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Appropriations Committee releases fiscal year 2022 Agriculture-Rural-FDA funding bill

6/24/21--The House Appropriations Committee today released the draft fiscal year 2022 Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies funding bill, which will be considered in subcommittee tomorrow. The legislation funds agencies and programs within the Department of Agriculture, the Food and Drug Administration, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, and the Farm Credit Administration. Read

Federal officials meet with state marijuana regulators to discuss legalization impacts

6/25/21--A coalition of state marijuana regulators met with federal officials and members of Congress this week to discuss the potential impact that national legalization and other cannabis policy changes could have on the local programs they oversee. Read

Marmoset study identifies brain region linking actions to their outcomes

6/24/21--The study, published today in the journal Neuron, found that marmoset monkeys could no longer make an association between their behavior and a particular outcome when a region of their brain called the anterior cingulate cortex was temporarily switched off. This finding is important because the compulsive behaviors in OCD and addiction are thought to result from impairments in the 'goal-directed system' in the brain. Read

Adolescent drug use before and during U.S. national COVID-19 social distancing policies

6/21/21--A study designed to examine how adolescent substance use and perceived availability of substances have changed during the COVID-19 pandemic has concluded that perceived availability of marijuana, alcohol, and vaping devices declined at historic rates during the pandemic of 2020. Lack of accompanying reductions in prevalence for marijuana and binge drinking demonstrates the substantial challenges facing a supply-side approach to the reduction of adolescent use of these substances. Read

Inviting applications for socially disadvantages group grants

6/21/21--This notice announces that the Rural Business-Cooperative Service (Agency) is announcing fiscal year (FY) 2021 funding for applications for the Socially Disadvantaged Groups Grant (SDGG) program. The purpose of this program is to provide technical assistance to socially disadvantaged groups in rural areas. Eligible applicants include cooperatives, groups of cooperatives, and cooperative development centers. Read

World Drug Report 2021

6/21/21--Consisting of five separate booklets, the World Drug Report 2021 provides an in-depth analysis of the global drug markets and paints a comprehensive picture of the measurable effects and potential impact of the COVID-19 crisis on the world drug problem. Read

Crash rates jump in wake of marijuana legalization, new studies show

6/7/21--More evidence is emerging that crash rates go up when states legalize recreational use and retail sales of marijuana. According to a new study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and another by the affiliated Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI) show, crash rates spiked with the legalization of recreational marijuana use and retail sales in California, Colorado, Nevada, Oregon and Washington. Read 

FDA must do more to stop youth vaping, House members say

6/23/21--House members told FDA Acting Commissioner Janet Woodcock, MD, at a hearing on youth vaping that the FDA should be doing more to stop kids from getting addicted to e-cigarettes. Subcommittee chairman Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-Ill.) began the hearing by laying out statistics on the problem and he focused some of his questions on flavored e-cigarettes, noting that the agency's 2020 e-cigarette "flavor ban" included two exemptions: one for tobacco and menthol flavors for Juul and other cartridge-based devices, and another for all flavors of disposable e-cigarettes. Read

Associations of Suicidality trends with cannabis use as a function of sex and depression status

6/22/21--Results of this study concludes that from 2008 to 2019, suicidal ideation, plan, and attempt increased 40% to 60% over increases ascribed to cannabis use and MDE. However, future research is needed to examine this increase in suicidality and to determine whether it is due to cannabis use or overlapping risk factors. Read

New WHO report shows how manufacturers attempt to avoid regulation of e-cigarettes and heated tobacco products

6/21/21--A new WHO report “Litigation relevant to regulation of novel and emerging nicotine and tobacco products: comparison across jurisdictions” offers governments examples of the legal arguments that industry has used in attempts to evade or minimize regulation, as well as how courts have addressed those arguments. Read

Pediatric cannabis intoxication trends in the pre and post-legalization era

6/17/21--Results from a retrospective cohort study of children 0-18 years who presented to a pediatric ED between January 1, 2008 and December 31, 2019 with cannabis intoxication indicate that the recreational cannabis legalization in Canada is associated with increased rates of severe intoxications in children. Edible ingestion is a strong predictor of ICU admission in the pediatric population. Read

Association of cannabis use during adolescence with neurodevelopment

6/16/21--Results of a study designed to examine the degree to which magnetic resonance (MR) imaging-assessed cerebral cortical thickness development is associated with cannabis use in a longitudinal sample of adolescents suggest that cannabis use during adolescence is associated with altered neurodevelopment, particularly in cortices rich in cannabinoid 1 receptors and undergoing the greatest age-related thickness change in middle to late adolescence. Read

Toddler left fighting for life after ‘eating cannabis’ as five arrested

6/19/21--The two-year-old boy was rushed to the Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children with large amounts of cannabis in his system. Five people, three women and two men, have been arrested on suspicion of child cruelty. Irish News reports that the little boy was admitted to ICU in a critical condition and placed on a ventilator - but it is understood he is now stable. Read

Association of cannabis use during adolescence with neurodevelopment

6/16/21--In this cohort study, linear mixed-effects model analysis using 1598 magnetic resonance images from 799 participants revealed that cannabis use was associated with accelerated age-related cortical thinning from 14 to 19 years of age in predominantly prefrontal regions. The spatial pattern of cannabis-related cortical thinning was significantly associated with a positron emission tomography–assessed map of cannabinoid 1 receptor availability. Read

Temporal trends in suicidal ideation and attempts among US adolescents by sex and race/ethnicity, 1991-2019

6/14/21--In this cross-sectional study of 183,563 adolescents in the US, a decreasing temporal trend in suicidal ideation changed to an increase, with different turning points for female (2009), White (2009), Hispanic (2007), and Black (2005) adolescents. Male and Black youths had nonsignificant changes in suicidal ideation, but the greatest increase in the prevalence of nonfatal suicide attempts. Read

Who sells tobacco, who stops? A comparison across different tobacco retailing schemes

6/18/21--This study examines patterns of tobacco retailing across three legislative environments with three different licensing schemes (an annual fee-based license, a zero-cost, one-off notification scheme and no notification/licensing scheme). Results of this study indicate that, unexpectedly, the annual license fee to sell tobacco was not significantly associated with a lower rate of selling tobacco or a higher rate of stopping. Read

Effect of flavor manipulation on ENDS (JUUL) users’ experiences, puffing behavior and nicotine exposure among US college students

6/18/21--This study evaluates the impact of ENDS flavor manipulation on user’s puffing behavior, subjective experience, harm perception and nicotine exposure among college-aged ENDS users. Results of this pilot study provides evidence that ENDS flavors have a substantial effect in enhancing young current ENDS users’ experiences, product appeal and motivation to use the product in the future. It highlights that limiting flavors could play a potential role when designing strategic policies to reduce the appeal of ENDS use among young people. Read

Exposure to JUUL use: cue reactivity effects in young adult current and former smokers

6/18/21--This study examines whether observing the use of this device would elicit similar responses in smokers. Exploratory analyses were also conducted to determine whether JUUL can act as a smoking cue for former smokers. Study results conclude that the use of JUUL affects the user and elicits responses in observers, It is the study first to demonstrate that exposure to JUUL use may act as a smoking cue and exposure to JUUL use may affect tobacco control efforts. Read

NY cannabis law is national blueprint for pot expungement

6/18/21--New York's Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act, signed into law on March 31, is the most progressive cannabis legislation in the country and has profound ambitions. Besides legalizing adult personal use of cannabis and drastically downgrading penalties for illegal use, the MRTA aims to create and regulate a new cannabis market on principles of social justice. Its goal is to channel tax revenue into communities of color. Read

Illegal drugs trade goes digital for pandemic

6/9/21--According to Europe’s drugs agency, the illegal drugs trade went digital to serve its customers during lockdown, and could stay that way when the COVID-19 pandemic is over. The pandemic has forced changes to every level of the drugs trade, from wholesale traffickers and smugglers to neighborhood dealers. Read

Strategies of effectively allocating opioid settlement funds

6/16/21--States and communities have one chance to get the allocation of settlement funds right and to avoid some of the missteps that substantially diminished the potential public health impact of tobacco settlements. Therefore, OPTIC researchers have compiled materials that include guiding principles for allocating opioid settlement funds, recommendations for addressing the root causes of overdose death, and profiles of studies assessing the effectiveness of specific programs and policies as a resource to focus on different aspects of the crisis, and use different methods to derive their assessments. Read

Cannabeta Realty

6/16/21--Cannabeta Realty is the first real estate brokerage firm in the New York and New Jersey area dedicated to serving the needs of the cannabis industry. Read

Marijuana joints produce 3.5 times as much secondhand smoke as a Marlboro

6/16/21--Wayne Ott and colleagues have done a real-world study of the levels of pollution caused by smoking a joint (or a bong or vaping cannabis) and found that marijuana products are as or even more polluting than tobacco cigarettes. The joints were the most polluting — 3.5 times that of a Marlboro (figure above), with the other cannabis products producing as much or more pollution than the cigarette. Read

Unhealthy air pollution in cannabis dispensary that allows on-site consumption

6/16/21--All the inhaled forms of cannabis (smoking, vaping, dabbing) generate an aerosol of ultrafine particles that carries the THC deep into the lungs where it is absorbed. These forms of consumption also pollute the air. Morgan Murphy, Able Huang and Suzaynn Schick measured the air pollution levels in a cannabis retailer that provided electric herb vaporizers and dab rigs and allowed the use of vape pens, but did not allow smoking combusted cannabis or tobacco. Their results revealed unhealthy levels of air pollution. Read

PM2.5 concentration in a cannabis store with on-site consumption

6/16/21--To assess the effects of on-site consumption of cannabis on PM2.5 concentrations, we measured PM2.5 in the retail and consumption space of a cannabis store (a dispensary), where smoking was banned, but vaporizing and dabbing were permitted. The data demonstrates that consumption of cannabis products indoors increased PM2.5 concentrations. Psychoactive effects through passive exposure are unlikely (Herrmann et al. 2015). However, exposure to PM2.5 can cause changes in cardiovascular function that increase the risk of myocardial infarction and death (Brook et al. 2010). Read

The American public’s opinion of Big Tobacco

6/4/21--In partnership with Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids, Truth Initiative conducted a national survey of registered voters between the ages of 18 and older about their views of the tobacco industry and tobacco use from October 17-28, 2020. A total of 1,583 voters – including 400 African American voters and 400 voters ages 18-24 – were surveyed. Read

Congresswoman Cori Bush voices groundbreaking support for safe supply

6/16/21--As reported in Filter, Congresswoman Cori Bush, representing St. Louis, Missouri in the House of Representatives, has broken new ground by indicating her support for a safe supply of controlled substances for people who use them. Read

New study: Marijuana use leads to opiate use relapse in young adults

6/14/21--Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM) reports a new study published in the journal Emerging Trends in Drugs, Addictions, and Health examined the relationship between marijuana use among those in short-term recovery from an opiate use disorder and relapse. The study found that adolescents/young adults with opioid use disorder who used marijuana as a harm reduction strategy were not successful as their marijuana use enhanced cravings for opiates and promoted relapse. Read

Amazon endorses federal marijuana legalization, softens drug-testing policy

6/2/21--On Wednesday, Amazon endorsed the U.S. House of Representatives’ federal marijuana reform bill and said it would no longer include cannabis in its drug screening process except for positions regulated by the U.S. Department of Transportation. In a blog post, Dave Clark, Amazon’s CEO of worldwide consumer, said the Seattle-based company’s public policy team will actively support the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act of 2021 (MORE Act). Read

Altria-Juul deal goes to trial

6/2/21--Altria Group Inc. and the Federal Trade Commission are squaring off over allegations that the Marlboro maker engaged in anticompetitive practices ahead of its 2018 investment in e-cigarette startup Juul Labs Inc. If the FTC prevails, it could unwind Altria’s 35% interest in Juul. The agency is seeking to force Altria to divest its stake and terminate the companies’ noncompete agreement. The case is being heard by an administrative law judge, who will make an initial decision; the agency’s commissioners will then vote on the matter. Read

More than 80% of Americans report one or more symptoms of depression, and many have turned to substances to cope with negative emotions during COVID-19 pandemic

5/18/21--Field Trip Health Ltd. (“Field Trip”) today announced the results of a survey commissioned by Field Trip and conducted by YouGov Plc to look into the state of mental and emotional health in the US. After nearly 15 months of rolling global lockdowns due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it is to no one's surprise that the survey results show a nation in the depths of a mental health crisis. Read

Pot producers are pushing to clamp down on Delta-8 THC

6/2/21--Large cannabis producers are now pushing to clamp down on Delta-8 THC amid worries that a lack of oversight means heavy metals and unexpected intoxicants are cropping up in some of the products. Despite being almost chemically identical to federally outlawed forms of marijuana, Delta-8 has escaped widespread scrutiny thanks to ambiguity in U.S. laws. Read

Cannabinoids, Phenolics, Terpenes and Alkaloids of cannabis

5/8/21--This review discusses the chemistry of the cannabinoids and major non-cannabinoid constituents (terpenes, non-cannabinoid phenolics, and alkaloids) with special emphasis on their chemical structures, methods of isolation, and identification. Read

Cannabis use and clinical outcome in people with first-episode schizophrenia spectrum disorders over 24 months of treatment

5/19/21--In this longitudinal study, the influence of cannabis use on baseline symptom severity and treatment outcomes in 98 patients with first-episode schizophrenia spectrum disorders treated with a long acting injectable antipsychotic over 24 months was explored. Using mixed models for repeated measures, we compared visit-wise changes in psychopathology, social and occupational functioning and quality of life between recent/current cannabis users (n=45) and non-users (n=53) were compared. Read

Covid 19: How to harm reduction advocates and the tobacco industry capitalized on the pandemic to promote nicotine

6/2/21--In the early days of the pandemic, media outlets around the world reported that smokers seemed to be under-represented among patients seriously ill with covid-19 in China and France. The headlines asked, does nicotine protect against covid-19? The stories made headlines worldwide, and they were also picked up by libertarian media outlets. The World Health Organization worried that decades of tobacco control could be undermined. It has since been roundly disproved that smoking protects against covid-19. Read

‘Irresponsible’ to decriminalize drugs without comprehensive system of treatment and care: Alberta Addictions Minister

6/6/21--According to Alberta’s associate minister Jason Luan, the key to curbing addictions and overcoming the opioid crisis is to provide addicts with a recovery-oriented system of care instead of supplying them with drugs. Alberta’s strategy, which includes five new addiction recovery centers to be built across the province, challenges the “harm reduction” model of addiction treatment promoted by many of Canada’s top health officials. Read

Early exposure to cannabis compounds reduces later neural activity in zebrafish

6/2/21--According to a new study that has implications for prenatal development in humans, Zebrafish exposed to the leading cannabinoids found in cannabis in the earliest stages of development suffer a significant drop in neural activity later in life, . Read

Impact of pre-operative recreational marijuana use on outcomes two years after orthopaedic surgery

5/29/21--The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between recreational marijuana use and patient-reported outcomes two years after orthopaedic surgery. It has been hypothesized that pre-operative recreational marijuana use would be associated with less pain, better function, and better mental health measures two years after orthopaedic surgery. Read

DEA wins International Award for publication aimed at preventing drug misuse among college students

6/1/21--The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration has been recognized by the National Association of Government Communicators for its publication designed for colleges and universities. Prevention with Purpose: A Strategic Planning Guide to Preventing Drug Misuse Among College Students, was awarded the Blue Pencil & Gold Screen Award of Excellence in the Soft or Hard Cover Book category during a May 26 virtual ceremony. Read

Five decades of marijuana decriminalization

5/20/21--According to the Drug Enforcement and Policy Center staff, when considering the possible impacts of broader drug decriminalization efforts, it is useful to look back at the five decades of marijuana decriminalization for lessons on effects and implementation. Read

JUUL ‘new technology’ pods exhibit greater electrical power and nicotine than previous devices

5/20/21--In 2019, JUUL Labs began marketing in the European Union ‘new technology’ pods that incorporated a new wick that it claimed provided ‘more satisfaction’. In this study,  design and materials of construction, electrical characteristics, liquid composition and nicotine and carbonyl emissions of new technology JUUL pods were compared to their predecessors. Read

Framework for the public health assessment of electronic cigarettes

5/19/21--Electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) are relatively new products with substantial public health impacts. Evidence on their effects is diverse and emerging rapidly, presenting challenges to high-quality policymaking and decision-making. This paper addresses these challenges by developing and presenting a framework for the public health assessment of e-cigarettes, using the Australian context as an example. Read

Samuel Adams-maker to launch cannabis beverages subsidiary in Canada

5/17/21--The maker of Samuel Adams beer and Truly Hard seltzer is moving into Canada's cannabis beverages market. The Boston Beer Co. says it will create a subsidiary to serve as a Canadian research and innovation hub for non-alcoholic cannabis beverages. The subsidiary will help the company develop and pilot pot drinks ahead of the possible federal legalization of cannabis in the U.S. and other countries. Read

A cascade of care for alcohol use disorder: using 2015-2018 national survey and health date to identify gaps in care

5/19/21--For this study, a cascade of care framework was used to understand gaps in care between diagnosis and treatment for persons with AUD. Persons with AUD utilize health care at high rates and are frequently screened about alcohol use, but few receive treatment. Health care settings-particularly primary care settings-represent a prime opportunity to implement pharmacologic treatment for AUD to improve outcomes in this high-risk population. Read

Republic Committee leaders introduce the STARTER Act 2.0 – an Investment in Roads, Bridges, Transit, and Highway Safety

5/19/21--Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Ranking Member Sam Graves (R-MO) and other Republican Committee leaders today introduced a long-term surface transportation reauthorization bill that provides historic levels of investment in America’s roads, bridges, and core infrastructure to meet the Nation’s growing transportation needs. Read

A cascade of care for alcohol use disorder: Using 2015-2018 national survey on drug use and health data identify gaps in care

5/19/21--According to a study using a cascade of care framework to understand gaps in care between diagnosis and treatment for persons with AUD, persons with AUD utilize health care at high rates and are frequently screened about alcohol use, but few receive treatment. Health care settings-particularly primary care settings-represent a prime opportunity to implement pharmacologic treatment for AUD to improve outcomes in this high-risk population. Read

HHS announces $3 billion in American rescue plan funding for SAMHSA block grants to address addiction, mental health crisis

5/18/21--The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is distributing $3 billion in American Rescue Plan funding — the largest aggregate amount of funding to date for its mental health and substance use block grant programs. The Community Mental Health Services Block Grant (MHBG) Program and Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Block Grant Program (SABG) will disperse $1.5 billion each to states and territories (with the latter also awarding money to a tribe). Read

Annual deaths due to alcohol, drugs or suicide exceeded 156,000 according to the most recent data

5/18/21--Newly released data show that 156,242 Americans died due to alcohol, drugs or suicide in 2019, a record number of such deaths in a single year. Furthermore, the COVID-19 pandemic increased stress and related substance use for many Americans. Read

Latest wastewater data reveal drug-taking habits in a record 82 European cities

5/19/21--The 2020 findings from the largest European project in the science of wastewater analysis are revealed today in Wastewater analysis and drugs — a European multi-city study, published by the Europe-wide SCORE group, in association with the EU drugs agency (EMCDDA). The project analyzed wastewater in 82 European cities (18 countries) to explore the drug-taking behaviors of their inhabitants. While the 2019 results pointed to an overall rise in the detection of stimulants, the 2020 findings are more mixed, with diverse geographical and temporal patterns seen across the study locations. Read

Opening access to psilocybin therapy for seriously ill patients: The petitioners’ opening brief in AIMS et al v DEA

5/19/21--Emerge Law Group represents a Seattle palliative care physician and co-director of an integrative oncology clinic, and a number of his patients with advanced cancer in a case seeking to open access to psilocybin therapy for patients with serious illness under state and federal Right to Try laws. Today they filed their brief, Petitioners Opening Brief, in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.  Read

Alcohol’s impacts on young people

5/18/21--The papers in this collection focus on the relationship between alcohol and young people from childhood to early adulthood. It explores alcohol use in adolescence, from neurobiological implications to association with sexual identity and STI risk; and considers a cohort of adolescents and young adults when analyzing the relationship of drinking behaviors with social media use and risk of violence respectively. Read

Any amount of alcohol consumption harmful to the brain, finds study

5/18/21--According to a study of more than 25,000 people in the UK, there is no safe amount of alcohol consumption for the brain, with even “moderate” drinking adversely affecting nearly every part of it. The study, which is still to be peer-reviewed, suggests that the more alcohol consumed, the lower the brain volume. In effect, the more you drink, the worse off your brain. Read

Is cannabis being used as a substitute for non-medical opioids by adults with problem substance use in the United States?

5/17/21--This study assessed the magnitude of the daily association between cannabis and opioid use in individual adults with and without pain who use non‐medical opioids. Finding indicate that among US adults with problem substance use who use non‐medical opioids, the odds of opioid use appear to be approximately doubled on days when cannabis is used. This relationship does not appear to differ between people with moderate or more severe pain versus less than moderate pain, suggesting that Cannabis is not being used as a substitute for illegal opioids. Read

FIVS launches rebuilt FIVS-Assure database promoting responsible consumption

5/12/21--FIVS announces the launch of its improved FIVS Assure online database, containing exemplary social responsibility initiatives and good practices by the wine, spirits, and beer sectors from around the world. Publicly available, the enhanced site offers an intuitive design with additional features that enable users to locate a wider range of initiatives more easily. Read

An inexpensive intervention to reduce e-cigarette use among young adults

5/17/21--The results of a double-blind randomized clinical trial examining a text messaging intervention that uses cognitive and behavioral coping skills to promote abstinence of e-cigarette use among 18- to 24-year-olds indicate that when compared to the control, the intervention significantly increased the rate of 30-day point prevalence abstinence at 7 months postrandomization (18.6% vs 24.1%). Read

Effectiveness of vaping cessation text message program among young e-cigarette users

5/17/21--In a randomized clinical trial designed to determine the effectiveness of a text message program for vaping cessation among 2588 young adults vs assessment-only control, postrandomization abstinence rates were 24.1% among participants assigned to the text message intervention and 18.6% among participants assigned to an assessment-only control at 7 months, which is a statistically significant difference. No baseline characteristics moderated the treatment-outcome relationship, including nicotine dependence. Read

Marijuana medical research growers receive U.S. approval

5/14/21--The U.S. government has approved new growers of research marijuana for the first time in more than 50 years, people involved in the process said, widening the capacity to study the drug’s medical value. The Drug Enforcement Administration’s action after years of delay means researchers will be able to study marijuana from more than one grower, a farm at the University of Mississippi, which the government approved in 1968 as the only legal source of pot for federal research. Read

Ediblocked: Some people can’t get high from eating marijuana, and scientists aren’t sure why

5/12/21--Leading cannabis doctors and researchers acknowledge that some people experience no effects even after eating quantities of marijuana concentrates, but they can’t definitively explain it. While no studies have directly examined those with ultra-high tolerances to marijuana edibles, some researchers have a compelling hypothesis: People with an unusual variation of a key liver enzyme could essentially be too efficient at processing ingested THC, turning the compound into its “active” high-causing metabolite and then its inactive waste product before the active form can enter the bloodstream or brain. Read

Adolescents’ substance use and physical activity before and during the COVID-19 pandemic

5/3/21--In this cohort study of tobacco use behaviors among ninth- and tenth-grade students enrolled at 8 public high schools in Northern California from March 2019 to February 2020 and followed up from September 2019 to September 2020, a reduction in e-cigarette use occurred independently of COVID-19 stay-at-home restrictions, but persistent cannabis and alcohol use suggest continued need for youth substance use prevention and cessation support. Read

Trulieve announces acquisition of harvest health in 2.1-billion deal

5/10/21--Trulieve Cannabis Corp., the largest fully licensed medical cannabis company in Florida, announced May 10 its definitive arrangement agreement for the acquisition of Arizona-based Harvest Health and Recreation Inc., in a $2.1-billion deal. Trulieve touted the all-stock transaction as one that creates the most profitable multistate operator in the U.S. Harvest Health and Recreation has a retail and wholesale footprint that recorded continued growth over the past decade. Read