Future State Brands: Going Mainstream For High End Cannabis – Forbes

Future State Brands, a newly launched company backed by a seasoned team with $25 million in funding behind them. Formerly PRØHBTD Global, Future State Brands is led by Drake Sutton-Shearer, a six-year veteran of the cannabis industry, along with a dream team of CPG executives, hailing from brands such as Coca-Cola, Starbucks, Patagonia, P&G and L’oreal.“I’m excited to move into this next phase of our journey with a crystal clear vision of our desired future state” said Sutton-Shearer. “Although brands is the vehicle to get us there, it cannot be achieved without an incredible team, accessible capital and most of all, an understanding of the customer we are building for”. Thanks to a cash infusion led by Dallas-based Cresco Capital, Future State Brands will be building out a growing portfolio of THC, Hemp and CBD brands. Its current lineup includes hemp beauty line Hempathy; functional beverage platform Ceeby Dee’s; art-centric infused wearables The Patch Co.; and music-driven flower brand Heavy Grass.

The company’s flagship PRØHBTD recently launched a new website integrating content and eCommerce with cannabis and street style consumer products coming in 2020.   With celebrities jumping into the CBD space, competition in the cannabis and CBD market is fierce. This week, John Legend announced his investment in Plus Hemp CBD Products. Former NBA star Lamar Odom lent his name to a line of CBD vape pens via Five Star Juices. Jimmy Buffet has teamed with Surterra for his Coral Reefer brand penned a deal to license her brand to Level Brands. Martha Stewart recently joined Canopy Growth Corp. as an advisor as the company develops CBD products across multiple categories, starting with pet products. Knowing that success will hinge on being able to spot trends and curate culture, the company is strengthening its partnership with Joel, Benji and Josh Madden, who are now successful entertainment entrepreneurs and cultural tastemakers. 

The company also acquired a majority interest in premium hash brand Hot Nife, founded by professional snowboarder Circe Wallace, and are now working on reintroducing the brand to the market.  FSB’s licensing agency partner Beanstalk (an Omnicom agency) will be primarily focused on expanding the company’s footprint. Beanstalk is considered the premier global brand extension licensing agency, representing some of the leading brands in the world.Sutton-Shearer believes that licensing is the best way for brands to break into the cannabis and CPG market.

Next week, Future State Brands is presenting the CannaBusiness track of Advertising Week New York. Sutton-Shearer will kick-off the track with a discussion on "Cannabis, Hemp and CBD: How licensing can turn brands into leaders" with the company’s licensing partner Beanstalk

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Drake

Drake Sutton-Shearer

Courtesy: Future State Brands

Cannabis, CBD and hemp are going mainstream. And brands, manufacturers and retailers are ready to partner with leading companies in the cannabis industry. Poised to bring these products to markets is Future State Brands, a newly launched company backed by a seasoned team with $25 million in funding behind them. Formerly PRØHBTD Global, Future State Brands is led by Drake Sutton-Shearer, a six-year veteran of the cannabis industry, along with a dream team of CPG executives, hailing from brands such as Coca-Cola, Starbucks, Patagonia, P&G and L’oreal.“I’m excited to move into this next phase of our journey with a crystal clear vision of our desired future state” said Sutton-Shearer. “Although brands is the vehicle to get us there, it cannot be achieved without an incredible team, accessible capital and most of all, an understanding of the customer we are building for”. Thanks to a cash infusion led by Dallas-based Cresco Capital, Future State Brands will be building out a growing portfolio of THC, Hemp and CBD brands. Its current lineup includes hemp beauty line Hempathy; functional beverage platform Ceeby Dee’s; art-centric infused wearables The Patch Co.; and music-driven flower brand Heavy Grass.

The company’s flagship PRØHBTD recently launched a new website integrating content and eCommerce with cannabis and street style consumer products coming in 2020.   With celebrities jumping into the CBD space, competition in the cannabis and CBD market is fierce. This week, John Legend announced his investment in Plus Hemp CBD Products. Former NBA star Lamar Odom lent his name to a line of CBD vape pens via Five Star Juices. Jimmy Buffet has teamed with Surterra for his Coral Reefer brand penned a deal to license her brand to Level Brands. Martha Stewart recently joined Canopy Growth Corp. as an advisor as the company develops CBD products across multiple categories, starting with pet products. Knowing that success will hinge on being able to spot trends and curate culture, the company is strengthening its partnership with Joel, Benji and Josh Madden, who are now successful entertainment entrepreneurs and cultural tastemakers. 

The company also acquired a majority interest in premium hash brand Hot Nife, founded by professional snowboarder Circe Wallace, and are now working on reintroducing the brand to the market.  FSB’s licensing agency partner Beanstalk (an Omnicom agency) will be primarily focused on expanding the company’s footprint. Beanstalk is considered the premier global brand extension licensing agency, representing some of the leading brands in the world.Sutton-Shearer believes that licensing is the best way for brands to break into the cannabis and CPG market.

Next week, Future State Brands is presenting the CannaBusiness track of Advertising Week New York. Sutton-Shearer will kick-off the track with a discussion on „Cannabis, Hemp and CBD: How licensing can turn brands into leaders” with the company’s licensing partner Beanstalk

Mother sells house to buy daughter’s medical cannabis – The Guardian

The mother of a severely epileptic woman has put her house up for sale after spending her family’s savings on private prescriptions for medical cannabis.

Elaine Levy, the mother of 25-year-old Fallon, who has Lennox–Gastaut syndrome, said she had been forced to sell up in an attempt to fund her daughter’s care after spending more than £30,000.

“We just can’t do it any more,” she said. “It’s been a year and three months but we’ve got less than a month’s medicine left and we’re now at the end of the road. Why am I having to beg when it was made legal last November?

She said her daughter no longer needed a wheelchair after using full extract cannabis oil, after years of taking sedatives. “Her IQ has gone up and she now tells me where to go. it’s not a cure but the result is phenomenal.”

For patients with treatment-resistant epilepsy, the medicine is potentially life-saving but is not widely available on the NHS, despite doctors in England, Scotland and Wales being given permission to prescribe it last year. The growing financial burden has led families to fundraise and sell their possessions.

On Thursday, nine families, supported by the campaign group End Our Pain, invoiced the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) for the £231,000 they have cumulatively spent on prescriptions. They did so after holding a silent vigil outside the department’s headquarters.

They then walked down Whitehall and delivered letters – including one signed by more than 100 MPs – to the prime minister urging him to personally intervene.

Outside Downing Street, parents chanted “Medical cannabis stops our children’s seizures” and said they had saved the NHS money at their own cost.

“By us not calling ambulances, having stays in hospitals and being prescribed anti-seizure medicines, we must have collectively saved the health service thousands,” said Craig Williams, the father of 17-year-old Bailey, who has intractable epilepsy but recently caught a ball for the first time after courses of full extract cannabis oil reduced his seizures from 100 a day to one.

“But we still can’t access it without paying thousands ourselves. When they legalised it last year they gave us hope, but the system has failed us.”

The health service has not issued a single prescription for full extract cannabis oil since the Home Office acted to resolve several high-profile cases last year, according to campaigners. However, the medicines are available privately and there have been at least 100 prescriptions, which cost up to £4,000 a month.

A watchdog ruled last month there was not yet enough evidence to prove medical cannabis can help those with severe epilepsy, and there have been calls for observational trials to help establish its widely reported benefits.

The Liberal Democrat leader, Jo Swinson, said forcing families with sick children into a financially crippling situation was “appalling”.

“The government needs to work with the NHS need to find a way to get these children this life-transforming medicine not in weeks and months, but immediately.”

A DHSC spokesperson said: “Government is urgently working with the health system, industry and researchers to improve the evidence base to provide clinicians with further support and guidance on prescribing where clinically appropriate.”

Don’t Protect Cigarettes by Banning Far Less Harmful Nicotine Vapor Products – InsideSources

When cigarette smokers switch to Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS) (electronic cigarettes), they are exposed to exponentially fewer toxins (such as tar and carbon monoxide) and, thus, are far less likely to get cancer or circulatory disease.

That’s why the Food and Drug Administration should encourage their use by smokers — instead of demonizing them and banning their sales. This view has been known in England for years and was confirmed in the New England Journal of Medicine a few months ago: “E-cigarettes were more effective for smoking cessation than nicotine-replacement therapy, when both products were accompanied by behavioral support.”

Many vapor products, however, do not contain or emit nicotine, but rather contain and emit THC, CBD, flavorings, caffeine, vitamins or melatonin.

But back in 2016 the FDA redefined all of these different types of vapor products as “e-cigarettes” and “tobacco products,” while the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has been classifying all teens who reported vaping any substance (including THC) as “e-cigarette users” and “tobacco users.”

During the last several years, THC vaping has skyrocketed among teens (accounting for much or most of the recent increase in teen vaping) and young adults, as increasingly more pot smokers have switched to vaping THC. The National Youth Tobacco Survey found that THC vaping by teens increased by 60 percent from 2016 to 2018 (from 8.6 percent to 13.8 percent), and a survey of U.S. college students found that marijuana vaping more than doubled from 5.2 percent in 2017 to 10.8 percent in 2018.

Had FDA not redefined all no-nicotine vapor products (including THC vapor products) as “tobacco products” in its 2016 Deeming Rule, the CDC would have reported far lower rates of “e-cigarette use” and “tobacco use” by U.S. teens in recent years.  FDA’s Deeming Rule was originally set to ban 99.9 percent of nicotine vapor products (on the U.S. market) on August 8, 2018, and a federal judge recently ordered FDA to begin enforcing it by May 12, 2020, which will deprive millions of vapers legal access to the products that helped them quit smoking.

In recent months, vaping related lung illnesses have sickened up to 380 people and killed as many as seven. Consequently, the CDC, FDA and many state health agencies have responded to this outbreak by blaming electronic cigarettes (i.e. vapor products that contain/emit nicotine), have condemned nicotine and urged everyone to stop vaping.

However, illegal THC vapor oil cartridges were used in the vast majority of (and perhaps nearly all) cases of these mysterious lung illnesses, and none of these illnesses have been attributed to vaping nicotine.

While 14 states have legalized and now license the sale of THC vapor oils, just one of the 380 lung illness cases (in Oregon) involved the use of a licensed THC vapor oil product. Due to skyrocketing demand for THC vapor oils (that licensed dispensaries cannot legally or economically supply), a huge black market for THC vapor products has emerged nationwide.

After a month of repeating claims that these lung diseases were due to “electronic cigarettes” and discouraging everyone from vaping, on September 6 the FDA acknowledged these illnesses were due to vaping THC oils. Meanwhile, the CDC and state health agencies continue to claim or insinuate that nicotine vapor products are causing these illnesses, and continue urging Americans to stop vaping, which is likely to result in an increase in cigarette sales nationwide. This messaging has been amplified in the media by citing the long-term opponents of vaping.

They ignore the fact that, during the past year, the National Youth Tobacco Survey showed that, although past 30 day vaping by high school students rose (from 20.8 percent to 27.5 percent) in the past year, cigarette smoking dropped 28 percent (from 8.1 percent to 5.8 percent) and has dropped 63 percent since 2011 (from 15.7 percent to 5.8 percent) to a new record low.

If/when the FDA bans the sale of virtually all nicotine vapor products, the agency will create an e-cigarette monopoly/cartel controlled by the largest cigarette companies, will create a multi-billion dollar black market for banned nicotine vapor products, and will increase cigarette sales (as some/many nicotine vapers switch back to far more harmful cigarettes). Yet, nothing proposed by the FDA will reduce the incidence and/or severity of THC vaping illnesses.

To best protect public health, the FDA should rescind its regulations to ban the sales of virtually all nicotine vapor products, and should encourage addicted smokers to switch to them. FDA and CDC must also warn Americans to stop vaping illicit THC products, and begin differentiating between nicotine and THC vapor products.

Utah’s rate of vaping-related illness is among the worst in the nation. Here’s what you need to know. – Salt Lake Tribune

Utah health officials have confirmed 42 cases of serious, vaping-related illnesses — a per-capita rate that no other state has come close to matching, according to a Salt Lake Tribune review of government health announcements and news reports from the other states.

Here’s what we know about the outbreak so far.

Do I need to worry about getting sick from nicotine vape products? Or are the illnesses only connected to illegal THC vape juice, bought on the street?

Most of Utah’s patients — about 90%— reported vaping THC products, either alone or along with nicotine products, said Keegan McCaffrey, the state epidemiologist who is leading Utah’s investigation into vaping-related illnesses. (THC is the intoxicating element of marijuana.) That’s consistent with national data collected by the CDC and the Food and Drug Administration. As a result, some researchers are looking at popular additives in street THC vape products as a possible culprit in lung injuries.

But a number of patients reported vaping only nicotine products, purchased in stores and online, McCaffrey said. Substances found only in THC products do not account for those cases.

Some patients might not immediately disclose THC use because it is illegal in Utah, said Scott Aberegg, a critical care pulmonologist at University of Utah Health; some patients have claimed they were vaping nicotine, and only acknowledged THC use after their families were no longer in earshot, he said.

But other patients tested negative for THC use, Aberegg said. One patient described suddenly becoming ill after vaping something purchased from the same local vape shop the patient had been visiting for seven years, said Dixie Harris, a pulmonology and critical care specialist with Intermountain Healthcare.

„That makes me ask the question, is there something different in the materials the vape shops are getting?” Harris said. „This patient was going for seven years, and this is the first time the patient got sick. It’s not like the patient was getting it from all these crazy places.”

(Christopher Cherrington | The Salt Lake Tribune)

“It’s not safe to vape with this illness going around,” Aberegg said. “It appears to be less safe to vape THC, but any vaping appears to be capable of causing this illness.”

Did the patients notice anything strange about the products they were using before they became sick?

A few patients said they noticed small differences in flavor and in the packaging, Harris said. “It was very clear the quality of the cartridge and containers had changed,” she said — including “one of the very popular brands,” she added.

“I heard this from several patients: There are variances in what they are buying,” she said. That may speak to a need for more regulation, she added.

“If you buy — whatever, Chobani yogurt: The blueberry is packaged the same, the flavor is the same. You know when you buy Tylenol, or Oreo cookies: They look the same, they taste the same,” Harris said. “When things get regulated, that’s where all that happens. How well are things replicated in the [vape product] manufacturing process? … What are they mixing them with? What’s the shelf life? What temperature does it need to be?”

So what is supposed to go into vape juice? How is that regulated?

Nicotine vape products normally include vegetable glycerine, propylene glycol, nicotine and usually a flavoring, said Ryan Bartlett, spokesman for tobacco prevention and control with the Utah Department of Health. Vape products are required to carry labels identifying ingredients, said Tom Hudachko, also a department spokesman.

Of the 20 nicotine samples submitted by patients, none tested positive for any unexpected substances, McCaffrey said.

State rules that went into effect this year limit the amount of nicotine in e-cigarette products sold in Utah, and they require sellers to obtain certifications from the manufacturer that the fluids don’t exceed that limit. But the rules don’t apply to “closed” cartridge vape products, like the popular JUUL brand. (Some cartridges are closed and disposable; others are open and can be refilled.) And the state rules don’t address other substances in the products.

The CDC has reported finding in some vape products trace metals that have been shown to be potentially carcinogenic, such as nickel and lead, Bartlett said.

“It could be something that at some point in the future is potentially harmful,” Bartlett said. “With the limited research at this time, people who are vaping are pretty much conducting an experiment on their own health and well-being.”

Last week, Rep. Paul Ray, R-Clearfield, pointed to testing by a private lab, which he said showed opioids and other illicit drugs were present in nearly 85% of the nicotine vape products that researchers obtained in Utah stores. However, the lab’s CEO told The Tribune that the test it used was so inaccurate for vape products that it effectively amounted to a “coin toss,” and the results are not scientifically valid. Health department officials have not identified opioids or other drugs in the nicotine samples patients have submitted, McCaffrey said.

The state rules also required vaping products sold in Utah to have FDA approval as of Aug. 8. But that rule was written in anticipation of FDA guidelines that were projected to be in effect by August, Hudachko said. The FDA still has not established “approval” mechanisms for e-cigarette products, so that rule has not been enforced by local health departments, Hudachko said.

THC products, meanwhile, are illegal to possess or sell in Utah, so there are no regulations about what they can contain.

Why do I keep hearing about vitamin E? Is that in all vape products?

Vitamin E acetate is a cutting agent used in some THC products, generally those sold on the black market. It was found in all 19 THC product samples submitted by Utah vapers who fell ill, McCaffrey said.

The ingredient is used to dilute THC products, and it’s not typically found in legal medical or recreational cannabis products, McCaffrey said.

It’s not known how or even whether the chemical may relate to illnesses — and not all cases of vaping-related illness involved products containing Vitamin E acetate.

“No one substance, including Vitamin E acetate, has been identified in all of the samples tested,” the CDC reported last week.

It’s also possible that not all patients are reacting to the same chemical, Harris said. Changes to THC products may have caused the sudden outbreak that caught doctors’ attention — and the new focus on vaping may have enabled doctors to also identify nicotine-related cases that previously would have flown under the radar or been diagnosed as more run-of-the-mill respiratory problems.

“Is one thing causing all of these problems, or is it multiple things?” she asked. “There’s so many different products being used, you have to think there’s probably multiple causes.”

Since vitamin E acetate is mostly used in black market products, are THC products safe if they’re from dispensaries in states where it’s legal?

In Utah, where THC products are illegal, some patients have initially reported the product they were using came from a dispensary in another state, such as California, Colorado or Nevada, Harris and Aberegg said.

But pressed further, those patients conceded that they themselves had not bought their supplies out-of-state, but obtained them from friends or dealers who claimed the products originated in a legal dispensary.

“What I’m hearing from our [THC] cases — and they’re being cagey — it sounds like they’re getting it from friends, who get it from the back of a gas station, from the back of someone’s car,” Harris said. “It sounds more black market.”

But at least one person has died, in Oregon, after vaping a THC product bought legally in a dispensary, The Oregonian reported.

Because scientists don’t know whether vitamin E acetate or some other substance is to blame, health officials are recommending that no one vape anything until more is known.

Are public officials looking at banning or further regulating vape products?

Department of Agriculture’s Top Attorney: ‚Hole’ In Regulation For CBD Vape Products Causes Concern – WGCU News

The Florida Department of Agriculture’s chief attorney says CBD vape products are completely unregulated in the state, causing concern at the agency. Steven Hall, the agency’s general counsel, says that concern has been amplified by recent nationwide headlines reporting health problems linked to vaping.

Discussing it with DBPR, they have made it very clear to us that their regulation over anything vaped ends with tobacco products. And our (FDACS) limitations regarding CBD as a food, ends with ingestion,” Hall told the state’s Hemp Advisory Committee Thursday. “So I would suggest that there appears to a be a hole in the regulation.”

Hall says the Department of Agriculture has ‚started conversations’ with lawmakers to notify them of the issue. He says the law creating Florida’s hemp program is what’s limiting the regulation – so it can’t be fixed in the rulemaking process.

Melissa Villar, who works in the Tallahassee office of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, or NORML, warned the advisory committee of putting too many restrictions on hemp flower.

She cautions a “rash of additives” can be introduced to vape products through the extraction process hemp must go through to make them.

“Everybody jumping into the industry through extraction and wanting to provide vaping products and so forth, are inexperienced,” Villar said. “The safest and the most pure form of cannabis is through the flower. So, any type of restriction is going to endanger consumer safety and public health.”

Copyright 2019 WFSU. To see more, visit WFSU.

Cannabis banking vote a go in the House – Politico

Thank you for subscribing to the POLITICO Pro Cannabis preview newsletter; your free access ends on Sept. 30, 2019. To continue to receive POLITICO Pro Cannabis content, as well as gain access to subscriber-only features such as alerts and events, please complete this short form and a member of our team will be in touch shortly.

Cannabis banking may not have Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, but its sponsor says it has the votes it needs and a date with the full House next week.

Bipartisan legislation to ban flavored e-cigarettes was introduced in both the House and the Senate, as vaping related illnesses topped 500 nationwide. The White House is also facing a backlash from conservatives over its support for banning those products.

Anthony Scaramucci weighed in on why he thinks Trump won’t move on marijuana before the election — it might help him with moderates, but not with his base.

IT’S FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 20. WELCOME TO POLITICO’S DAILY CANNABIS NEWSLETTER. You knew Seth Rogen was an actor, but did you know he also in the marijuana business? He recently created a PSA about National Expungement Week, which starts next week. Be sure to keep sending us cannabis news, tips or feedback — to nfertig@politico.com or on twitter at @natsfert. And follow us on Twitter: @POLITICOPro. Read about our mission in our inaugural issue.

HOUSE VOTES ON BANKING NEXT WEEK — Cannabis banking news evolved by the minute on Capitol Hill on Thursday. Here’s where things stand:

Main sponsors claim they have the votes. Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-Colo.) told Natalie the bill will move next week, and that he thinks he has the votes to call for a “motion for suspension” on the bill — passage with limited debate and no amendments, requiring a two-thirds majority.

This is not your mother’s banking bill. If your mother voted on it in the House Financial Services Committee this past spring, that is. While the bill’s sponsors hope it will pass the floor without amendments, they already have done a lot of tweaking since it breezed through committee. Paul, along with our colleague Zach Warmbrodt, got their hands on a new version of the banking legislation, which has two key additions:

— The first is that banks doing business with hemp companies won’t face federal punishment. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell pushed hard for hemp legalization in last year’s farm bill. The other would prevent the revival of an Obama-era program known as Operation Choke Point. It aimed to cut off the banking system from wrongdoing by merchants.

— „The hemp language I predict will get Sen. McConnell’s attention,” Rep. Andy Barr (R-Ky.) told Zach. “The anti-Choke Point language I predict will get [Senate Banking Chairman Mike] Crapo’s attention.”

So what? Both of these additions were designed to make the bill more palatable to Republicans, in the House and also probably in the Senate. House sponsors don’t just want to pass the bill; they want to pass it by a huge majority, to put more pressure on the Senate. And in the Senate, the bill needs every extra little bump it can get to move through committee and make it through McConnell to the Senate floor.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), though, told Natalie there’s a “strong possibility” she would consider voting “no” on the floor if banking moves before criminal justice reform legislation. If banking passes first, she said, “the winners of the war on drugs are going to become the winners on legalization. … This is only going to worsen the racial wealth gap and increase the legacy of the war on drugs.” Ocasio-Cortez is not a co-sponsor of the bill, but she did vote for it in the House Financial Services Committee. Sen. Chuck Schumer gave her a shout out over her position.

DURBIN DIGS BANKING — Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) is a new attendee at the cannabis banking party. He signed on as a co-sponsor of the SAFE Banking Act on Thursday.

The context: Illinois legalized marijuana earlier this year, but Durbin has been wishy-washy on marijuana since that happened. In July, he said medical marijuana was “almost a laughing matter” because of the outrageous claims of budtenders he witnessed in Illinois’ medical dispensaries. But since then, he has introduced a bill to reclassify marijuana, which would provide more avenues for research.

SENATE PROPOSES USDA FUNDING FOR HEMP — The Senate Appropriations Committee advanced a bill that would allocate $16.5 million for the USDA to implement hemp regulations, POLITICO’s Liz Crampton reports. The bill also contains $2.5 million for hemp research. It’s unclear when the Senate will vote on the spending bill.

ANTI-VAPING BILLS INTRODUCED AS ILLNESSES SPIKE — Bipartisan legislation that would ban flavored e-cigarettes was introduced in both the House and Senate, echoing calls by President Donald Trump to outlaw the products that critics blame for a huge spike in teen vaping. Meanwhile, the number of vaping-related illnesses climbed to 530 and eight deaths across 38 states and one territory, according to the CDC.

What’s happening on the Hill? Sens. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) and Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) introduced legislation that would ban flavored e-cigarettes and apply existing tobacco taxes to e-cigarettes, POLITICO’s Burgess Everett reports. A similar measure was dropped by Reps. Tom Suozzi (D-N.Y.) and Pete King (R-N.Y.) in the House. That bill would also jack up taxes on traditional cigarettes, as well as smokeless tobacco products.

The Trump administration faces huge backlash from conservatives over its support for banning flavored e-cigarettes. The White House organized — and then quickly canceled — a meeting Thursday with frustrated conservative policy leaders to try to tamp down anger among traditional allies, four individuals with knowledge of the meeting told POLITICO’s Daniel Lippman and Dan Diamond.

What about marijuana? Largely missing from the conversation in Washington: many mentions of THC vapes, which have been linked to many of the illnesses. That’s undoubtedly in large part because the federal government can’t regulate an industry that’s still deemed illegal at the federal level — despite the rapid spread of state-legal markets and teen use of cannabis-based e-cigs:

POLITICO Pro Explains: Subscribers to POLITICO Pro Cannabis will have access to exclusive cannabis policy explainer graphics. Check out a sample graphic: Students report increase in cannabis vaping.

NIH FUNDS CANNABIS RESEARCH — The National Institutes of Health awarded $3 million in grants to investigate the potential therapeutic effects of cannabis. Funded by the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, the studies look into the analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties of the cannabis plant. “There’s an urgent need for more effective and safer options” for pain treatment, director of NCCIH Helene Langevin said in a statement, referencing the opioid crisis. Historically, marijuana advocates have decried the agency for funding research primarily devoted to studying the harms of cannabis.

LAWMAKERS URGE FDA TO REGULATE CBD — The cannabis compound is a booming health-and-wellness trend that has flourished outside of federal regulations. Reps. Chellie Pingree (D-Maine) and James Comer (R-Ky.) sent a letter to the FDA on Thursday, urging the agency hurry up and provide legal clarity for hemp farmers and CBD producers. “We are discouraged by FDA’s estimation that a rulemaking process could span 3 to 5 years,” read the letter, which was co-signed by two dozen other members of Congress.

Not so fast, said the Center for Science in the Public Interest and the Consumer Federation of American in a letter to senators on Thursday. The two organizations urge Congress “not to force the agency’s hand on CBD, and not to set out an exceedingly tight timeline for its decisions.” Rushing to make judgments about the little-studied compound could impact consumer safety, they argued.

THE MOOCH TALKS TO MARIJUANA INVESTORS — Anthony Scaramucci may not personally partake in marijuana consumption, but he did show up earlier this week at the Kahner Global Cannabis Private Investment Summit in New York. He returned to the investment firm he founded after his short stint in government, where he has run cannabis sessions at the firm’s conference in Las Vegas. Investors chuckled as The Mooch cracked jokes about how everyone was high when they elected President Donald Trump. We caught up with Scaramucci afterwards; here are some excerpts from our conversation:

Why do you think Trump is not going to legalize marijuana before the election?

Scaramucci: Because of my analysis of what I know about the voting patterns of the Evangelical and the Christian community. This is my opinion, it’s not a campaign opinion. The president’s biggest fear is making sure that the levels of participation in his proverbial base are at as high or higher than they were in 2016, so I think in marijuana legalization before the election would hurt. It Could help them with moderates. But moderates have decided that they’re not really for him.

How do you see the lobbying landscape influencing legislation?

Scaramucci: The marijuana industry is going to need to amp up their lobbying if they want to get something to happen after 2020.

How do you approach this from an investment standpoint?

Scaramucci: I come from a family of people that have had drug and alcohol related diseases. Marijuana is usually considered a gateway drug. So I have made an intellectual decision not to invest in it. Having said that, I am for its legalization. That’s not to say that you shouldn’t [invest] or other people shouldn’t.

VAST MAJORITY OF AMERICANS WANT BETTER TESTING FOR MARIJUANA IMPAIRMENT — More than three-quarters of Americans support developing a sobriety test cops can use to determine whether a driver suspected of marijuana use is too impaired to drive, according to results from a new poll commissioned by the American Property Casualty Insurance Association. That includes 54 percent who say it’s very important to develop such a test, as well as 23 percent who indicated that it’s somewhat important.

Similarly, more than eight in 10 respondents indicated that they want policymakers to create an intoxication standard for driving under the influence of marijuana. A slightly lower share of Americans — 73 percent — support spending federal dollars to help develop such a standard. See the rest of the polling results and methodology.

Why does this matter? Impaired driving has become a growing concern as marijuana legalization spreads across the country. During state legislative debates earlier this year, legalization opponents frequently cited concerns about traffic safety as a top argument against allowing anyone over the age of 21 to purchase marijuana.

THC TESTING COMING TO FLORIDA — State Sen. Rob Bradley said Florida’s law enforcement agencies will soon have access to a new field test that will be able to detect THC levels in suspected marijuana, POLITICO Pro Florida’s Arek Sarkissian reports. The senator previously sponsored legislation to legalize and regulate hemp cultivation. The new law caused problems for law enforcement across the state due to a lack of testing to differentiate between marijuana and hemp.

It’s not just Florida: Local prosecutors and police departments across the country are wrestling with the unintended consequences of hemp legalization laws. Prosecutors in Texas, Ohio, Georgia and elsewhere have set new policies to step back from marijuana enforcement in the absence of affordable testing for THC levels in cannabis.

NH GOV VETO ON HOME CULTIVATION STANDS — The New Hampshire Senate fell three votes short of overriding the governor’s veto on a bill that would have allowed medical marijuana patients to grow their own cannabis. But lawmakers in both chambers overrode the governor’s veto on a different bill concerning doctor recommendations for medical marijuana.

RAPIDLY GROWING CANNABIS INDUSTRY A BOON FOR SCOTTS MIRACLE-GRO — Hydroponics has become a big part of ScottsMiracle-Gro’s business in recent years. It now accounts for roughly 25 percent of revenues and it’s growing by double digits. What’s driving a lot of that growth? The burgeoning cannabis industry.

“Our mission in life is to help people grow things,” Jim King, ScottsMiracle-Gro executive vice president for investor relations and corporate affairs, told Paul. “We are neutral about what you grow.”

King and other officials from the Marysville, Ohio-based corporation were on Capitol Hill recently talking with lawmakers about the need to pass cannabis banking legislation. The company also backs the STATES Act, which would allow state markets where marijuana is legal to operate without fear of federal punishment. But King cautioned that trying to pass more comprehensive legalization legislation could backfire.

“I think if you try to do too much too soon on this issue you’re going to lose a lot of bipartisan support,” he said.

An Air Force veteran directed a documentary about fellow vets who opt to use medical marijuana over pharmaceuticals. Steve Ellmore’s film will premiere at a Miami film festival on Sept. 28.

Nevada cities are struggling with how to handle marijuana licensing as local government officials deal with the fallout from a legal challenge by cannabis companies.

The Coors Brewing Company will soon start distributing CBD-infused beverages in Colorado. The regional division of brewing giant Molson Coors is experimenting in Colorado as it waits for federal CBD regulations.

California’s cannabis black market has eclipsed its legal one – NBC News

Although marijuana has been legal in California for nearly two years, black market weed is still a booming business in the state.

Illegal sellers outnumber legal and regulated businesses almost 3-to-1, according to a startling analysis of California cannabis sellers released this month. Some critics blame the website Weedmaps for letting thousands of rogue stores advertise.

But cannabis regulators are cracking down. This week, they put publications, including Weedmaps, that advertise unlicensed marijuana businesses on notice that doing so is against state law.

„Failure to comply with the requirements for advertising may lead to significant financial penalties,” the Bureau of Cannabis Control said in an email to the industry Tuesday.

The sellers analysis, which was completed by an association of legal marijuana businesses in the state, punctuates a tough year in an industry that launched with great promise in 2018 but soon faced heavy challenges including, a lockout of legit sellers in most of the state’s cities, enforcement challenges and high retail taxes.

Critics say those hurdles have only emboldened an expanding black market.

The United Cannabis Business Association, a statewide group of legal marijuana businesses, found that about 2,835 illicit sellers, including storefronts and delivery services, are operating statewide. That’s more than three times as many illegal sellers as legal ones — 873. The group unveiled the numbers earlier this month in an open letter to Gov. Gavin Newsom and state marijuana czar Lori Ajax.

„We’re the only state to go recreational and see a year-over-year reduction in legal sales,” UCBA president Jerred Kiloh said.

When Proposition 64 made buying and holding cannabis legal for those older than 21, many in the industry expected a green rush; it opened sellers to perhaps the world’s largest legal marijuana market.

But as the first licensed stores started welcoming customers in 2018, rogue operators claiming to have permission to sell cannabis were also setting up shop in such places as Los Angeles and San Diego County.

Signs advertising medical marijuana prescriptions outside an evaluation clinic on Venice Beach in Los Angeles on Oct. 9, 2009. Before recreational marijuana sales were approved by California voters in 2016, this was the way many consumers made their way to legal cannabis.Mark Ralston / AFP – Getty Images file

Bay Area cities haven’t struggled as much with black market storefronts, and some experts say that’s likely a result of plenty of legal stores and diligence from local officials. „The Bay Area has been ahead of the curve on licensing for many years,” said San Francisco-based Dale Gieringer, director of California NORML.

„We’ve yelled it from the mountaintop,” Kiloh, who owns a licensed shop in Los Angeles, said. „We want better enforcement.”

In making the results of its illegal-shop analysis public, the main focus of the UCBA’s ire, however, wasn’t City Hall or even Sacramento. It was the international website Weedmaps, which lists cannabis sellers in major markets like Los Angeles, regardless of whether they’re state-approved.

In 2018, the state sent Weedmaps a cease-and-desist letter because the site allows unlicensed sellers to advertise, which violates California’s cannabis regulations that require advertisements to display license numbers. „You are aiding and abetting in violations of state cannabis laws,” the letter stated.

The site could be liable for $30,000 a day in fines, under state law.

In July, Weedmaps announced it would phase out ads from illicit shops.

Chris Beals, the website’s CEO, said that the rogue advertisers would be gone by the end of year. But for some in the industry, that’s not fast enough.

„We don’t want to let Weedmaps dictate when they’re going to stop breaking the law,” Kiloh said. „That doesn’t make sense.”

Weedmaps, which operates in nine countries and the majority of American states that have legalized some form of cannabis, says it’s not the problem when it comes to California’s black market.

No other recreational marijuana state has seen the black-market issues California has, site CEO Beals said. The main problem, he says, is there aren’t enough legal retail locations to meet the market demand.

Many of the same black-market operators on Weedmaps can also be accessed on Google, Yelp and other platforms, he said: „This is really superficial. The real underlying problem is that there’s insufficient licenses address market demand.”

That’s an issue even state regulators have recognized: When California voters made recreational marijuana usage legal, they gave cities leeway to outlaw sales or limit them locally as they saw fit.

They have, and wide swaths of the state are dry. Forcing cities to accept cannabis is a long shot in a state known for its strong, not-in-my-backyard politics.

„The bureau would love to be able to license more cannabis retail locations in California,” Alex Traverso, spokesman for the Bureau of Cannabis Control, said by email. „Unfortunately, there are a number of factors that prevent us from doing that. It’s not all under our control.”

Less than 25 percent of the Golden State’s cities allow legal sales, he said.

Gieringer of California NORML said the state’s cannabis buyers also must consider that when buying from a legal shop, the price includes state and, often, local taxes that can add up to 25 percent to the cost. „I think the real problem out there is the regulations and the taxes are too expensive,” he said.

„It’s a sad state of affairs when the prices go up and the array of products goes down when they repeal prohibition,” he said. „It’s supposed to be the other way around. There are fundamental problems with the way California handles this issue.”

On the street, police continue to chase down rogue operators who often undercut price and don’t collect taxes.

In Los Angeles, where some observers say more than 1,000 shops operated before licensing was established, police have been scrambling to shut down fly-by-night dispensaries. The city has only 187 licensed shops.

The UCBA analysis found hundreds of illegal stores in L.A., and the Los Angeles Times in May counted 220 illegal stores.

Narcotics Detective Vito Ceccia of the Los Angeles Police Department’s Cannabis Support Unit says shutting down rogue storefronts has „always been a whack-a-mole situation.”

But he says police have reduced the number of illegal shops to fewer than 175 — less than the number of legal ones for the first time. And the City Council is weighing a measure that would allow authorities to padlock and board up rogue storefronts.

The detective said police use Weedmaps to find illicit business, particularly delivery services that don’t always have a boulevard storefront.

„They are a great tool for law enforcement,” Ceccia said.

As weed becomes legal in more states, the dangers of potent cannabis are being ignored – NBC News

At the end of August, the U.S. Surgeon General released an alarming advisory. Although cannabis (known more colloquially as weed) has long been considered one of the “safest” drugs by users, especially as more and more states implement medical and recreational cannabis policies, the Surgeon General warned that cannabis remains associated with health risks for pregnant and adolescent users. One of the main reasons that this is true: Today’s weed and the weed of decades past are like apples and oranges — so different that comparisons don’t help much at all.

Approximately 24 million Americans used cannabis in the past year, double the number of Americans who used the drug 10 years ago. Ten percent of weed users say they use it for medical purposes based upon the small but growing body of evidence supporting the use of medical cannabis for a limited number of conditions. But critically, cannabis strength, or potency, is on the rise as well. There is an important and concerning disconnect between the drugs Baby Boomers may remember from the 1960s and the weed more common today.

There is an important and concerning disconnect between the drugs Baby Boomers may remember from the 1960s and the weed more common today.

Weed in the 1960s, ’70s and ’80s typically contained 3 to 4 percent THC, the active ingredient in weed that is responsible for the “high” that users experience. Recent reports indicate that weed available in dispensaries in medical cannabis states range from 17.7 percent to 23.2 percent THC, a startling increase. Meanwhile cannabis concentrates — often referred to waxes, shatter or oil — is much stronger than regular cannabis flower, and THC concentrations in these products may reach 80 to 90 percent THC. These trends are on a collision course, with potentially disastrous results.

The Surgeon General’s warning is a response to these developments. Our brains develop into our mid-20s, so exposing young people to increasingly potent weed may have harmful consequences. Although often disputed, weed use can be addictive and studies show risk for addiction rises with increased potency. The relationship between potency and other adverse outcomes like anxiety and psychosis is less well defined, but it is likely that increased potency will lead to increased risk of these problems as well.

Aug. 29, 201901:13

The risks of weed use are magnified because people still aren’t aware of them. Although adult use and youth use have remained relatively flat in the context of changing policies, perception of risks among both adults and youth has plummeted in recent years. Declining rates of risky drinking and cigarette smoking among young people suggest that we have the ability to educate effectively on risk-taking behaviors, but we have yet to master the complex messages needed to educate our kids about weed. For example, it is challenging to acknowledge that cannabis is less dangerous than fentanyl while helping them understand that weed may still be harmful to them.

There is also the historical narrative, popularized by movies, advocacy groups and users themselves, that weed is safe and even good for you. The ubiquity of weed coupled with its increasing legalization has fueled this narrative, as well as its popularity among artists and celebrities.

Although adult use and youth use have remained relatively flat in the context of changing policies, perception of risks among both adults and youth has plummeted.

Continued problems with edibles also underscore the need for better education. Many see edibles as a safer way to try weed, but they aren’t aware of how dosing works. A typical weed brownie contains 100 mg of THC and the average serving size is 10 mg, or 1/10th of a brownie. Most of us eat a whole brownie when it’s time for dessert, so many people don’t realize that only a small fraction of the brownie should be eaten.

And the effects of weed differ depending on whether a person ingests it or smokes it. Smoking weed usually results in effects within minutes that peak after 15-30 minutes. Eating weed results in effects after 30 minutes and they can last for hours. This can lead to confusion as people who normally smoke weed think something is wrong and eat too much of the brownie in an effort to overcompensate for the delayed effect of the drug.

The same scenario has played out over and over across the country: People consuming much higher doses of THC than anticipated end up intoxicated with high heart rates, slurred speech, anxiety and paranoia. These patients won’t die from a weed overdose, but such an unpleasant and scary experience is entirely avoidable.

As a country, we are in a difficult spot — and it’s largely of our own making. We have 33 states and the District of Columbia with medical cannabis policies and 11 states and D.C. with legalized recreational cannabis policies; more states are not far behind. There is no turning back the forces of increasingly liberal cannabis policies. But increasing legal access to weed does not and should not imply that weed is risk-free.

There are two key steps that we can take to achieve this. First, we need sensible, evidence-based education on weed for all stakeholders, including young people and health care professionals, to bridge the gap between the science of cannabis and public perception. Canada has done a commendable job in this area. Second, we have to work diligently to advance the science at a rate and scale that matches the incredible level of interest in weed products right now. The National Institutes of Health funds the bulk of this research, while states and companies that are profiting from weed products have, for most part, failed to contribute.

Ultimately, just because something is Iegal doesn’t mean we should use it whenever, however and with whomever we want. It’s a lesson we’ve learned the hard way with alcohol and cigarettes, among other products. Let’s not make the same mistakes here.

Guide: How To Dab CBD – Yahoo Finance

WeedMaps News‚ Tyler Koslow, provided exclusively to Benzinga Cannabis.” data-reactid=”18″>By WeedMaps News Tyler Koslow, provided exclusively to Benzinga Cannabis.

As a cannabis concentrate enthusiast, I’ll be honest with you: The first time I took a dab of cannabidiol (CBD) it felt strange, almost sacrilegious in light of the potent THC-heavy sauces, badders, waxes, and shatters that I typically consume.

As any seasoned dabber knows, a fat dab is typically followed by immense anticipation for the oncoming high. But after I took my first-ever CBD dab, the resulting effect felt more akin to a lazy river than a THC-infused roller coaster, sending me down a strangely relaxing and fuzzy stream void of any intoxication. 

On the flip side, the process of holding a torch and inhaling super-potent concentrates might seem intimidating to the cannabis newbie, and the stigma that dabbing is needlessly intense may prevent some from harnessing the full potential that concentrated CBD has to offer. 

type of dab rig you’d use for THC extracts.  ” data-reactid=”22″>You might think dabbing is strictly for hardcore stoners seeking the highest of highs, but some medical patients and consumers could actually benefit from dabbing CBD concentrates to obtain therapeutic relief. The medical and adult-use market are flush with diverse CBD concentrate products, which can be consumed using the same type of dab rig you’d use for THC extracts.  

terpenes while removing undesirable plant matter. Many extraction processes used to extract CBD are similar to those utilized to produce high-THC concentrates. This means that CBD concentrates can come in many textures, some of which may be better-suited for your needs than others. ” data-reactid=”24″>CBD concentrates are hemp-derived or marijuana-derived cannabis products made using an extraction process that retains cannabinoids and terpenes while removing undesirable plant matter. Many extraction processes used to extract CBD are similar to those utilized to produce high-THC concentrates. This means that CBD concentrates can come in many textures, some of which may be better-suited for your needs than others. 

The process for making THC and CBD concentrates isn’t all that different. Many of the textures available for THC concentrates are also available for CBD concentrates. Here are a few examples you might see on a dispensary menu:

  • CBD Isolate: CBD isolate comes in the form of a crystalline solid or powder, and typically contains 99% pure CBD. Following the use of an extraction process to remove all the active compounds from the cannabis plant, the remaining extract undergoes a refinement process that eliminates THC and all other phytocannabinoids, resulting in the purest available form of CBD.
  • CBD Extract: Unlike CBD isolate, this oily CBD extract contains a full spectrum of cannabinoids and terpenes present in the cannabis plant. CBD extract should first be winterized to remove fats and other plant matter from the concentrate before it can be dabbed. 
  • Terpsolate: Terpsolate is commonly used to describe CBD isolate that is combined with liquid terpenes after the extraction process. 
  • Shatter: CBD concentrates can also come in the shatter form, extracted in the slab form and infused with terpenes. 
  • Crumble: CBD crumble comes in a malleable texture that tends to break apart when handled. To make this concentrate, the oils are purged after the extraction process, creating a substance that has a crumbly consistency. 
  • Wax: This term is used to describe concentrates that have a sticky, waxy form. For both CBD and THC, wax concentrates can be produced from full-spectrum and isolate extraction methods.

Cannabidiol (CBD) isolate, in which all other cannabinoids and terpenes have been removed to leave an end product that is at least 99% pure CBD, is one form of the non-intoxicating cannabinoid that can be dabbed. (Gina Coleman/Weedmaps)

The actual process of dabbing CBD concentrate isn’t much different than the way you’d consume THC-heavy concentrates. Dabbing both CBD and THC requires the same tools, including the dab rig, butane torch, and dab tool to drop the concentrate into the nail or banger. 

Where the real difference lies is in the effects of CBD dabs. Dabbing THC-heavy concentrates will bring on a stoned feeling almost immediately after consumption, but CBD does not cause any intoxicating effects. Instead, when my colleagues and I dabbed CBD, we felt a sense of calmness and relaxation. 

Here’s a step-by-step process on how to effectively dab CBD:

  1. Once situated with your dab rig and CBD concentrate, heat up the nail with a butane torch until the surface is glowing red. 
  2. Similar to the process of dabbing THC, the amount of time you need to wait to dab CBD is dependent on the thickness and material of your banger or nail. The optimal temperature for dabbing CBD lies somewhere around 320-356 degrees Fahrenheit, or 160-180 degrees Celsius, as higher temperature will destroy the terpenes if they are present in the concentrate. As a general rule, it usually takes 20 seconds to heat the nail and 60 seconds for it to cool, but this can vary depending on the material and thickness of the nail. You can use either a stopwatch or you can download a specialized app for your mobile device to keep track of time and ensure you take your dab at the right time. 
  3. Using the dab tool, place the CBD concentrate on the surface of the nail and slowly inhale the vapor. Continue to inhale to ensure that you consume a majority of the vaporized concentrate. If available, place a carb cap over the nail to trap the heat and better vaporize the concentrate. 
  4. Exhale the vapor immediately.
  5. After finishing the dab, clean the nail to remove all leftover residue. Let the nail cool down and wipe up the inside of the nail with a cotton swab. You can dip the cotton swab in isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol and rub it along the interior of the nail. 

The preparation and process of dabbing CBD takes a fair amount of effort, not to mention the need for a dab rig, butane torch, and other accessories such as caps and dab tools. You might be wondering why someone would go out of their way to dab CBD. Are there certain benefits to this uncommon method of consumption?    

On a Reddit subreddit called DailyDabbers, a forum posted on August 2017 about dabbing yielded some interesting responses from the social media platform’s vast community. Reddit users who dab CBD reported positive effects, including a calming and relaxing effect, along with less anxiety. 

“So far I’m really liking it. When I dab pure CBD I notice relaxation, and my anxiety lessens. When I mix dabs and CBD I notice that the high feels way chiller, and the come down is less exhausting,” one user reported.

One of the primary benefits of dabbing CBD is that the therapeutic, calming effects can be felt within minutes of consumption. This makes dabbing an effective option for those seeking immediate relief, especially when compared with oral application, the most common method of CBD consumption.

Although dropping CBD oil in your mouth or eating an edible are among the easiest and quickest way to consume CBD, ingestion prevents CBD from immediately entering the bloodstream, sending it instead through the digestive tract and eventually onto the liver, where it is broken down before finally reaching the bloodstream. 

Certain CBD concentrates also give consumers and patients that ability to directly experience and taste the flavorful terpenes and other plant compounds that may not be present in CBD oil. 

Keep in mind that some high-CBD concentrates may also contain intoxicating levels of THC. If you wish to avoid THC, dabbing pure CBD isolate is an ideal alternative. On the contrary, evidence also suggests that cannabinoids and terpenes also have a combined entourage effect, working together to produce a greater effect than if used separately. Therefore, dabbing CBD extracts retaining other cannabis compounds may be more beneficial.