Merry Jane - A top official with the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) just called out cannabis prohibition as a major factor that’s slowing down the government's response to the recent spike in life-threatening illnesses caused by vaping. In a recent hearing before the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, CDC Principal Deputy Director Anne Schuchat explained that her agency is working with state health departments to help determine exactly what is causing this sudden outbreak of illness. The CDC found that while a large number of these illnesses seem to be brought on by THC oil vapes, the vast majority of these products were bought on the black market. During the hearing, Senator Lisa Murkowski mentioned that her home state of Alaska is the only state that hasn’t reported incidents of e-cig and vaping-associated lung illness (EVALI), also known as vaping-associated pulmonary injury (VAPI). “In our state, retail marijuana is commercialized, it’s tested by our state laboratories,” she said, according to Marijuana Moment. Sen. Murkowski then asked Schuchat whether the CDC was providing information to state cannabis regulators on how to test vaping products for potentially dangerous additives. Schuchat responded that the CDC was, indeed, trying to coordinate interstate efforts to test cannabis vapes, but explained that the federal prohibition of cannabis creates “some challenges with shipment of specimens” for testing purposes. “I think it’s just delaying it, I don’t think it’s stopping it.” Several lawmakers argued that these delays are unacceptable, considering how fast this illness has been spreading in the past four months.
People of color made up more than 90 percent of New York City marijuana possession arrests last quarter. More than 260 people of color landed behind bars on marijuana possession charges while less than 20 white people did between July and September, according to an NYPD report released Monday. Of the 291 people arrested on criminal and unlawful marijuana possession charges, 167 were black, 95 Hispanic, 18 white and 11 Asian, according to NYPD data. Just 19 were women and 272 men. Cops arrested 71 New Yorkers under the age of 21, 165 between the ages of 21 and 34, and 55 between 35 and 65 years old, according to NYPD data. The number of marijuana arrests has dropped steeply since the state Legislature passed new law decriminalizing possession of up to two ounces of cannabis this summer, according to the data. Now, when we adjust for socio-economic factors and give a range variable of .5, what we find is that NYPD sucks a nutsack and are apparently systematically racist. Keep up the good work New York.
Vapocalypse 2019 Update: Regulators across the country are banning vaping products that contain Vitamin E Acetate. States enacting the ban include Washington, Oregon, Maryland and others.
The Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs, located in the state, submitted a hemp regulation plan to federal officials. If approved, the plan could help create jobs in the hemp business to fill employment gaps caused by the recent closure of tribal run entities. Warm Springs is one of 11 tribes listed on the USDA website to have a hemp plan under review. Oregon is also listed as one of several states that also has an application under review. “The ODA is submitting a plan so that we have regulatory authority over hemp in Oregon,” said Sunny Summers, cannabis policy coordinator for the Oregon Department of Agriculture. “This will be a delegated authority like we have for pesticides and food safety from our federal partners.”
At its monthly meeting on November 21, the Commissioners of the Oregon Liquor Control Commission affirmed the OLCC’s existing authority to ban adulterants, such as Vitamin E acetate, from inclusion in marijuana products. The Commission also approved eight marijuana violation stipulated settlement agreements. One dispensary in Gladstone will pay a fine of $4,950 and serve a 15-day marijuana retailer license suspension or serve a 45-day license suspension for one violation. A Southern Oregon cannabis producer will pay a fine of $1,485 or serve a nine-day marijuana producer license suspension for one violation. 4-Twenty Market in Eugene will surrender its recreational marijuana retailer license for two violations. A dispensary in Rogue River will pay a fine of $6,600 or serve a 40-day marijuana retailer license suspension for two violations. Another dispensary in Myrtle Point will pay a fine of $6,105 or serve a 37-day marijuana producer license suspension for five violations. Sweet Leaf Cannabis in Eugene will surrender its recreational marijuana retailer license for six violations. Sweet Leaf Cannabis in Springfield will surrender its recreational marijuana retailer's license for seven violations. Heavy Lids will surrender its recreational marijuana producer license for nine violations. A copy of the Stipulated Settlement Agreements for Marijuana Violation Cases can be found on the OLCC website, on the Laws & Rules page under the Final Orders section.
Highlights from Across THE UNITED STATES OF CANNABIS
New Jersey lawmakers are giving up on efforts to pass marijuana legalization during the lame duck session and instead filed referendum legislation to put the question before voters on the 2020 ballot. Gov. Phil Murphy (D) said he is “disappointed that we are not able to get this done legislatively and that our failed status quo—which sends roughly 600 people to jail a week for possession, the majority of them people of color—will continue . . . However, I have faith that the people of New Jersey will put us on the right side of history when they vote next November,” he said.
Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo (D) says she'll pursue legalizing marijuana again in 2020. “You’re going to have to do it, so you probably should do it and do it right,” she said Massachusetts’s governor told her in a recent meeting.
A Virginia senator prefiled a marijuana decriminalization bill for the 2020 session—a proposal that stands a good chance of being enacted with the support of the governor and the legislature’s newly elected Democratic leadership.
Arkansas dispensaries have now sold more than $20 million worth of medical cannabis!
The Drug Enforcement Administration is taking issue with a provision in proposed U.S. Department of Agriculture hemp regulations concerning the listing of approved testing labs. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s interim federal rules for hemp production, released Oct. 31, require that only laboratories registered with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) will be qualified to conduct THC testing of hemp crops. Industry members worry the limitation could delay THC testing and create bottlenecks, especially in remote areas far from a DEA-registered lab. “It appears that many of the existing (DEA) labs don’t have the equipment and capacity to service the hemp industry,” cannabis attorney Shawn Hauser of Denver-based firm Vicente Sederberg said last week during a webcast with Hemp Industry Daily. The rules propose that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) may establish an approval process for labs that want to offer THC testing services. Those labs would need certification by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), which could be a suitable alternative.
Thanks to the Beard Bros Friday News roundup for this one: In the past two years, dating back to 2017, the FDA has sent just 12 warning letters to companies selling what they deemed to be fraudulent CBD products. The most common reasons these companies got on the Feds' radar were either for having inaccurate labels (misstating CBD ratios, etc) and/or for making dubious, unvalidated, medical claims about the efficacy of their products. A dozen letters. Not raids, not news conferences surrounded by bails of biomass and cops with shiteating grins... letters.
Miracle Cure: MEDICAL, HEALTH & RESEARCH.
An epilepsy study found that "CBD treatments were effective compared with placebo, regardless of the dose administered."
A study found that "people with more severe [multiple sclerosis], and men, are more likely to use cannabis for MS."
The American Medical Association Calls for Total Ban on All E-Cigarette, Vaping Products This Year. The AMA on Tuesday called for an immediate ban on all electronic cigarettes and vaping devices. The group adopted the sweeping stance at a policy-making meeting in San Diego. It aims to lobby for state and federal laws, regulations or legal action to achieve a ban, but the industry is sure to fight back. The AMA cited a surge in underage teen use of e-cigarettes, which typically heat a solution that contains nicotine. "It's simple, we must keep nicotine products out of the hands of young people." Dr. Patrice Harris, AMA's president, said in a statement. Read More
A study concluded that "regular marijuana use is associated with prevalent tinnitus." Tinnitus is the perception of noise or ringing in the ears. A common problem, tinnitus affects about 15 to 20 percent of people. Tinnitus isn't a condition itself — it's a symptom of an underlying condition, such as age-related hearing loss, ear injury or a circulatory system disorder. However, this study concluded that the use of marijuana at least once per month for the previous 12 months was significantly associated with experiencing tinnitus during that 12-month month period. Subjects who used marijuana were more likely to experience tinnitus after accounting for covariables including age, gender, audiometric hearing loss, noise exposure history, depression, anxiety, smoking, salicylate use, cardiovascular disease, hypertension, and diabetes. There were no associations between the severity or frequency of tinnitus occurrence and the quantity or frequency of marijuana use. Use of other substances such as alcohol, cocaine, methamphetamine, and heroin was not associated with tinnitus.
The UK's Liberal Democrats released a platform that calls for legalizing marijuana and "imposing civil penalties rather than imprisonment" for people caught possessing other drugs. Party leader Jo Swinson spoke about how she enjoyed consuming cannabis.
The government of Madhya Pradesh, India plans to legalize cannabis for medical and industrial uses.