the startup back to growth any time soon. Read

Cannabis product recalls raise significant questions for business owners across the marketplace

6/18/20--Although cannabis product recalls aren’t occurring every day in the industry, they are still a common enough feature that it’s helpful for companies to plan ahead and think through what this unfortunate process might look like. Alex Hearding, chief risk management officer for the National Cannabis Risk Management Association (NCRMA) says that recalls come hand in hand with an industry still forming out of an illicit past. Read

Association of Naturalistic Administration of Cannabis Flower and Concentrates With Intoxication and Impairment

6/10/20--This study provides information about the association of pharmacological and neurobehavioral outcomes with legal market cannabis. Short-term use of concentrates was associated with higher levels of THC exposure. Across forms of cannabis and potencies, users’ domains of verbal memory and proprioception-focused postural stability were primarily associated with THC administration. Read

NORML pushes top federal health official to admit criminalization is more harmful than marijuana

6/9/20--NORML is asking the head of a federal health agency, who recently acknowledged racial disparities in drug enforcement and the harm that such disparate practices have caused, to go on the record to further admit that this trend in criminalization is more harmful than marijuana itself. While NORML said it’s not arguing that cannabis is harmless, the group maintains that the role of discriminatory cannabis enforcement in systemic racial injustices that are the focus of mass protests across the country cannot be overstated. Read

COVID-19 pandemic impact on patients, families & individuals in recovery from a SUD

6/8/20--This report from the Addiction Policy Forum sheds light on the experiences of patients and impacted individuals on emotional and health consequences of COVID-19, overdose rates and barriers in safely accessing care during the pandemic. Supported in part by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), a part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Read

Trulieve receives provisional adult-use cannabis license approval in Massachusetts

6/4/20--Life Essence, Inc., doing business as Trulieve, received unanimous approval for its Adult-Use/Recreational Provisional License from the Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission (CCC) to operate as a Tier 9 indoor cultivation and to carry out product manufacturing in Holyoke, Massachusetts. The CCC also awarded Trulieve its Adult-Use/Recreational Provisional License to operate a retail cannabis establishment in Northampton, Massachusetts. Read

Group hopes to shape legal cannabis water standards

6/4/20--Resource Innovation Institute’s (RII), made up of experts in multiple fields and disciplines is hoping to establish water usage and water quality benchmarks for legal cannabis growers, regardless of growing style. The water working group hopes to address this misconception of water usage in cannabis with data and scientific standardization, including coming up with a more accurate method to measure or benchmark a grower’s water usage. Read

Perception of cannabis health information labels among people who use cannabis in the U.S. and Canada

6/1/20--This study explored perceptions of cannabis health information labels among people who used cannabis in the last 12 months residing in the U.S. and Canada. Results of the study indicate that respondents living in Canada were less likely to say information was new and rated most messages more believable than those in the U.S. Respondents from legal U.S. states were less likely to say information was new compared to other states. Respondents who used cannabis daily rated acceptability of labels lower (27.8%) than those using 1-48 days (40.6%). Read

Centers for Disease Control Director testimony on Coronavirus Response

6/4/20--Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Dr. Robert Redfield testified before a House Appropriations subcommittee on the federal government’s coronavirus response. Committee members questioned Dr. Redfield on a range of issues including contact tracing, CDC coronavirus data reporting, vaccine development, and efforts to address health disparities in minority communities. Read

Scientists discover that nicotine promotes spread of lung cancer to the brain

6/4/20--Among people who have the most common type of lung cancer, up to 40% develop metastatic brain tumors, with an average survival time of less than six months. But why non-small-cell lung cancer so often spreads to the brain has been poorly understood. Read

FDA action on cannabis firm’s drug for COVID-19 patients sends Philly pharma firm’s stock soaring

6/3/20--Shares in Philadelphia-based cannabis company FSD Pharma spiked 324% in premarket trading this morning on news that it had been granted approval by the Food and Drug Administration to submit an application for a clinical trial using a synthetic drug that mimics the action of a molecule found in marijuana to treat COVID-19. Read

State-regulated marijuana vape cartridges aren’t safe, doctor and whistleblower say

6/3/20--According to a doctor and state Department of Health whistleblower, a lack of proper controls over Hawaii’s medical marijuana dispensaries is putting patients’ health in danger. Hawaii News New (HNN) investigation revealed many of the vaping cartridges being sold in Oahu’s dispensaries would be banned in other states for failing to meet safety standards. Read

No evidence marijuana raises stroke risk

6/3/20--A new study indicates that marijuana does not increase the risk of stroke. Specifically ischemic stroke, which is the most common type of stroke and is caused by a blood clot in the brain. After taking into account other factors, a connection between the risk of stroke and marijuana use could not be found, but the study can't prove that recent marijuana use does not affect the risk of stroke, only that the researchers didn't find any. Read

Legal marijuana market size, global industry growth, statistics, trends, revenue analysis 2020

6/4/20--DBMR published a new research publication on “Global Legal Marijuana Market Size, Share, Growth, Industry Trends and Forecast to 2027" with 350+ pages and enriched with self-explained Tables and charts in presentable format. In the study, new evolving Market Size, Share, Statistics, Trends, Drivers, Restraints, Opportunities generated by targeting market associated stakeholders can be found. Read

What we do not know about e-cigarettes is a lot

6/5/20--Much more is unknown than known about e-cigarettes. However, despite all this uncertainty, some have rendered global and fairly Manichean pronouncements regarding the threats and benefits of e-cigarettes. According to an editorial published in JAMA Network, "we are largely ignorant not only about the effects of e-cigarettes, but also about the long-term consequences of such public pronouncements." Read

Association of electronic nicotine delivery system use with cigarette smoking relapse among former smokers in the United States

6/5/20--In this study, risk of cigarette smoking relapse among former cigarette smokers was higher among those who used electronic nicotine delivery systems or other tobacco products compared with those who did not. Furthermore, for clinicians treating former smokers who have successfully quit all nicotine products, the implications are that use of ENDS products should be discouraged, just as use of all other tobacco products is discouraged. Read

Association of socioeconomic position with e-cigarette use among individuals who quit smoking in England, 2014 to 2019

6/5/20--In this study, lower socioeconomic position was associated with higher rates of e-cigarette use among those who quit smoking after e-cigarettes became widely available, likely reflecting continued use of e-cigarettes as a long-term cessation aid among individuals with lower socioeconomic positions. Read

Associations of flavored e-cigarette uptake with subsequent smoking initiation and cessation

6/5/20--In this cohort study with 17, 929 participants, multivariable analyses of nationally representative, longitudinal survey data evaluated differences in smoking initiation and cessation subsequent to vaping uptake among those who used flavored vs unflavored e-cigarettes, separately by age group. Results indicate that adults who began vaping nontobacco-flavored e-cigarettes were more likely to quit smoking than those who vaped tobacco flavors. More research is needed to establish the relationship between e-cigarette flavors and smoking and to guide related policy. Read

Hemp industry asks Congress to help on FDA guidance

6/4/20--The hemp industry, trying to regain ground lost to the pandemic, is asking the Agriculture Department to make it eligible for COVID-19 aid. Jonathan Miller, general counsel for the U.S. Hemp Roundtable, said that the trade association wants lawmakers to require the Food and Drug Administration to start writing regulations for cannabidiol (CBD) products as dietary supplements and food additives. Read

Perceived importance of factors in cannabis purchase decisions: A best-worst scaling experiment

5/29/20--This study examined cannabis users’ perceptions of the relative importance of policy-relevant factors when they made cannabis purchase decisions. Results indicate that cannabis users in general perceived product characteristics, quality, and price to be important factors in their willingness to buy cannabis in dispensaries. There were heterogeneities in the perceptions by cannabis use purposes. Read

The state of cannabis research legislation in 2020

6/1/20--U.S. researchers lack appropriate access to commercially available cannabis products for clinical trials. Meanwhile, patients continue to use state-sanctioned products marketed as medicines in the absence of evidence to support their benefits or define their harms. Read

Cannabis Weekly Round-Up: CEO stats revealed, canopy results disappoint

5/29/20--In a new report, executive search firm Bedford Consulting Group crunches the numbers, noting that 35 percent of cannabis company CEOs were replaced in 2019. The report, which focuses on executive and board compensation in the North American cannabis industry, also states that total CEO compensation was $1.7 million for companies with market caps of over $1 billion. For those with market caps under $100 million, the amount was $226,250. Read

New Hampshire has 441 legal cannabis industry jobs, study finds

5/31/20--The state of New Hampshire has 441 legal cannabis industry jobs, according to a study by Leafly. Moreover, Leafly concludes that cannabis-related jobs are growing faster than the employment growth that’s occurring in the nation’s other industries. Yet the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics does not tabulate the number of jobs supported by legal marijuana, according to the analysis. Read

Youth and Young Adult Use of Pod-Based Electronic Cigarettes From 2015 to 2019

6/1/20--In this systematic review, pod-based e-cigarettes enhanced the delivery of nicotine and had greater dependence potential. Youth and young adult use can be attributed to social acceptability, convenient product features, and aggressive social media marketing. Read

Vaping and youth—First, do no harm

6/1/20--In this issue of JAMA Pediatrics, Lee and colleagues review the evidence on pod-based electronic cigarette (e-cigarette) use among youth and young adults. Recent data reveal that this trend is driven largely by the increase in e-cigarette use, and today e-cigarettes are the most commonly used tobacco product among youth. These facts have led the US surgeon general to declare youth e-cigarette use to be an epidemic. Read

Today’s high potency weed raises risk of anxiety and addiction, study says

6/9/20--A new study, published in the journal JAMA Psychiatry, surveyed more than 1,000 UK residents who reported marijuana use in the past year. The study found high-potency weed users appear to have a significant increase in the likelihood of developing generalized anxiety disorder than those who smoke less robust strains of marijuana. In addition, high-potency weed users are more likely to use weed at least once a week, twice as likely to have used illicit drugs within the past 12 months, and more than three times as likely to be tobacco smokers. Read

Cannabis producer Canopy Growth reports another billion-dollar loss

5/30/20--Canopy Growth Corp. reported its second billion-dollar quarterly loss Friday, as the company remains mired in a turnaround effort. Canopy executives acknowledged Friday that the company had missed opportunities to sell its own version of cheap pot — five months ago inexpensive pot held a 6% market share, but that segment now accounts for around 20% of the market. Read

Better marijuana stock: Green thumb industries or Curaleaf?

5/30/20--While most Canadian cannabis peers are struggling to hit profitability, Green Thumb Industries had cash and cash equivalents of $71.5 million on the balance sheet, with $92.9 million of total debt in its first quarter, which ended March 31. Whereas, Curaleaf Holdings, which in its most recent results showed an 174% year-over-year increase in revenue, to $96.5 million, a sequential increase of 28%. According to an article published in The Motley Fool, With strong expansion plans, these two marijuana companies look appealing in an evolving U.S. cannabis industry. Read

Smarter Strategic Investments are likely ahead in the third wave of cannabis investing

5/31/20--As the transition into the third wave of cannabis investing approaches, one of the biggest downfalls of the second wave to date has been the failure of two major strategic investments into the cannabis industry to create value, according to an article by Alan Brochstein published in New Cannabis Ventures. Read

Allergic and Respiratory Symptoms in Employees of Indoor Cannabis Grow Facilities

5/27/20--A study seeking to investigate the association between workplace exposures and health symptoms in an indoor Cannabis grow facility in Washington State shows a high prevalence of work-related allergic- and particularly respiratory symptoms in the employees of one indoor Cannabis grow facility in Washington State. However, due to the high incidence of recreational cannabis use among these workers, the relative influence of occupational versus recreational exposure to Cannabis dust on the respiratory health and sensitization status of these workers could not be resolved in this study. Read

Coronavirus-like symptoms of 4 teens had been from vaping, doctor says

5/12/20--Doctors at Orlando Health say in the past month they've treated four teenagers for severe respiratory illnesses that appeared to be the coronavirus but when the results came back negative, they realized it was from vaping. Read

Intervention to Prevent Illicit Drug Use in Children, Adolescents, and Young Adults

5/26/20--The US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) has recently published recommendations on primary care–based interventions to prevent illicit drug use in youths. The main intervention is counseling sessions, which can take on various formats. Read

Interventions to Prevent Illicit and Nonmedical Drug Use in Children, Adolescents, and Young Adults Updated Evidence Report and Systematic Review for the US Preventive Services Task Force

5/26/20--The study was designed to review the benefits and harms of interventions to prevent illicit and nonmedical drug use in children, adolescents, and young adults to inform the US Preventive Services Task Force. Evidence concludes that behavioral counseling interventions to prevent initiation of illicit and nonmedical drug use among adolescents and young adults was inconsistent and imprecise, with some interventions associated with reduction in use and others associated with no benefit or increased use. Read

Primary Care–Based Interventions to Prevent Illicit Drug Use in Children, Adolescents, and Young Adults US Preventive Services Task Force Recommendation Statement

5/26/20--To update its 2014 recommendation, the USPSTF commissioned a review of the evidence on the potential benefits and harms of interventions to prevent illicit drug use in children, adolescents, and young adults. It has been concluded that the current evidence is insufficient to assess the balance of benefits and harms of primary care–based behavioral counseling interventions to prevent illicit drug use, including nonmedical use of prescription drugs, in children, adolescents, and young adults. Read

Users of high-potency cannabis four times more likely to report associated problems

5/28/20--Users of high-potency cannabis are four times more likely to report associated problems, and twice as likely to report anxiety disorder, than users of lower-potency strains, according to new research. Read

Rudy Guiliani is looking for $10 million to finance a Ukraine-Biden film

5/28/20--Giuliani and two associates—a Republican fundraiser and a California cannabis entrepreneur—have been trying to round up $10 million to finance the production of a Biden-Ukraine documentary that can be released this year to try to undo Biden’s presidential bid. Documents obtained by Mother Jones indicate that Giuliani and his collaborators are recruiting investors at $1 million a pop and that they have considered the possibility of drawing in investors from overseas. Read

Scientists and veterans file lawsuit challenging DEA’s marijuana rescheduling denials

5/28/20--Researchers and veterans are challenging the DEA's denial of prior cannabis rescheduling requests. The Scottsdale Research Institute (SRI) filed suit last week in the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, asking for a review of DEA’s scheduling determinations in 2020, 2016 and 1992. In all cases, the agency denied the petitions, citing statutory obligations to maintain the status of cannabis as a Schedule I drug under the Controlled Substances Act. Read

Association of high-potency cannabis use with mental health and substance use in adolescence

5/27/20--A study designed to explore the association between cannabis potency and substance use and mental health outcomes, accounting for preceding mental health and frequency of cannabis use suggests that the use of high-potency cannabis is associated with mental health and addiction. Limiting the availability of high-potency cannabis may be associated with a reduction in the number of individuals who develop cannabis use disorders, the prevention of cannabis use from escalating to a regular behavior, and a reduction in the risk of mental health disorders. Read

Interventions to prevent illicit and nonmedical drug use in children, adolescents, and young adults

5/26/20--Based on a study designed to review the benefits and harms of interventions to prevent illicit and nonmedical drug use in children, adolescents, and young adults to inform the US Preventive Services Task Force, evidence for behavioral counseling interventions to prevent initiation of illicit and nonmedical drug use among adolescents and young adults was inconsistent and imprecise, with some interventions associated with reduction in use and others associated with no benefit or increased use. Health, social, and legal outcomes were sparsely reported, and few showed improvements. Read

Pregnancy outcome among women with drug dependence: A population-based cohort study of 14 million births

5/11/20--A study examining the association between drug dependency in pregnancy (DDP) and maternal and newborn outcomes shows an increase in frequency associated with maternal and newborn deaths and adverse events. Further research and public health initiatives have been suggested to be undertaken to address prevention, screening, and treatment. Read

Charlotte’s Web earns U.S. Patent for improved hemp variety

5/20/20--Charlotte's Web has earned U.S. utility patent U.S. 10,653,085, its second U.S. patent for hemp genetics. This patent is for 'CW1AS1', a new hemp variety created by company co-founder Joel Stanley and Sr. Director of Cultivation R&D Bear Reel. The patent takes Charlotte's Web's premier proprietary genetics to the next generation, and builds a strong wall of protection around it, and the products made from it. Read

Company recalls injectable CBD products following FDA warning letter

5/21/20--A Food and Drug Administration (FDA) letter warning Biota Biosciences about its marketing of injectable CBD products has led to a voluntary recall that the federal agency announced on Wednesday. The agency said the company was violating federal statutes both by engaging in interstate commerce of an unapproved new drug and failing to properly label the products by neglecting to include directions for use. Read

Healey joins group of bipartisan attorneys general to tell Congress to pass marijuana banking as part of coronavirus bill

5/20/20--A bipartisan coalition of 34 state and territory attorneys general, including Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey, is urging Congress to pass coronavirus relief legislation that includes a provision to protect banks that serve marijuana businesses from being penalized by federal regulators. Read

Consumer Brands Association launches Coalition for Smart CBD Regulation

5/21/20--The Consumer Brands Association today announced the launch of the Coalition for Smart CBD Regulation, a cross-industry group committed to protecting consumer safety and advocating for necessary resources and uniform federal policies around cannabidiol (CBD). Read

Lavish parties, greedy pols and panic rooms: How the ‘Apple of Pot’ collapsed

5/24/20--In early June, 2018, MedMen looked to become the Apple of pot, the first mainstream, nationwide consumer brand for the product. Then, just a few months after its Abbot Kinney opening, it all began to unravel. The company’s stock now trades for a fraction of what it did just months earlier, and it has lost more than 95 percent of its market value. As stated in a Politico article, "MedMen stands as a cautionary tale of American Wild West capitalism." Read

What is the Prevalence and Risk of Cannabis Use Disorders Among People Who Use Cannabis?

5/20/20--A systematic review was conducted of epidemiological cross-sectional and longitudinal studies on the prevalence and risks of a cannabis use disorder (CUD) among cannabis users. Study results indicate that cannabis users need to be informed about the risks of developing CUDs and the higher risks among those who initiate early and use frequently during adolescence. However, future studies are needed to examine how changes in cannabis policies may affect the risks of CUDs in the population. Read

Assessing the public health impacts of legalizing recreational cannabis use: the US experience

5/11/20--Wayne Hall Michael Lynskey review US research on the effects of legalization on cannabis use among adults and adolescents and on cannabis‐related harms; the impact of legalizing adult recreational use on cannabis price, availability, potency and use; and regulatory policies that may increase or limit adverse effects of legalization. Read

Considering the health and social welfare impacts of non‐medical cannabis legalization

5/11/20--Hall and Lynskey review the state of knowledge to date regarding cannabis le­galization's impact on public health out­comes. As they correctly observe, the cur­rent (mostly North America‐based) evi­dence base re­garding the impacts of legalization is limit­ed, and mixed, including heterogeneous ef­fects on cannabis use and related harms. Read

To legalize or not to legalize cannabis, that is the question!

5/11/20--Hall and Lynskey highlight that two of the key arguments of the legalization lobby are: a) that it will reduce adolescent access, and b) that the available cannabis will be ­safer and less potent because of state‐con­trolled levels of its active ingredient, tetra­hydrocannabinol (THC). They also give a comprehensive snapshot of the outcomes that have followed the changes in cannabis law since 2012 in the US. Read

Recreational cannabis legalization presents an opportunity to reduce the harms of the US medical cannabis industry

5/11/20--According to a published commentary by Keith Humphreys Chelsea L. Shover, Hall and Lynskey's masterful essay provides a comprehensive assessment of the public health consequences of recreational cannabis legalization, which wise policy‐makers will consider as they design regulatory systems. They urge US policy‐makers to recognize that recreational cannabis legalization changes the political environment in a way that creates an important public health opportunity: cleaning up the under‐regulated and frequently harmful US medical cannabis industry. Read

Cannabis and public health: a global experiment without control

5/11/20--According to a review by Hall and Lynskey, two seemingly easy indicators may be prevalence and patterns of canna­bis use as far as the public health effects of le­galization, as both are potentially linked to health and social problems in the presence or absence of legalization. Read

Being thoughtful about cannabis legalization and social equity

5/11/20--According to a commentary published by Wiley Online Library by Beau Kilmer and Erin Kilmer Neel, Hall and Lynskey highlight several out­comes featured in cannabis policy debates and correctly note that they will be shaped by the type of legalization that is imple­mented. Kilmer and Neel mention how excellent the review of the e­merging evidence about how the commercial ap­proach influences health outcomes will hopefully inform future debates in the US and elsewhere. Read

The effects of recreational cannabis legalization might depend upon the policy model

5/11/20--Based on a published commentary written by Rosario Queirolo via the Wiley Online Library, the features of each legalization policy model might have a different impact on the expected outcomes. Some regulatory policies might increase certain legalization adverse effects, while decreasing other neg­ative impacts. For example, the Uruguayan cannabis legislation forbids the selling of cannabis edibles, which might reduce intoxications among minors but increases the percentage of users that smoke cannabis. Read

Legalizing recreational cannabis use: a promising journey into the unknown

5/11/20--An overview of the public health consequences of legalizing recreational cannabis use is provided by Hall and Lynskey. With this legalization, some US states have become frontrunners in international cannabis policy. Research‐wise and policy‐wise, there are two main issues, i.e. how legalization affects cannabis use and how cannabis use affects health. Apparently, there are quite a few uncertainties regarding both is­sues. Read

Assessing the public health effects of cannabis use: can legalization improve the evidence base?

5/11/20--Hall and Lynskey reviewed evidence on the effects of legalization of recreational cannabis, and they concluded that it is too early to tell. So, what matters going forwards is whether there will be sufficient investment in generating evidence and conducting research into both the association of cannabis use with health and social harms and the impact of alternative methods of legislating cannabis consumption on the prevention of those harms. Read

Cannabis use and fungal infections in a commercially insured population, United States, 2016

6/1/20--In this study, health insurance claims data from 2016 was used to evaluate the prevalence of fungal infection diagnosis codes among persons who use cannabis and persons who do not use cannabis and to compare demographic and clinical features between these 2 groups. Study results indicate that within this large commercially insured population in the United States, cannabis use was associated with a higher prevalence of certain fungal infections. Although these infections were uncommon, they can result in substantial illness and even death, particularly in immunocompromised persons. Read

Acute effects of cannabinoids on symptoms of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder: A human laboratory study

5/7/20--This is the first placebo-controlled investigation of cannabis in adults with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD). The data suggest that smoked cannabis, whether containing primarily THC or CBD, has little acute impact on OCD symptoms and yields smaller reductions in anxiety compared to placebo. Read

Who funds cannabis research? Increasingly, it’s the Industry Itself

5/14/20--Millions of dollars pour into cannabis research each year at universities across the world, and that funding is increasingly coming from the cannabis industry itself. Industry giants such as Canopy Growth, Curaleaf, Tilray, Cronos, and Charlotte’s Web have funded, or otherwise partnered on, university research on a wide range of cannabis-related issues. Read

Recommendations from the USPSTF for prevention and cessation of tobacco use in children and adolescents

4/28/20--In this issue of JAMA, the US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) presents updated recommendations on prevention and cessation of tobacco use among children and adolescents seen in primary care settings. The USPSTF recommends education and brief counseling with a clinician to prevent initiation of tobacco use. The USPSTF also concludes that evidence is insufficient to assess the balance of benefits and harms of primary care–feasible interventions for the cessation of tobacco use among school-aged children and adolescents. Read

High Times makes bold move into marijuana retail with $80 million deal

4/28/20--The owner of pioneering cannabis magazine High Times said it is acquiring 13 operating and planned marijuana retail stores in California for $80 million. The purchase, which is being made mostly in stock, reflects an aggressive move into retail under the company’s new management team. Read