Industry Stakeholders Address Vaping-Related Lung Disease Outbreak, FTC Warns CBD Companies Against Unsubstantiated Health Claims: Week in Review

This week, cannabis researchers, scientists and business owners are weighing in on the outbreak of vaping-related lung disease as the entire supply chain is pulled into the conversation. Elsewhere, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) put three CBD companies on alert that “it is illegal to advertise that a product can prevent, treat, or cure human disease without competent and reliable scientific evidence to support such claims.”

Here, we’ve rounded up the 10 headlines you need to know before this week is over.

  • Federal: U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris announced a broad criminal justice policy overhaul as part of her presidential campaign Sept. 9, and cannabis legalization is a key component. Harris’ plan targets the war on drugs as an overarching concept—something she plans to end outright—and she homes in on cannabis legalization as a stepping stone in that direction. Read more
  • Cannabis researchers, scientists and business owners are confronting the vaping-related lung disease debate after six reported deaths, more than 450 other cases of vaping-related illnesses across 33 states and a series of national news headlines brought the issue to the forefront this week. While public education is a vital job duty for anyone working the front lines of cannabis retail, the entire supply chain is involved in this conversation now. Read more
  • The FTC has put three CBD companies on alert that “it is illegal to advertise that a product can prevent, treat, or cure human disease without competent and reliable scientific evidence to support such claims.” The three companies, unnamed by the FTC, “sell oils, tinctures, capsules, ‘gummies,’ and creams” containing CBD, and the federal commission urged the companies (and, by association, all CBD companies) to carefully review all health claims made with respect to their products. Read more
  • Pennsylvania: The state is seeking five more medical cannabis companies to partner with medical schools to research the potential benefits and risks of using medicinal marijuana to treat health conditions. Pennsylvania has released applications for more “clinical registrants,” the state’s term for entities that grow, process and dispense cannabis for research institutions. Read more
  • California: A bill that would have allowed California to establish special banks to handle cannabis industry funds has stalled in the legislature. Senate Bill 51, introduced by California Sen. Bob Hertzberg, would have allowed state-chartered banks to handle money from state-licensed cannabis businesses in a workaround to overcome the industry’s banking issue, but Hertzberg announced Sept. 9 that the bill would not get a vote this year. Read more
  • Assemblyman Tom Lackey (R-Palmdale) introduced legislation Sept. 11 demanding more stringent quality control and testing practices for cannabis products. AB 1833 tasks the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) with creating the “Good Cannabis Manufacturing Practice Certification” program which creates higher production standards for cannabis manufacturers. Read more
  • Colorado: Denver-based Cannabis Clinicians Colorado is seeking 16 retired athletes for a study on how CBD use addresses health issues like chronic pain. Screening days are Sept. 27 and 28, and the chosen participants will be involved in an eight-week research campaign looking at how certain CBD dosages and delivery systems impact physical and mental health. Read more
  • Nevada: Jorge Pupo, a Nevada Department of Taxation official who oversaw the state’s cannabis business application and licensing process last year, has been placed on leave amid court hearings and allegations of improper conduct. The move comes after Clark County District Judge Elizabeth Gonzalez ruled Aug. 23 that some cannabis companies that were awarded retail licenses last year could have their licenses frozen due to questions of whether the businesses conducted the required background checks on company ownership. Read more
  • New Mexico: A task force charged with evaluating the regulatory options for legalizing adult-use cannabis in New Mexico has voiced support for a traditional licensing structure for businesses as opposed to state-run cannabis companies. The Cannabis Legalization Working Group—which has been commissioned by Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham and is made up of lawmakers, cabinet secretaries and members of the state’s medical marijuana industry—endorsed the traditional licensing system during a Sept. 10 meeting. Read more
  • International: Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak remarked at the CannX International Medical Conference this week that current Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has a “rich track record that he doesn’t fulfill his promises” and specifically cited the slow development of cannabis regulations in Israel. The country will hold a national election Sept. 17, and news coverage hints at a tight race. Read more

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