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Florida groups unite to oppose adult use ballot measures.
The Coalition for Medical Cannabis has joined forces with Floridians Against Recreational Marijuana, the groups announced Friday. Two campaigns to place adult use on the ballot have formed in the state, one backed with serious industry money, and another more grassroots.
(You can catch up on Cannabis Wire’s coverage of the legalization campaigns and related lobbying in Florida here.)
Bob Ellsworth, the executive director of the Coalition for Medical Cannabis, said the alliance formed to “protect medical cannabis in its early stage and ensure that Florida doesn’t join the growing list of states dealing with issues of poorly conceived recreational marijuana programs.”
And Brian Swenson, the head of Floridians Against Recreational Marijuana, added that together the groups, “will be able to effectively make the appropriate campaign to help Florida residents understand what a mistake it would be to support this initiative … While legalization would provide significant revenue opportunities for a select few, it would do so to the detriment of Florida as a whole.”
+ Context: We’ve seen opposition to cannabis legalization efforts from within the cannabis community since Colorado and Washington moved to first legalize adult use in 2012. In Washington, some opposition came from cannabis advocates who felt the language around stoned driving was too strict, for example. While differences around the “how” of legalization have come up in other states since then, it is less common to see a pro-medical group preemptively push against adult use.
Cannabis sales in Canada fall for the first time since February.
Every month since February, cannabis sales have climbed in Canada, quadrupling along the way. But in September, sales fell to C$122.9 million from C$126 million the prior month, according to new government data.
The four largest markets are, in order: Ontario, Quebec, Alberta, and British Columbia. Sales actually increased in each of those markets, except for Ontario, where they fell by C$2 million.
The most significant decline was in New Brunswick, where sales fell by C$2.2 million.
+ Some context: Ontario is Canada’s largest cannabis market, and has taken a slow and steady approach toward the opening of shops. The province at first only allowed government-run online sales, and earlier this year began to allow private shops, but slowly, frustrating the industry. And New Brunswick has struggled with sales in its government-run shops, announcing earlier this month it would allow for privatization.
GTI workers in Illinois want to unionize.
On Friday, workers at Green Thumb Industries in Illinois filed for an election with the National Labor Relations Board for representation by TeamstersLocal 371. According to the Teamsters, “workers have been at odds with management at GTI, stating a loss in benefits and pay, among other ongoing issues.”
One employee, Tonya Townsend, said in a statement, “I want for us to set the standard for the state of Illinois for all cannabis workers to come, but most importantly I want us as employees to be protected.” Another, Kyle Meyer, said, “For months we’ve been listening to one unfulfilled promise after another. For all the essential work we do in a highly profitable industry, we should have more affordable healthcare, a solid retirement plan, and a voice.”
A spokesperson for GTI told Cannabis Wire in an email, “If our employees elect to be represented by the Teamsters local union, we will honor their choice and will work cooperatively with the union to ensure our workplace remains a great environment,” adding that, as there is “strong support” for the company among other GTI employees, “it is unclear whether the Teamster’s attempts will be successful.”
Research shows women consume cannabis to treat endometriosis.
Australian researchers surveyed 484 women who had “surgically confirmed endometriosis” to ask how they managed their symptoms.
A total of 13% reported that they used cannabis for symptom management. These respondents said that that “self-reported effectiveness in pain reduction was high (7.6 of 10), with 56% also able to reduce pharmaceutical medications by at least half,” the research noted. In addition, these women reported the “greatest improvements in sleep and in nausea and vomiting.” Just 10% reported minor adverse effects.
“Women report good efficacy of cannabis in reducing pain and other symptoms, with few adverse effects reported. Further clinical research is warranted to determine the effectiveness of cannabis in managing endometriosis symptoms,” the research concluded.
The research was published in the peer-reviewed Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology Canada.
Treehouse Global Ventures expands its board.
The additions to the senior advisory board of TGV, which invests in women- and/or minority-led companies, are Jessica Billingsley, CEO of Akerna, and Michelle Bodner, COO of Curaleaf.
Other advisors are: Maria Rodale, of wellness publisher Rodale Inc.; Tahira Rehmatullah, CFO of MTech Acquisition Corp; and Emily Paxhia, co-founder of Poseidon.
States are picking up steam with Vitamin E acetate bans.
On Friday, Michigan regulators announced that Vitamin E acetate is now a prohibited ingredient in vape products. The Marijuana Regulatory Agency (MRA) has also issued new labeling rules, requiring that all inactive ingredients be displayed on the label. Regulators will now inspect processing facilities twice a month to guarantee compliance.
“It is absolutely vital that patients and consumers know, with certainty, the ingredients in the products that they are using,” Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist said in a statement. “These rules require stringent testing and will continue to prioritize the health and safety of Michiganders.”
Federal investigators have zeroed in on Vitamin E acetate, sometimes used a thickener in vape products, as a potential “culprit” of vaping-related lung illnesses, as Cannabis Wire has reported.