Democratic Governors Meet In New York City To Discuss Cannabis And Vaping

NEW YORK (AP) — The governors from several Northeastern states said Thursday they want to work together to regulate marijuana and vaping, including possible regional restrictions on flavored vaping products.

Democratic governors from New York, Connecticut, New Jersey and Pennsylvania met in New York City with health and legislative officials. Representatives from Massachusetts and Colorado were also on hand for the meeting.

“What we want to do is coordinate this on a regional basis,” said Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont, noting how the “patchwork quilt of marijuana regulations makes no sense at all.” He said the group came up with “very preliminary” principles concerning how to regulate legalized, recreational marijuana, such as agreeing to have similar policies for THC content, edibles, advertising and taxation in order to dissuade people from turning to the illicit market.

Lamont said “different states are going to have different timeframes” to pass marijuana legislation and he didn’t foresee everyone enacting the exact same law at the same time. He said more work needs to be done and staff from the participating states will continue working together on the issue. Several of the governors unsuccessfully pushed for their states to allow recreational pot sales in the last year.

“We just want to make sure we go in with our eyes open and we’re consistent,” Lamont said.

On vaping, Lamont said there appeared to be “the most unity” among the officials on possibly outlawing flavored e-cigarettes next year, given their appeal to young people and the growing number of vaping-related lung illnesses and deaths across the country.

“I think you’ll see some unanimity on that at the start,” he said.

 

Earlier this month, a state appeals court temporarily blocked New York from enforcing Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s 90-day emergency ban on such products after the vaping industry sued to block the regulations. In Massachusetts, Republican Gov. Charlie Baker last month announced a statewide ban on the sale of vaping products, a measure that has been challenged in court.

Meanwhile, a new law just took effect in Connecticut that increased the age to 21 for someone to purchase vaping products.

Cuomo said a lack of federal action on pot and vaping regulations means it’s up to states to act. He noted that marijuana is often vaped and states should also consider that when considering marijuana legalization.

 

By Green Miles Buds Team

Thousands Of UK Patients Will Be Given Cannabis In Groundbreaking Study

The UK’s first large-scale cannabis study and biggest marijuana health investigation in European history has been announced, raising hopes that many of the country’s health professionals will finally be swayed on the efficacy of the drug for use in treating seven different health conditions.

Substance reform organization Drug Science is administering the investigation, which is called Project TWENTY21. Neuropsychopharmacologist David Nutt, previously of the University of Bristol, will be in charge of the study, which will examine cannabis’ effects on chronic pain, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, post-traumatic stress disorder, Tourette’s syndrome, anxiety disorder, and substance abuse.

Earlier this year, media reports found that many UK hospitals were refusing to recommend medical cannabis based on “the risk of serious side effects.” Pain management clinic staff members were quoted saying, “We would welcome high-quality studies into the use of cannabis-based medicinal products for pain treatment.”

All the more reason to be excited about the Project TWENTY21 study, which will fund medical cannabis treatment for 20,000 patients by the end of 2021. The project has previously announced that it will be doing work in the fields of prison population harm reduction and the use of cannabis as a counterweight to drug addiction.

 

“I believe cannabis is going to be the most important innovation in medicine for the rest of my life,” commented Nutt. “There are children who have died in this country in the last couple of years because they haven’t had access to cannabis. It’s outrageous, it’s unnecessary and we want to rectify it.”

Although Health England has been extremely slow to endorse cannabis as medication, Project TWENTY21 has the co-sign of the British Pain Society, United Patients Alliance, and the Royal College of Psychiatrists.

“The College welcomes this pilot project which it hopes will make an important contribution towards addressing the paucity of evidence for the use of cannabis-based medicinal products,” commented the institution’s president Wendy Burn.

“We hope that this project, along with other research such as more much-needed [randomized] control trials, will continue to build the evidence on [cannabis-based medicinal products],” she continued.

Cannabis in the UK

It’s not the only cannabis study being conducted in the UK. University of Westminster researchers recently released the results of an investigation that concluded CBD could be a useful tool in the fight against antibiotics resistance, which currently costs the lives of some 5,000 people in England every year, according to the country’s public health agency.

Medical cannabis has been legal in the UK since October 2018. But the issue of medical marijuana has been of much debate in the country, its urgency exacerbated by the mounting problem of opioid addiction.

A prime motivator in the case of Great Britain has been the drug’s efficacy when it comes to sick kids. Young people like eight-year-old epilepsy patient Alfie Dingley and five-year-old Indie-Rose Montgomery, whose cannabis oil to treat her seizures was confiscated at London Stansted Airport in July, have shown the public how the issue is affecting fellow Brits.

 

By The Green Miles Buds

Trump Wants To Raise The Purchasing Age Of Vape Products To 21

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump said Friday his administration will pursue raising the age to purchase electronic cigarettes from 18 to 21 in its upcoming plans to combat youth vaping.

Trump told reporters his administration will release its final plans for restricting e-cigarettes next week but provided few other details.

“We have to take care of our kids, most importantly, so we’re going to have an age limit of 21 or so,” said Trump, speaking outside the White House.

Currently the minimum age to purchase any tobacco or vaping product is 18, under federal law. But more than one third of U.S. states have already raised their sales age to 21..

Administration officials were widely expected to release plans this week for removing virtually all flavored e-cigarettes from the market. Those products are blamed for soaring rates of underage use by U.S. teenagers.

However, no details have yet appeared, leading vaping critics to worry that the administration is backing away from its original plan.

Trump resisted any specifics on the scope of the restrictions.

“We’re talking about the age, we’re talking about flavors, we’re also talking about keeping people working — there are some pretty good aspects,” Trump said.

Underage vaping has reached what health officials call epidemic levels. In the latest government survey, 1 in 4 high school students reported using e-cigarettes in the previous month.

Fruit, candy, dessert and other sweet vaping flavors have been targeted because of their appeal to underage users.

On Thursday, Juul Labs, the nation’s largest e-cigarette maker, announced it would voluntarily pull its mint-flavored e-cigarettes from the market. That decision followed new research that Juul’s mint is the top choice for many high school students who vape.

With the removal of mint, Juul only sells two flavors: tobacco and menthol.

Vaping critics say menthol must be a part of the flavor ban to prevent teens who currently use mint from switching over.

Juul and other tobacco companies have lobbied in support a federal “Tobacco 21” law to reverse teen use of both e-cigarettes and traditional tobacco products. The effort also has broad bipartisan support in Congress, including a bill introduced by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

The logic for hiking the purchase age for cigarettes and other products is clear: most underage teens who use e-cigarettes or tobacco get it from older friends. Raising the minimum age to 21 is expected to limit the supply of those products in U.S. schools.

Delaying access to cigarettes is also expected to produce major downstream health benefits, with one government-funded report estimating nearly 250,000 fewer deaths due to tobacco over several decades.

Still, anti-tobacco groups have insisted that any “Tobacco 21” law must be accompanied by a ban on flavors, which they say are the primary reason young people use e-cigarettes.

By Johnny Evans 

How To Stay Elevated In The World Of Cannabis Advertising

Close your eyes and imagine you have just been struck by an entrepreneurial lightning bolt of an idea for a new company. Your keyboard can’t keep up with your fingers as the business plan dances across your laptop’s screen. And as you begin researching the marketing strategy, the typing comes to a grinding halt. That’s because you are writing a business plan for cannabis.

The cannabis space is like the Wild West. I recently attended Hall of Flowers, a free-wheeling weed convention in Northern California that attracts everyone from OG growers to DTC venture capitalists. It’s exciting and wide open. There are booths with brands exhibiting their wares like Big Al’s Exotics, Space Coyote, Hollyweed, Legion of Bloom and my personal favorite, Terp Hogs. It’s a strange blend of a Stanford MBA mixer meets Comic-Con, where half of the attendees are stoned and the other half are euphorically buzzing from the entrepreneurial possibilities of becoming the next big bud brand. THC-infused root beer? Sure. Farm to edible vegan truffles? Great. 500-count pillowcases infused with CBD? Awesome. But a rude awakening awaits on the marketing side of the business. That’s because cannabis brands like Big Al’s Exotics can’t say the word cannabis or even show the product in most ad units.

The global legal marijuana market is rapidly growing, and is projected to break $40 billion by the end of 2024, creating a massive opportunity for entrepreneurs to profit in this rapidly evolving industry. But for advertising agencies, cannabis brands and marijuana dispensaries, marketing brings its own set of problems. FTC regulations, corporate compliance, major tech platforms and decades-old biases restrict what cannabis brands can say and where they can say it.

Let’s start with the big tech platforms. Google, YouTube, Facebook and Instragram’s guidelines all prohibit cannabis advertising. Google’s guidelines prohibit “ads for substances that alter mental state for the purpose of recreation or otherwise induce ‘highs.’” Interestingly, both Facebook and Google do not permit non-psychoactive CBD advertising as well, describing it as “an illegal pharmaceutical,” but “do allow for content to promote the use of CBD and hemp.” Confused? We are just getting started.

How about TV? Not when the FCC is involved. Network and cable stations are regulated by the FCC, which, you guessed it, is a branch of the federal government, which considers possession and distribution of cannabis a felony. The potential exception is at the ZIP code level, where inventory is so small the FCC does not regulate the category. Another potential option is digital TV on closed networks such as hotels, and certain states allow cinema spots during R-rated movies.

OK, so now we may be getting somewhere. We pair limited TV, cinema, radio, outdoor a thousand feet from schools, a cat-and-mouse game of subtle editorial Instagram posts, print and content housed on a hosted YouTube page.

Now, let’s do some killer creative in this awesome emerging space. Remember that local TV buy? The cable company is not letting you say the word cannabis or show the plant. Back in the summer of 2018, my agency Mekanism was given this very brief. MedMen, a Los Angeles-based cannabis retailer, wanted to create the world’s first cannabis TV commercial, but we could not say or show any product sold in their stores. This required some creativity.

In the two-minute film “The New Normal,” directed by Spike Jonze, we open on George Washington standing in his hemp farm, holding up a five-leaf non-psychoactive hemp plant while the voiceover cryptically says that “a president grew his own.” In the first five seconds of the ad, the creatives established a contextual cannabis reference while throwing a head fake at the FCC restrictions.

But 48 hours before it was to air, the spot was banned from appearing on television. Not because we ran afoul of any rules, but because the compliance team at the cable provider simply “felt” that the spot was problematic. No history-making prime time for MedMen. Welcome to the Wild West of cannabis advertising.

So, how do cannabis brands creatively stick it to the man when the Feds, corporate compliance and media obfuscation can harsh the green-rush mellow?

1. Avoid weed tropes in the creative.

Flagrant references to kind nugs, 420 gags and bong water only contribute to compliance’s reefer madness hysteria, so keep the creative clever, well designed and subtle.

2. Lean into earned media ideas.

Unexpected partnerships, smart editorial and celebrity endorsements will complement and elevate impressions above a foundational media plan.

3. Embrace the fundamentals.

Human insights that are informed by smart strategy and data will always spark the big idea.

As a judge for the 2019 Clio Cannabis Awards, I can see how nascent and exciting the category is. It reminds me of the golden age of digital advertising in the early 2000s, when small upstart dot-coms broke through with brilliant creative. We are in a time when nationwide federal regulation, reactionary compliance and corporate cannabis can buzzkill the creative and entrepreneurial spirit. But I’m optimistic that creativity and weed will rise above and we’ll look back at 2020 as the golden age of cannabis advertising.

Parents Are Getting Their Annual Warning To Watch For Weed In Halloween Candy

It’s becoming something of a yearly Halloween tradition. Parents—especially those living in weed legal states—hear warnings about weed. The warnings come from a variety of public agencies. This typically includes police, health departments, and more.

And the primary message: to watch out for edibles when your kids go trick or treating. True to form, the Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission this week published its Halloween press release. In it, the commission tells parents to watch out for edibles made to look like regular candy.

Warning Comes from Cannabis Control Commission

In the public notice, the Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission reminds parents that this is the first Halloween since legal marijuana shops opened in the state 

The commission reminded parents to lock up any marijuana products they have in their own homes. Additionally, the memo also warned parents to watch out for what their kids get while they are out trick or treating. In particular, the commission said to watch out for edibles that look like regular candy.

 

“Like all of the Halloweens that came before this one, parents should be on the lookout for products that are unsafe for kids after they trick-or-treat,” public health appointee to the Cannabis Control Commission said in the press release.

Warnings Come Despite Safeguards

The statement also reminded parents that there are already a number of safeguards in place to deter kids from getting their hands on edibles. This includes requiring all legal products to be packaged in tamper and child resistant containers.

Additionally, all cannabis products on the legal market are required to follow a number of labeling rules. This includes ensuring that all packages have two symbols on them.

It’s becoming something of a yearly Halloween tradition. Parents—especially those living in weed legal states—hear warnings about weed. The warnings come from a variety of public agencies. This typically includes police, health departments, and more.

And the primary message: to watch out for edibles when your kids go trick or treating. True to form, the Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission this week published its Halloween press release. In it, the commission tells parents to watch out for edibles made to look like regular candy.

Warning Comes from Cannabis Control Commission

In the public notice, the Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission reminds parents that this is the first Halloween since legal marijuana shops opened in the state.

The commission reminded parents to lock up any marijuana products they have in their own homes. Additionally, the memo also warned parents to watch out for what their kids get while they are out trick or treating. In particular, the commission said to watch out for edibles that look like regular candy.

“Like all of the Halloweens that came before this one, parents should be on the lookout for products that are unsafe for kids after they trick-or-treat,” public health appointee to the Cannabis Control Commission said in the press release.

Warnings Come Despite Safeguards

The statement also reminded parents that there are already a number of safeguards in place to deter kids from getting their hands on edibles. This includes requiring all legal products to be packaged in tamper and child resistant containers.

Additionally, all cannabis products on the legal market are required to follow a number of labeling rules. This includes ensuring that all packages have two symbols on them.

One symbol is a red triangle with a cannabis leaf in the middle. The symbol has the words “Contains THC” below it. Similarly, the other symbol is a red octagon with the words “not safe for kids” on the inside of it.

Yet, despite these safeguards—and the simple fact that edibles sold in legal shops are generally not packaged in individual pieces and are very expensive compared to regular candy—the agency is still telling parents to be on the lookout.

“Although the Commission has strong safeguards in place to deter underage access to marijuana products, there are illegal items out there that are made to appeal to youth,” Flanagan said in the commission’s statement. “To prevent any accidental cannabis consumption by children this week, we encourage parents to check Halloween candy and keep their own legal purchases locked up and out of sight.”

It’s becoming something of a yearly Halloween tradition. Parents—especially those living in weed legal states—hear warnings about weed. The warnings come from a variety of public agencies. This typically includes police, health departments, and more.

And the primary message: to watch out for edibles when your kids go trick or treating. True to form, the Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission this week published its Halloween press release. In it, the commission tells parents to watch out for edibles made to look like regular candy.

Warning Comes from Cannabis Control Commission

In the public notice, the Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission reminds parents that this is the first Halloween since legal marijuana shops opened in the state.

The commission reminded parents to lock up any marijuana products they have in their own homes. Additionally, the memo also warned parents to watch out for what their kids get while they are out trick or treating. In particular, the commission said to watch out for edibles that look like regular candy.

“Like all of the Halloweens that came before this one, parents should be on the lookout for products that are unsafe for kids after they trick-or-treat,” public health appointee to the Cannabis Control Commission said in the press release.

Warnings Come Despite Safeguards

The statement also reminded parents that there are already a number of safeguards in place to deter kids from getting their hands on edibles. This includes requiring all legal products to be packaged in tamper and child resistant containers.

Additionally, all cannabis products on the legal market are required to follow a number of labeling rules. This includes ensuring that all packages have two symbols on them.

One symbol is a red triangle with a cannabis leaf in the middle. The symbol has the words “Contains THC” below it. Similarly, the other symbol is a red octagon with the words “not safe for kids” on the inside of it.

Yet, despite these safeguards—and the simple fact that edibles sold in legal shops are generally not packaged in individual pieces and are very expensive compared to regular candy—the agency is still telling parents to be on the lookout.

“Although the Commission has strong safeguards in place to deter underage access to marijuana products, there are illegal items out there that are made to appeal to youth,” Flanagan said in the commission’s statement. “To prevent any accidental cannabis consumption by children this week, we encourage parents to check Halloween candy and keep their own legal purchases locked up and out of sight.”

Kids and Cannabis

It is fairly common to hear concerns about young people consuming cannabis. Often, this is a fear stoked by the anti-cannabis camp.

On the one hand, it is true that kids once in a while accidentally eat an edible. And when it happens, the kid might get sick or scared by the experience. However, these instances are not fatal. In fact, it is essentially impossible to overdose on cannabis.

But on the other hand, data so far suggests that young people do not actually consume more weed when it’s more widely available.

Take, for example, a study from July of this year. The study, published in JAMA Pediatrics, found that the rate of teen cannabis use has gone down in states where weed is legal.