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Mass. marijuana vape sales drop sharply amid health crisis

9/19/19--Revenue from sales of marijuana vaporizers at licensed cannabis stores in Massachusetts has plunged 25 percent amid widespread consumer health concerns about the devices, according to data provided to the Globe by the Cannabis Control Commission. Experts said the change, which is almost certainly because of warnings from state and federal authorities that vaporizers are probably the cause of a mysterious outbreak of lung ailments. Read

As vaping-related lung illnesses worsen, public holds e-cigarettes like Juul culpable

9/19/19--Amid a multitude of reports about severe lung illnesses associated with vaping, federal health agencies have urged everyone to avoid electronic cigarettes and cautioned that pointing blame at any one brand, chemical, or substance in isolation is premature. Read

FDA issues proposed rule for premarket tobacco product applications

9/20/19--Today, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued a proposed rule to set forth requirements related to the content, format and FDA’s review and communications procedures for premarket tobacco product applications (PMTAs) as part of the agency’s continued commitment to its oversight of e-cigarettes and other tobacco products. Read

American Bar Association hosts cannabis executives in Illinois

9/20/19--The American Bar Association hosted a roundtable discussion in Chicago on Thursday during which executives from some of the cannabis industry’s biggest companies debated current trends in the industry and weighed predictions about what’s next. Read

Senate committee approves McConnell’s push for a fast, lenient FDA policy on CBD

9/20/19--The Senate Appropriations Committee approved Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s additions to the 2020 Senate Agriculture Appropriations Bill. If implemented, the bill will require the Food and Drug Administration to pick up speed on developing more permissive guidance on hemp-derived CBD products, paving the way for increased business opportunities. Read

There will be lawsuits: Legal fallout from vape cart crisis is coming

9/18/19--The reports of injuries and deaths, a mysterious lung disease, contaminated products, and heightened public health concerns due to vaping have generated international headlines, and captured the attention of state and federal lawmakers. Legal experts expect that lawsuits will soon follow as a result vape-related injuries—and soon. Read

A national survey of marijuana use among US adults with medical conditions, 2016-2017

9/20/19--This survey study using data from 169,036 participants in the 2016 and 2017 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System surveys found that, compared with adults without medical conditions, adults with medical conditions had a significantly higher prevalence of current and daily marijuana use, were more likely to report using marijuana for medical reasons, and were less likely to report using marijuana for recreational purposes. Read

Pulmonary illness related to e-cigarette use in Illinois and Wisconsin

9/6/19--In July 2019, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services and the Illinois Department of Public Health received reports of pulmonary disease associated with the use of e-cigarettes (also called vaping) and launched a coordinated public health investigation. Results indicate that although the features of e-cigarette use responsible for injury have not been identified, this cluster of illnesses represents an emerging clinical syndrome or syndromes. Additional work is needed to characterize the pathophysiology and to identify the definitive causes. Read

Vaping-Induced Lung Injury

9/6/19--The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported in late August 2019 that at least 215 acute, severe respiratory distress cases have been identified, spanning 25 states, and more recently at least 2 deaths have occurred. Although more investigation is needed to determine the vaping agent or agents responsible, there is clearly an epidemic that begs for an urgent response. Read

Imaging of vaping-associated lung disease

9/6/19--Lung injury associated with vaping has been recognized in the medical literature, and a case series of such injuries is now published in The New England Journal of Medicine. Four imaging patterns have been identified that correlated with pathological findings attributable to vaping, including acute eosinophilic pneumonia, diffuse alveolar damage, organizing pneumonia, and lipoid pneumonia. In addition, some cases were associated with variegated imaging patterns. Read

More teens are vaping marijuana than ever before, expert warns

9/7/19--Illnesses and even deaths, that doctors believe could be linked to vaping, have been topping the headlines. According to Dr. Wilson Compton Deputy Director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, it's happening in middle and high schools across the country, and more and more youth are reporting use of these butane hash oil or other marijuana vaping products than ever before. Read

Interactive effects of PTSD and substance use on suicidal ideation and behavior in military personnel

9/2/19--Results from a study examining the unique and interactive effects of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms and days using alcohol, opioids, and marijuana on PTSD symptoms, suicidal ideation, and suicidal behavior indicate suggest marijuana, especially for military personnel experiencing elevated PTSD symptoms may negatively impact suicidal thoughts and behavior. These results are relevant to suggestions that medical marijuana could be used in treating or augmenting treatment for PTSD. Read

Vape cart additive makers pull products as others go dark

9/6/19--After a rash of suspected vape pen-related lung disease cases nationwide, the chemical makers responsible for selling new cannabis additives appear to be reacting. On Monday morning, officials at the federal Centers for Disease Control reported that as many as five deaths and 450 cases of suspected acute respiratory distress syndrome have been associated with vaping THC products. Illicit market vape carts tainted with unapproved additives are a leading suspect in the outbreak. Read

Feds warn CBD companies against making unfounded health claims

9/10/19--Several companies that sell products with cannabidiol, or CBD, are facing scrutiny from the Federal Trade Commission for advertising them as treatments for diseases and serious medical conditions without evidence to support the claims. The FTC said Tuesday that it has issued warnings to three companies that sell CBD "gummies," tinctures, oils, capsules and creams, though the agency didn't identify the firms. Read  

Black market pot entered CannTrust facility, flowed into legal market last year: Sources

9/6/19--Senior operating staff working at CannTrust Holdings Inc.’s Pelham, Ont. facility late last year brought marijuana seeds from the black market into production rooms, leading to some illicitly-grown pot flowing into the legal market, according to internal company documents obtained by BNN Bloomberg and four sources directly familiar with the matter. Read

No major marijuana sales impact seen from vaping illness outbreak as MJ retailers focus on consumer education

9/9/19--A recent outbreak of pulmonary illnesses tied to electronic vaping devices has reportedly caused five deaths and sickened 450 people, but state-legal cannabis retailers across the United States have not yet been hit by a serious downturn in vaporizer cartridge sales as a result of public panic. Read

CDC launches probe into surge of severe lung disease cases linked to vaping

8/20/19--The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is investigating the sudden emergence of severe lung disease linked to vaping in 14 states. Ninety-four possible cases of severe lung illness associated with vaping were reported from the end of June to Aug. 15, the CDC reported on Saturday. Thirty of those cases were in Wisconsin alone. Other states that appear to be especially affected are Illinois, California, New York, Indiana and New Jersey. Read

Spending on illicit drugs in US nears $150 billion annually

8/20/19--Spending on cannabis, cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine by Americans reached nearly $150 billion in 2016, with a large proportion of spending coming from the small share of people who use drugs on a daily or near-daily basis, according to a new RAND Corporation report. Read

Cannabis flower is an effective mid-level analgesic medication for pain

8/21/19--Using the largest database of real-time recordings of the effects of common and commercially available cannabis products in the United States, researchers found strong evidence that cannabis can significantly alleviate pain, with the average user experiencing a three-point drop in pain suffering on a 0-10 point scale immediately following cannabis consumption. Read

Cannabis inhalation and voice disorders

8/8/19--In a systematic review of 6 human studies and 13 basic science and animal studies, cannabis inhalation was associated with dark vocal folds on laryngoscopy as well as respiratory symptoms and negative lung function changes attributable to degradation byproducts generated during smoke exposure, especially in large doses. Read

EPA announces review of pesticide applications for hemp

8/21/19--The Environment Protection Agency (EPA) announced on Wednesday that it is seeking public input on 10 pesticide applications for hemp. The pesticides under consideration are already approved for use on other crops, but that approval does not yet extend to hemp. In a draft notice set to be published in the Federal Register, EPA said providing hemp farmers with this tool “will likely be essential to supporting the success of this industry going forward.” Read

Marijuana flower offers more pain relief than other cannabis products, study finds

8/21/19--According to a new study conducted by researchers from the University of New Mexico, the most effective for pain relief among the overwhelming variety of marijuana products available on the market today appears to be whole dried marijuana flower and products high in THC. The study’s goal was to gauge how the severity of pain changed and what side effects were experienced after cannabis consumption, and whether these effects differed by product. Read

Marijuana may undermine fertility treatment success

8/21/19--Women undergoing fertility treatment who smoke marijuana may have more success if they quit, recent research suggests. Among more than 400 women undergoing treatment with assisted-reproduction technology (ART), the small fraction who reported using cannabis at the time were more than twice as likely to lose a pregnancy than those who had never smoked marijuana, or who had only used it in the past, Dr. Jorge E. Chavarro of Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston and his colleagues found. Read

The impact of recreational marijuana legalization on rates of use and behavior: A 10-year comparison of two cohorts from high school to young adulthood.

8/19/19--A study was conducted focusing on understanding the risk and protective factors related to substance use from adolescence to young adulthood. Overall, results suggest that young adults after recreational marijuana legalization are more likely to use marijuana than young adults were before recreational marijuana legalization 10 years earlier. Read

The adolescent vaping epidemic in the United States—How it happened and where we go from here

8/22/19--On December 18, 2018, the US Surgeon General declared e-cigarette vaping among adolescents an “epidemic”, and in a public hearing in January 2019, the former US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner, Scott Gottlieb, stated that e-cigarettes pose an “existential threat” to youth. These statements summarize the current story of how loosely regulated products intended to help individuals quit traditional combustible cigarettes became the fastest growing abused substance and the Achilles’ heel of our youngest generation. Read

Cannabis may undermine fertility treatment success, study warns

8/22/19--Women undergoing fertility treatment who smoke marijuana may have more success if they quit, recent research suggests. Among more than 400 women undergoing treatment with cannabis health (ART), the small fraction who reported using marijuana at the time were more than twice as likely to lose a pregnancy than those who had never smoked marijuana, or who had only used it in the past, Dr. Jorge E. Chavarro of Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston and his colleagues found. Read

Head of only federal marijuana farm thinks 8 percent THC marijuana is ‘extremely’ potent

9/3/19--Mahmoud ElSohly, the head of the nation’s only federally authorized marijuana farm, said he’s baffled by why consumers would want marijuana containing 15 percent or more THC when, according to him, even eight percent is too high. ElSohly described how demand for higher potency research-grade cannabis has increased over the last two decades and said that studies using his facility’s products demonstrated that even marijuana with just eight percent THC proved too powerful for subjects. Read

Kroger’s Houston-area stores start selling CBD products

8/22/19--As part of a broader company rollout, supermarkets in The Kroger Co.’s Houston division have begun the sale of hemp-derived cannabidiol (CBD) topical products. Kroger said yesterday that CBD lotions, balms, oils and creams are now on shelves at 88 stores in Houston and the surrounding area, as well as online via the Ship.Kroger.com direct-to-customer service and the retailer’s Vitacost.com e-commerce unit. Read

Pot Industry underestimates old-school dealers

8/19/19--In the United States where marijuana is legal, traditional drug dealers are still formidable competitors. The black market will also loom large for investors. The U.S. marijuana market is huge, yet it still remains to be seen how much business remains in the hands of illegal dealers. Read

Medical marijuana company advancing despite legal pushback in the U.S.

8/22/19--About a half hour south of Albany, Curaleaf is a facility that has thousands of plants that will eventually be converted into prescription medicine for cancer and AIDs patients, as well as those who suffer from seizures and other severe illnesses. The company says it's pleased with the pace New York has been on to expand the program to other illnesses. Read

Ziggy Marley smoked marijuana at 9

8/22/19--Ziggy Marley started smoking marijuana at the age of nine. The 50-year-old musician "can't even remember" when he had his first puff of the psychoactive drug but he knows he was "too young" to dabble with marijuana and only did it because his father Bob Marley encouraged him to do so as part of their religion. Read

Adults who mix cannabis with opioids for pain report higher anxiety, depression

8/12/19--Researcher Andrew Rogers from the University of Houston has found that adults who take prescription opioids for severe pain are more likely to have increased anxiety, depression, and substance abuse issues if they also use marijuana. Read

Here are the top 20 most and least marijuana-friendly U.S. colleges

8/10/19--Besides ranking colleges overall each year, this year The Princeton Review looked at the top 20 universities where students use marijuana the most and least. To compile the list, released earlier this week, Princeton Review asked 140,000 students at 385 schools a simple question: “How widely is marijuana used at your school?” Read

Health effects of eating marijuana is subject of a new study

8/9/19--According to Michael Smoker, an addiction neuroscience Ph.D. candidate in the psychology department at IUPUI and one of the researchers conducting a study on the behavioral and physiological effects of eating food infused with marijuana, marijuana edibles can elicit extreme, adverse reactions. Therefore, understanding the health effects of eating marijuana edibles is important, given the growing popularity of that method of consumption in states where marijuana has been legalized. Read

For higher education, try taking courses in marijuana

8/9/19--At least two U.S. universities have just introduced high-level courses for students interested in a career in the marijuana business. Maryland University’s School of Pharmacy will offer a master’s degree in medical marijuana. Cornell University has introduced a course called “Cannabis: Biology, Society and Industry.” Read

Association between electronic cigarette use and marijuana use among adolescents and young adults

8/12/19--In this systematic review and meta-analysis, the odds of past or current marijuana use among youth who used e-cigarettes were 3.5 times higher than for those who denied e-cigarette use; this association was significant in both cross-sectional and longitudinal studies. Studies conducted in adolescents aged 12 to 17 years (vs young adults aged 18 to 24 years) showed a stronger association between e-cigarette and marijuana use. Read

Key congressional chairman sends marijuana email to NORML activists

8/12/19--The chairman of the influential House Judiciary Committee, Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), who last month filed legislation to remove marijuana from the Controlled Substances Act and begin repairing the harms of prohibition enforcement, authored a message to NORML's email list on Monday asking the advocacy group's supporters to write their own members of Congress in support of his bill, the Marijuana Opportunity, Reinvestment, and Expungement (MORE) Act. Read

Oregon activists take next step to legalize psilocybin for medical use

8/12/19--Oregon activists are one step closer to getting a psilocybin legalization measure on the state’s 2020 ballot. The organizers behind it are putting their resources into an initiative that would create a regulatory framework for the legal use of psilocybin for therapeutic purposes. Read

Research Brief: High fat foods can increase CBD absorption into the body

8/12/19--A University of Minnesota study examined whether eating high-fat foods after taking CBD increased the body’s absorption of CBD. The study tested whether fasting or a high fat meal has an effect when cannabidiol oral capsules were taken by patients. The study found CBD exposure is vastly increased when CBD is taken with high fatty foods; when compared to fasting, taking CBD with food increased the amount of CBD in the body by four-times and the maximum amount recorded in the participants’ blood by 14-times. Read

NM must snuff out push to legalize Big Pot

8/12/19--After a bill to commercialize the drug and put pot shops on every corner passed the House, state senators killed the bill over concerns about public safety and health in New Mexico. Yet, Big Marijuana and its backers refuse to give up on so much lost profit, as evidenced by the convening of the Governor’s Working Group on Cannabis Legalization this week. Read

Infused drinks create a new dimension to the cannabis market

8/12/19--The infused edible and beverage industry has become one of the fastest-growing market segments in the marijuana industry. A variety of beverage producers are now even infusing CBD and THC into sodas, tea, functional drinks, and even alcohol, and with the rapid growth of the infused beverage market, many large corporations are beginning to explore opportunities within the market. Read

Weekly cannabis stock news: GW Pharmaceuticals blows past estimates

8/12/19--Three noted marijuana stocks unveiled their latest quarterly figures last week -- Cronos Group, hemp cannabidiol (CBD) products specialist CV Sciences (OTC: CVSI), and maker of cannabis-based medicine GW Pharmaceuticals. Of the three, GW Pharmaceuticals had the best quarter by a wide margin. Read

Bernie Sanders just suggested a unique way to legalize marijuana

8/11/19--Nearly all Democratic presidential candidates in the 2020 elections have come out in support of some form of legalization or decriminalization of the marijuana, but perhaps no candidate has been more vocal about this stance than Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.). Sanders has proposed a unique means of bringing the green rush to the United States. As reported by Newsweek, Sanders would use a presidential executive order to make it so. Read

Police dogs can’t tell the difference between hemp and marijuana

8/12/19--Because marijuana and hemp are both from the cannabis plant and smell identical, dogs can’t tell the difference, so both the Ohio Highway Patrol and the Columbus Division of Police are suspending marijuana-detection training for new police dogs to uncomplicate probable cause issues in court. Read

Better cannabis stock: Aphria vs. Charlotte’s Web

8/11/19--According to The Motley Fool writer Keith Speights, Aphria and Charlotte's Web are both good stocks; however, Aphria is an underrated underdog that could be a big winner over the long run, in his view. Charlotte's Web's market share is still under $900 million, but Speights believes it could double over the next few years as the U.S. hemp CBD market shifts into high gear. Read

The unintended consequences of more potent pot

8/10/19--Newly developed strains of marijuana are far stronger than what people were smoking in the past, leading to unintended consequences like addiction and marijuana toxicity. Read

Medical use of cannabis in 2019

8/9/19--As of August 2019, 33 states and the District of Columbia have initiated policies allowing the use of cannabis or cannabinoids for the management of specific medical conditions. Yet, insufficient evidence exists for the use of medical cannabis for most conditions for which its use is advocated. Despite the lack of evidence, various US state governments have recommended cannabis for the management of more than 50 medical conditions. Read

Cannabis’ effects on brain neurochemistry

8/7/19--A new Addiction Biology study provides the first evidence of a blunted response to stress-induced dopamine signaling in the brain's prefrontal cortex in individuals at high risk for psychosis who regularly used cannabis. Read

The link between pot and mass shootings may be closer than we think

8/7/19--According to an article published in the New York Post, a connection between increasing marijuana use, mental illness, and the recent spate of mass shootings by disturbed young males cannot be ruled out. Just last year, the Parents Opposed to Pot lobby group tried to sound the alarm on the link between marijuana and mass shootings, compiling a list of mass killers it claims were heavy users of marijuana from a young age. Read

Marijuana legalization reduces opioid deaths

8/7/19--A new Economic Inquiry study examined how the changing legal status of marijuana has impacted mortality in the United States over the past two decades. Investigators found that legalization and access to recreational marijuana reduced annual opioid mortality in the range of 20% to 35%, with particularly pronounced effects for synthetic opioids. Read

14% of Americans say they use CBD products

8/7/19--One in seven Americans say they personally use cannabidiol- (CBD-) based products, which have proliferated since last year's passage of a federal law legalizing this hemp form of cannabis. Younger Americans and those in the Western U.S. are most likely to report using these products, which are widely touted for their therapeutic benefits without any psychoactive effects because they contain a low level of THC. Read

Four takeaways from National Drug Use and Health Survey on marijuana use

8/5/19--As more states introduce medicinal and adult-use marijuana legislation, robust and reliable data helps to improve the understanding of the impact legalization has on use and public health. However, even though there are limitations on what can be inferred, there are clear upward trends in the usage of marijuana and a steady decrease in the perception of risk from smoking once a month across the country. These outcomes are important for policymakers to consider when determining their position on legalizing forms of marijuana. Read

Emerging regs for cannabis ads include prior approval

8/2/19--As states legalize marijuana for medical and recreational use, some states require pre-approval by government of pot advertising. Billboard operators say prior approval has not caused problems; some managers appreciate the government sign-off. Read

Marijuana reform finds bipartisan support during House hearing

7/11/19--Federal marijuana reform found broad bipartisan support Wednesday on Capitol Hill during a first-of-its-kind hearing held by members of the House Judiciary Committee. The hearing marked the first time Congress has specifically convened to consider ending marijuana prohibition since federally outlawing pot decades earlier. Read

Teen marijuana use drops amid legalization

7/12/19--Legalizing recreational marijuana has lead to a decrease in teen use in many states, according to a study published this week that contradicts previous research of how legalization affects teen pot use. The study, published in the journal JAMA Pediatrics, found that recreational marijuana laws were associated with an 8% decrease in teen pot use, and a 9% decrease in frequent use. Read

Hawaii becomes 26th state to decriminalize marijuana

7/10/19--Hawaii has become the 26th state in the nation to decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana -- but its governor cautioned it does not mean the state is ready to say aloha to legalizing recreational use of the drug. Under the new law, people caught with small amounts of marijuana will no longer face a misdemeanor charge that had been punishable by up to 30 days in jail and a $1,000 fine. Now people caught with 3 ounces or less of weed can still be hit with a citation carrying a $130 fine, but no jail term. Read

Former Canopy CEO likely headed to United States next

7/9/19--Bruce Linton, former co-chief executive officer of Canopy Growth Corp., is already working at another firm, and plans to spend more time at tiny software-services company Martello Technologies Group Inc. Linton may also be exploring some of the US opportunities, according to Greg Taylor, chief investment officer at Purpose Investments Inc. and manager of the $38 million Canadian ($29 million) Purpose Marijuana Opportunities Fund, which holds Canopy stock. Read

Lawmakers and witnesses clash on strategy during congressional hearing on ending federal marijuana prohibition

7/10/19--Members of a key congressional committee convened for a first-ever hearing on ending marijuana prohibition on Wednesday, engaging in informed conversations about the issue that largely embraced evidence and avoided resorting to fear mongering, demonstrating a broad consensus that major marijuana reforms are needed. During this hearing, there was some disagreement and debate over what reform legislation should look like and the best strategy to advance it. Read

Presidential candidate and congresswoman to speak at panel on ending marijuana prohibition

7/12/19--Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (D), a 2020 Democratic presidential candidate, spoke alongside Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) and others on a panel aimed at discussing the path to ending federal marijuana prohibition on Saturday at the Netroots Nation conference. Although Inslee currently supports legalization, that wasn’t always the case. Read

Youth marijuana use declined in states that legalized, study finds

7/8/19--Legalizing marijuana is associated with a decline in youth cannabis consumption, according to a new study in a journal published by the American Medical Association. The research, which analyzed federal data on marijuana use trends among 1.4 million high school students from 1993 to 2017, showed that self-reported past-month youth cannabis use declined by an average of 8 percent in states that legalized recreational marijuana. Read