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JAMA Research Letter: Teen vaping is through the roof.
Researchers examined the latest NIDA Monitoring the Future survey results to learn the prevalence of cannabis vaping for 2019 among teens, and by just how much this kind of cannabis use has jumped between the years 2017-2019.
What they found was that, overall, 8th, 10th, and 12th graders reported vaping cannabis more often, and that teenage cannabis vaping within the past 30 days “significantly increased” from 2018 to 2019. Among high school seniors, “this increase was significantly larger than the increase from 2017 to 2018.”
“As the number of adolescents who vape marijuana increases, so too does the scope and effect of any associated health consequences, which may include lung injury when using black market formulations. The rapid rise of marijuana vaping indicates the need for new prevention and intervention efforts aimed specifically at adolescents,” researchers concluded.
New Zealand will allow domestic medical cannabis production.
The rules, which go live on April 1, will “increase access to medicinal cannabis products, through increasing the supply of products by establishing a licencing regime enabling the cultivating of cannabis in New Zealand and the manufacture and supply of medicinal cannabis products made to quality standards.”
USDA extends public comment period on its hemp interim final rule.
The deadline has been moved to Jan. 29 in order to “allow stakeholders additional time to provide feedback,” the USDA announced. These rules, which were released in October, set the federal framework for legal hemp cultivation across the U.S., and you can catch up on Cannabis Wire’s coverage of their implications here.
Senators Elizabeth Warren and Cory Gardner announce veterans and immigration cannabis bills.
One would block the VA from denying veterans VA-backed home loans just because they work in the cannabis industry. Reps. Katherine Clark and González-Colón are introducing companion legislation in the House.
Another bill would block the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) from considering someone’s job in the state-legal cannabis industry as a factor in their naturalization application.
“Both bills were simultaneously announced as a package of legislative measures that would help improve the lives of individuals who work in the state-legal cannabis industry,” Gardner said in the announcement.
New York has a new head of all things cannabis.
At the start of the month, Norman Birenbaum announced that he would be stepping down from his position overseeing cannabis in Rhode Island for an opportunity in New York. Well, now we know what that opportunity is: Director of Cannabis Programs for New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s administration, a newly created position.
In addition to his role overseeing the medical cannabis and hemp programs in Rhode Island, and working with RI Governor Gina Raimondo on adult use efforts, Birenbaum is a coordinator with something called the Regulators Roundtable, which brings together regulators from the US and Canada to “share emerging trends in cannabis legalization and develop best practices in cannabis policy and regulation.” This is particularly relevant at this moment in time because, as Cannabis Wire has covered, Cuomo convened governors across the northeast for a coordinated adult use legalization push, and Birenbaum will undoubtedly be involved.
Adult use legalization effort kicks off in Oklahoma.
Late last week, State Question 806 was filed with the Oklahoma Secretary of State, and it would, in short, allow for adult use cannabis sales and those sales will be subject to a 15% excise tax. There is no formal campaign behind the question, which will need nearly 180,000 signatures to get on the 2020 ballot, so its odds are low unless financial backers step up.
Some context: Voters legalized medical cannabis in the state last year, and now Oklahoma has the distinction of being one of the most loosely regulated when it comes to cannabis. Thousands of licenses have been granted for cannabis businesses in the state, completely disproportionate to demand.
California researchers expand education on cannabis-impaired driving.
University of California San Diego School of Medicine researchers are using funding from the California Office of Traffic Safety (through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) to expand a California-wide educational program aimed at preventing driving under the influence of cannabis, alcohol, or prescription substances.
“Collisions due to driving under the influence are 100 percent preventable. Our behavior behind-the-wheel profoundly influences our crash risk,” Linda Hill, director of UC San Diego’s Training, Research and Education for Driving Safety Program, said in a statement. “With the legalization of marijuana, there are more drivers getting behind-the-wheel with THC in their system. We can reduce this risk by providing intervention strategies.”
This program conducts workshops for law enforcement and health workers so they can then teach members of the public about impaired driving. Those workshops include topics like: effects of cannabis use, misconceptions about driving while impaired by cannabis, and consequences of doing so.
During just about every legalization debate, fears over impaired driving arise. This kind of education and prevention around driving while impaired is likely to expand to other states, in the same way that drunk driving campaigns are launched from coast to coast.
Curaleaf’s new VP of comms.
The company has appointed as VP of corporate communications Tracy Brady, who previously held a similar role at advertising agency Hill Holliday.
Colorado’s cannabis prices are on the rise.
This week, the Colorado Department of Revenue released the average market price of various cannabis products that move from cultivators to product manufacturers or retailers. These “Average Market Rates” are used for determining excise taxes, and will be in effect from January 1 to March 31.
•Price of bud, per pound: $1,316 (up from $999 in October; the price hasn’t been above $1,000 since April 2018)
•… bud for extraction: $299 (up from $254)
•… trim for extraction: $247 (up from $200)
•Price of trim, per pound: $350 (up from $325)
•Price of immature plants, each: $9 (up from $8)