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9 amicus briefs filed with Supreme Court in support of removing cannabis from Controlled Substances Act

9/17/20--Plaintiffs in the Washington v. Barr case, which seeks to declare the federal law that criminalizes marijuana unconstitutional, have received impressive support in the form of several amicus briefs from cannabis industry organizations, researchers and current federal lawmakers. The case, brought by former NFL player and current cannabis business owner Marvin Washington, claims that the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) is unconstitutional by blocking patient access to the medication and sits in contradiction with the U.S. government’s own statements. Read

#PuffBar: how do top videos on TikTok portray Puff Bars?

9/21/20--The objective of this Industry Watch article is to describe how Puff Bar e-cigarettes, a leading disposable e-cigarette brand among youth,3 are portrayed on the popular Beijing-based video-sharing social media platform TikTok. The focuse was on TikTok specifically because 60% of the platform’s 26.5 million active users in the USA in 2019 were between the ages of 16 and 24.6. Read

Investigating the Attitudes of Adolescents and Young Adults Towards JUUL: Computational Study Using Twitter Data

9/21/20--According to a study using Twitter data to understand salient themes regarding JUUL, sentiment towards JUUL, and underage JUUL use, findings suggest that a vast majority of Twitter users are not using JUUL to aid in smoking cessation nor do they mention the potential health benefits or detriments of JUUL use. Using machine learning algorithms to identify tweets containing underage JUUL mentions can support the timely surveillance of JUUL habits and opinions, further assisting youth-targeted public health intervention strategies. Read

The Schedule I Status of Marijuana

9/11/20--The Controlled Substances Act (CSA) places various substances in one of five schedules based on their medical use, potential for abuse, and safety or risk for dependence. Marijuana is listed as a Schedule I controlled substance under the CSA, and has been on Schedule I since the CSA was enacted in 1970 (P.L. 91-513). The Schedule I status of marijuana means that the substance is strictly regulated by federal authorities. Read

Foundation for a Smoke-Free World’s Tobacco Transformation Index

9/20/20--The “Tobacco Transformation Index” (TTI) is a project of the Foundation for a Smoke-Free World (FSFW). It describes itself as an “objective” index for measuring the corporate transformation of the tobacco industry. Read

Richmond emergency room experienced a surge in opioid overdoses during pandemic

9/21/20--Virginia Commonwealth University researchers have released data showing an alarming surge in opioid-related overdoses during the COVID-19 pandemic. Nonfatal opioid overdose visits to the VCU Medical Center emergency department in Richmond increased from 102 between March and June 2019 to 227 between March and June 2020. That's an increase of 123%. Read

Interstate commerce in 2021 | States Can’t Wait

9/22/20--Sensible Markets is calling on governors of legal and soon-to-be-legal states to join an interstate compact to regulate commerce in legal cannabis between them, and to seek Congressional approval in 2021. Read

Pesticide products registered for use on hemp

9/22/20--Since December 2019, EPA has approved adding hemp to the use sites of 47 pesticides. Forty-six of the products are biopesticides and one is a conventional pesticide. As EPA receives additional applications to amend product labels to add use on hemp, the agency will process those applications on an ongoing basis and update this list. Read

Familial factors may not explain the effect of moderate‐to‐heavy cannabis use on cognitive functioning in adolescents: a sibling‐comparison study

9/3/20--A study designed to examine whether moderate adolescent cannabis use has neurocognitive effects that are unexplained by familial confounds indicates that moderate adolescent cannabis use may have adverse effects on cognitive functioning, specifically verbal memory, that cannot be explained by familial factors. Read

IRS sweetens the pot with new marijuana industry web page

9/14/20--The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has released a new marijuana business webpage to help business owners understand and meet their tax responsibilities. The IRS says that it “understands this is a new and growing industry and provided frequently asked questions about record keeping, cash payment options, large cash amounts, and other related topics to help promote voluntary compliance in the industry.” Read

IPCI, Decriminalize Nature, and Peyote Dialogues

9/20/20--In recent months, the IPCI and NAC have demanded public apologies from Decriminalize Nature (DN) National and DN local groups for use of the word Peyote in their resolution. They’ve also demanded that they stop using the word Peyote altogether in any literature, or showing photographs of Peyote in their education material. Beyond removing the word Peyote, the Decriminalize Nature agreed to work with the IPCI in September 2019 to spread the word about the need for conservation and preservation of Peyote, using materials the IPCI leadership said they wanted us to share with followers. Read

Research finds tobacco imagery on TV and streaming shows drives youth vaping

9/17/20--Young people with high exposure to tobacco images in television shows were three times as likely to start vaping compared to peers with no exposure, according to landmark Truth Initiative research that is the first to establish the link. Read

Using weed during pregnancy linked to psychotic-like behaviors in children, study finds

9/24/20--A new study found women who use marijuana while pregnant may increase psychotic-like behaviors in children. The study, published Wednesday in JAMA Psychiatry, analyzed data on 11,489 children who were followed as part of the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) study, which says it's the "largest long-term study of brain development and child health in the United States." The children's cognitive and behavior patterns were evaluated in middle childhood, around age 9. Read

Investigating THC syrup: Cannabis with the consistency of cough medicine

9/24/20--THC syrup, essentially weed in liquid form, has the same thickness and consistency as cough syrup. It's typically made by mixing cannabis concentrate with vegetable glycerine or coconut oil and sugar. The logic is that by putting high levels of THC, the psychoactive chemical in cannabis, into liquid form you will get a faster and longer-lasting high than a conventional edible, partly due to the speed in which it is absorbed into your bloodstream. Read

Lessons Learned From State Marijuana report by SAM

9/27/20--Smart Approaches of Marijuana (SAM) has compiled publicly available state-level data, reports, and investigatory findings, peer-reviewed studies, and government health surveys to assemble the Lessons Learned From State Marijuana report, and they have attempted to be as transparent as possible in their evaluation. Read

Pharma company, supplement chain retailer weigh in on CBD during White House meetings

9/28/20--As the hemp industry awaits guidance from food and drug regulators on whether CBD will be permitted to be used as an ingredient in food and dietary supplements, the White House Office of Management and Budget continues to meet with companies and industry advocates to gain insight. Two of those meetings discussing the future of cannabidiol were with CBD drug maker GW Pharmaceuticals and chain retailer General Nutrition Centers (GNC). Read

Impact evaluations of drug decriminalisation and legal regulation on drug use, health and social harms: a systematic review

9/28/20--A study designed to review the metrics and findings of studies evaluating effects of drug decriminalization or legal regulation on drug availability, use or related health and social harms globally concludes, in part, that studies evaluating drug decriminalization and legal regulation are concentrated in the USA and on cannabis legalization. Despite the range of outcomes potentially impacted by drug law reform, extant research is narrowly focussed, with a particular emphasis on the prevalence of use. Read

First-ever Cannabinoid Anxiety Relief Education Study (C.A.R.E.S.) will explore CBD and cannabis efficacy for anxiety aggravated by COVID-19

9/23/20--Wholistic Research and Education Foundation (Wholistic), a federally approved public non-profit (501c3) dedicated to cannabis research, education and advocacy, is sponsoring a first-of-its-kind exploratory survey on CBD and cannabis efficacy in reducing anxiety, to be conducted by University of California, Irvine (UCI), in partnership with UC Institute for Prediction Technology (UCIPT). Read

The case against legalization and decriminalization of marijuana

8/24/20--The Democrat-controlled House of Representatives and Democratic Party leaders have seemingly offered their support for marijuana legalization and decriminalization policies. On Friday, the House passed legislation that, if enacted, would block the Department of Justice from enforcing the federal marijuana ban in states that have legalized recreational use. Read

Tell your representative to oppose the MORE Act

9/1/20--Big Pot is pushing hard for Congress to hold a full vote on the MORE Act, a bill to federally legalize and commercialize marijuana under the auspices of social justice. Read

Efficient casework policy to address emerging challenges in seized drugs

9/30/20--As reported by Jeremy Triplett, laboratory manager of the Central Forensic Laboratory in Frankfort, Kentucky, the substances tested in cases involving seized drugs are always evolving. By establishing policies on the most critical samples to test and maintaining ongoing communication with stakeholders, laboratories can more efficiently manage a backlog. Read

Balancing the public health costs of psychosis vs mass incarceration with the legalization of cannabis

9/2/20--A recent Viewpoint in JAMA Psychiatry suggests that legalizing cannabis may be associated with increased incidence and prevalence of psychosis. Assuming an increase in use, epidemiologic research supports the association of cannabis with psychosis because there is convincing evidence that high-potency (>10% tetrahydrocannabinol) cannabis taken at frequent doses may be associated with nontransient cases of schizophrenia-spectrum disorders. Read

Impact evaluations of drug decriminalization and legal regulation on drug use, health and social harms

9/28/20--Studies evaluating drug decriminalization and legal regulation are concentrated in the USA and on cannabis legalization. Despite the range of outcomes potentially impacted by drug law reform, extant research is narrowly focussed, with a particular emphasis on the prevalence of use. Metrics in drug law reform evaluations require improved alignment with relevant health and social outcomes. Read

Juul to cut more than half of its workforce

9/3/20--E-cigarette maker Juul Labs Inc. is planning to lay off more than half its employees, according to people familiar with the matter, and is considering halting its sales across Europe and Asia. That could mean pulling out of as many as 11 countries and shrinking the startup’s footprint to its core markets, the U.S., Canada and the U.K. Read

Dr. Bronner’s launches heal soul campaign in support of psychedelic-assisted therapy and medicine

9/1/20--Dr. Bronner’s, family-owned maker of the top-selling natural brand of soap in North America, has launched its Heal Soul campaign to support public education efforts, advocacy organizations, and political campaigns around the country working to mainstream psychedelic-assisted therapy and medicines to treat depression, PTSD, addiction, and end-of-life anxiety. The company has donated over $3 million this year to support these efforts and created a special limited edition “Heal Soul!” Read

First-ever cannabinoid anxiety relief education study (C.A.R.E.S) will explore CBD and cannabis efficacy to anxiety aggravated by COVID-19

9/23/20--The Cannabinoid Anxiety Relief Education Study (C.A.R.E.S.) will reach millions of CBD and cannabis users across the U.S. to assess the potential role of cannabinoids in reducing anxiety and other co-morbid conditions, such as insomnia and depression. This large-scale research study is especially relevant given high COVID-19 driven anxiety levels nationwide and the many state and local governments which have deemed cannabis businesses "essential" and thus accessible during this time. Read

Assessment of menthol and nonmenthol cigarette consumption in the US, 2000 to 2018

8/7/20--According to a study, menthol cigarette market share increased by nearly 10 percentage points from 2000 to 2018. Overall, cigarette consumption declined 46.0% from 2000 (435.6 billion cigarettes) to 2018 (235.3 billion cigarettes), but the decline was greater among nonmenthol cigarettes (52.9%; 322.8 billion to 152.0 billion cigarettes) than for menthol cigarettes (26.1%; 112.8 billion to 83.3 billion cigarettes in 2018). Read

Does anxiety sensitivity predict addiction severity in opioid use disorder?

9/6/20--Increased anxiety sensitivity (AS), defined as the fear of anxiety-related cognitive, social, and physical symptoms which are misinterpreted as having harmful implications, has shown a relationship with substance use disorders. People with substance use disorders also experience addiction-related problems across several domains of life functioning. Read

Familial factors may not explain the effect of moderate-to-heavy cannabis use on cognitive functioning in adolescents: a sibling-comparison study

9/3/20--This study aims to examine whether moderate adolescent cannabis use has neurocognitive effects that are unexplained by familial confounds, which prior family‐controlled studies may not have identified. Results indicate that moderate adolescent cannabis use may have adverse effects on cognitive functioning, specifically verbal memory, that cannot be explained by familial factors. Read

How legal weed destroyed a counterculture icon

9/4/20--Constantly running afoul of authorities, High Times magazine became an icon of the counterculture and an indispensable guide to the underground world of cannabis. It also survived the suicide of its outlaw founder, the war on drugs, and three federal grand jury investigations, as reported in a Politico article. But now that cannabis has become legal across much of the country, High Times finds itself in a different kind of trouble. Read

Kevin Zeese: Tireless activist, former NORML Director

9/6/20--Kevin Zeese, who played a major role in fighting the War on Drugs, died of a heart attack this month at the age of 64. The executive director of NORML from 1983-1986, he also founded the Drug Policy Foundation (DPF) with Arnold Trebach in 1987. Read

Common drugs and marijuana don’t always mix

9/10/20--Marijuana—or more specifically, a compound in the plant that produces its intoxicating effects called tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)—can have adverse effects when combined with some prescription drugs and vice versa, warns a new report from the University of Toronto. Read

Cresco Labs launched Good News Cannabis Brand

9/9/20--Cresco Labs, one of the largest vertically integrated multistate cannabis operators in the United States, announced the launch of its newest cannabis brand to its growing portfolio of national cannabis brands, Good News. Read

New reports show encouraging decline in youth vaping, but troubling rise in menthol and flavored disposable e-cigarette use

9/9/20--Two new reports published earlier today by the FDA and CDC show that while youth e-cigarette use decreased in a meaningful way, it remains at epidemic levels driven by a dramatic increase in the use of menthol and disposable e-cigarettes, two categories of products exempted from federal restrictions. Reads

Greenlane Holdings appoints key sales and marketing hires for North America and Europe

9/21/20--Greenlane Holdings, Inc. (“Greenlane” or “the Company”), one of the largest global sellers of premium cannabis accessories and specialty vaporization products, announced today that it has hired Michael Cellucci, a proven leader in tobacco CPG, as President of Sales and Marketing North America. In addition, Michael Ouwendijk, a sales and marketing expert who also built his career in the tobacco industry, will join Greenlane Europe as Sales & Marketing DirectorRead

E-cigarettes use among middle and high school students – United States, 2020

9/9/20--In 2020, 19.6% of high school students (3.02 million) and 4.7% of middle school students (550,000) reported current e-cigarette use. Among current e-cigarette users, 38.9% of high school students and 20.0% of middle school students reported using e-cigarettes on 20 or more of the past 30 days; 22.5% of high school users and 9.4% of middle school users reported daily use. Among all current e-cigarette users, 82.9% used flavored e-cigarettes, including 84.7% of high school users (2.53 million) and 73.9% of middle school users (400,000). Read

E-cigarette unit sales, by product and flavor type – United States, 2014-2020

9/9/20--During September 2014–May 2020, e-cigarette sales increased by 122.2%. Sales of prefilled cartridges increased during September 2014–August 2019; since then, sales of disposable products have increased. Prefilled mint cartridge e-cigarette sales increased from September 2014 to August 2019, then decreased, as menthol sales increased during August 2019–May 2020. Read

Vancouver is a disaster zone of Canada’s liberal drug policies

9/10/20--May, June and July have been the worst months in B.C. history for drug overdoses, with approximately 526 dead — more than double the 213 British Columbians who have died from coronavirus. At present rates, B.C. will again pass 1,000 overdose-related deaths by December. Read

2019 National Survey of Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) Releases

9/13/20--NSDUH’s latest annual report focuses on substance use and mental health in the United States based on NSDUH data from 2019 and earlier years. The annual report presents estimates that meet the criteria for statistical precision and facilitate stable examination of trends over time to study changes in society and emerging issues. Read

A year of progress, but youth e-cigarette use still at epidemic levels

9/10/20--Although significant progress has been made since the creation of the initiative – Protect Kids: Fight Flavored E-Cigarettes led by the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, youth e-cigarette use remains at epidemic levels and bold action is needed at all levels of government to prohibit flavored e-cigarettes and stop tobacco companies from addicting a new generation of kids. Read

Twitter partners with feds on campaign flagging ‘marijuana’ searches while giving ‘alcohol’ a pass

9/10/20--Twitter is partnering with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), a federal drug agency, to promote substance misuse treatment resources when users of the social media platform search for “marijuana” or certain other substance-related keywords—but no such health warning appears with results for alcohol-connected terms. Read

Protecting young people from e-cigarettes

9/13/20--Many things remain uncertain as a new school year begins, but the proven, science-backed information on the risks of using e-cigarettes can protect the minds and lungs of youth from harm caused by e-cigarettes and nicotine, and keep them from starting to use these products in the first place. Read

Quick facts on the risks of e-cigarettes for kids, teens, and young adults

9/13/20--The Centers for Disease Control presents quick facts on the risks of e-cigarettes for kids, teens, and young adults. Some of which include: The use of e-cigarettes is unsafe; most e-cigarettes contain nicotine; nicotine is highly addictive and can harm adolescent brain development, which continues into the early to mid-20s, and young people who use e-cigarettes may be more likely to smoke cigarettes in the future. Read

Surgeon General’s advisory on e-cigarette use among youth

9/13/20--Surgeon General of the United States Public Health Service, VADM Jerome Adams, is emphasizing the importance of protecting children from a lifetime of nicotine addiction and associated health risks by immediately addressing the epidemic of youth e-cigarette use. The recent surge in e-cigarette use among youth, which has been fueled by new types of e-cigarettes that have recently entered the market, is a cause for great concern. Read

Study Designs and Statistical Methods for Studies of Child and Adolescent Health Policies

9/8/20--Rigorous empirical studies of the effect of a policy intervention seek to consider (or estimate) what outcomes are (or would be) with the policy compared with what outcomes are (or would be) without the policy. Read

Study of siblings finds moderate cannabis use impacts cognitive functioning

9/3/20--A new study compares adolescent siblings to determine the impact of early and frequent use of marijuana on cognitive function. This study contrasts with previous studies by finding that moderate adolescent cannabis use may have adverse effects that cannot be explained by the genetic or environmental factors that siblings may have in common. Read

Vaping DOES raise the risk of breast cancer, warn scientists amid concerns that young women are ‘targeted by E-cigarette companies’

9/12/20--Vaping increases the risk of developing breast cancer, a new study suggests. According to scientists from a group of American universities, including Yale, Johns Hopkins and Princeton, exposure to e-cigarette vapor creates a 'tumor-promoting environment' in the breast and elsewhere in the body. Read

E-cigarettes, Vaping, and the FDA’s Dilemma

9/14/20--According to this report, the rapidly increasing use of e-cigarettes is currently outpacing the accumulation of evidence regarding its harms versus its benefits. These may be largely generational: the harms of addicting an entirely new generation to nicotine versus the immediate and long-term morbidity and mortality benefits to an older generation who may already be suffering the consequences of its own addiction. The FDA has the herculean task of sorting this out while protecting everyone. Read

E-cigarette promotes breast carcinoma progression and lung metastasis: Macrophage-tumor cells crosstalk and the role of CCL5 and VCAM-1

10/28/20--This study provides the first robust scientific evidence to raise awareness regarding the risks of vaping. Read

Trends in mortality from drug poisonings, suicide, and alcohol-induced deaths in the United States From 2000 to 2017

9/11/20--This serial cross-sectional study using US mortality data from 2000 to 2017, including 1,446 ,177 drug poisoning, suicide, and alcohol-induced premature deaths found that demographic characteristics and geographic patterns varied by cause of death, suggesting that increasing death rates from these causes were not concentrated in 1 group or region. Specialized interventions tailored for the underlying drivers of each cause of death are urgently needed.. Read

Charlotte’s Web swings to loss in Q2, citing pandemic and operating expenses

9/14/20--Charlotte’s Web Holdings, a CBD manufacturer in Boulder, Colorado, lost $14.4 million last quarter as the coronavirus pandemic slowed retail sales and operating expenses rose 82% from the same period a year ago. The company announced a plan to reduce operating expenses by 10% by the end of 2020, without elaborating. Read

California assembly votes overwhelmingly to end the sale of flavored tobacco products; state poised to deliver historic victory for kids over tobacco industry

8/24/20--The California Assembly today delivered a resounding victory for kids and public health over the tobacco industry by voting, 58-1, to prohibit the sale of flavored tobacco products, including flavored e-cigarettes, flavored cigars and menthol cigarettes. This bold action, in a state home to more than 10% of the U.S. population, cracks down on the products that have long been the tobacco industry’s most powerful weapons in targeting and hooking kids and the Black community. Read

CDC survey finds nearly a third of high school students used e-cigarettes in 2019 – It’s time to eliminate the flavored products addicting kids

8/20/20--Following the 2019 Monitoring the Future survey and the 2019 National Youth Tobacco Survey, the 2019 Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) is the third national survey to show that youth e-cigarette use skyrocketed between 2017 and 2019. The YRBS found that 32.7% of high school students were current e-cigarette users in 2019, up from 13.2% in 2017. Read

New 30-City Study: Over 60% of public schools Are within 1,000 feet of tobacco retailers

8/12/20--Across 30 major U.S. cities, an average of 63% of public schools are located within 1,000 feet – about two city blocks – of a tobacco retailer, according to a comprehensive new study mapping tobacco retailers in the 30 cities. The study was conducted by researchers from the Stanford University School of Medicine, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Washington University in St. Louis. Read

Frequent cannabis use in depression tripled over past decade

8/19/20--Investigators analyzed data from more than 16,000 US adults between the ages of 20 and 59 years and found that those with depression had almost twice the odds of any past-month cannabis use compared with those without depression. Read

Workforce drug testing positivity climbed to highest rate in 16 years

8/25/20--New Quest Diagnostics Drug Testing Index™ Analysis finds that marijuana positivity climbed by double digits across nearly all employee testing categories, while opiate and heroin positivity decline. Additionally, analysis of more than nine million workplace drug test results showed cocaine and methamphetamine positivity surges in Midwest. Read

Curaleaf rises to the top of US marijuana industry with footprint covering about two dozen states

8/26/20--Massachusetts-based Curaleaf has become one of the largest multistate cannabis operators in the United States by adopting a broad-market approach – with scores of cultivation, processing and dispensary facilities now stretching across 23 states. Read

Does how you use matter? The link between mode of use and cannabis-related risk

9/1/20--With the recent legalization of cannabis there are more cannabis products available to consumers today than ever before. However, little is known about the relation of distinct modes of use to cannabis-related risks. The current study estimated the prevalence of different modes of use among a sample of university students, and quantified the magnitude of association between modes of use (type and number) and cannabis-related risks. Read

What we know and don’t know about Puff Bar right now

8/19/20--As Puff Bar’s popularity has grown, so have many questions and concerns about the product and the company behind it. Puff Bar should never have been sold because it is illegal for any tobacco product that wasn’t on the market before August 2016 to begin sales. Still, Puff Bar appeared on the market in 2019 and raked in profits before the Food and Drug Administration took enforcement action. Read  

Cannabis research database shows how U.S. funding focuses on harms of the drug

8/27/20--A new analysis of cannabis research funding in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom has found that $1.56 billion was directed to the topic between 2000 and 2018—with about half of the money spent on understanding the potential harms of the recreational drug. Read