Cannabis industry booming, but companies left out of coronavirus stimulus – San Francisco Chronicle

The cannabis industry has soared during the initial wave of the coronavirus pandemic, but the next stage may be more difficult to navigate as the companies are not eligible for federal assistance.

Since plants containing more than 0.3% THC are classified as Schedule 1 drugs, cannabis businesses have been left out of the $2 trillion stimulus package, are barred from Small Business Administration-funded loans and anticipate problems with some employee benefits.

“We find it extremely disturbing that, even in a time of national crisis, the cannabis industry is still not recognized for the value we bring to our communities by federal authorities,” said Kevin Reed, the president of the Green Cross in San Francisco’s Excelsior neighborhood. “The state of California has deemed cannabis business as essential, but the federal government will not support our efforts by providing much-needed assistance to our staff and their families. Rest assured that the Green Cross will do everything we can to make up for our staff’s inability to access these crucial benefits. They are putting their lives on the line to provide essential services to patients throughout the country, and they should be recognized for their efforts during this time.

“We are all taxpaying citizens who should be treated with the same dignity and respect as other essential workers.”

Reed praised San Francisco Mayor London Breed and California Gov. Gavin Newsom for deeming the cannabis industry “essential” during the state’s stay-at-home order, and the market appears to agree.

According to Jane Technologies, a cannabis e-commerce service for local dispensaries like Airfield, Apothecarium and Harborside, cannabis sales are skyrocketing.

The average Bay Area store has increased revenue by 52% from January, and new-user ordering has jumped online 142% since February. In the past week, pickup-only sales have increased 52%, and delivery sales have risen 46%.

Harborside, with four stores and $60 million in annual revenues, has seen sales leap by about 25% during the month. Still, there’s always an eye on what’s next.

“Because of the remaining federal issues with decriminalization, we did not expect to be considered for (federal) assistance. The fact, that at this time, we remain open for business as an essential service, means we at Harborside are not in need,” CEO Peter Bilodeau said in a statement. “Nonetheless, we look forward to, and will continue to tirelessly work toward, the day where legal businesses in the cannabis industry are treated fairly and equally to all other industries.”

Cannabis industry trade groups penned a joint letter to Congress urging lawmakers to give their state-legal businesses the same protections as others.

Dale Gieringer is the director of California NORML (National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws). He said he believes that state-level unemployment insurance will continue to provide benefits to laid-off cannabis workers and federal funds could be transferred for states’ considerations.

But much of it is still unclear.

“This is just one of many examples of how the cannabis industry is discriminated against under federal law: lack of legal banking, no business expense deductions, ineligibility for SBA loans, etc.,” Gieringer said. “All because cannabis remains a federally illegal Schedule 1 substance.

“No relief can be expected until cannabis is reclassified as a legal substance.”

Rusty Simmons is a San Francisco Chronicle staff writer. Email: rsimmons@sfchronicle.com Twitter: @Rusty_SFChron

FDA Report Brings Hope For CBD Dietary Supplements – Food, Drugs, Healthcare, Life Sciences – United States – Mondaq News Alerts

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In response to a recent directive from Congress, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has released a report that describes „the agency’s progress toward obtaining and analyzing data to help determine a policy of enforcement discretion and the process in which CBD meeting the definition of hemp will be evaluated for use in products.” The report outlines a variety of actions taken or being considered by the FDA to advance the potential regulatory pathways for CBD.

Reiterating many of its long-standing positions, the FDA stood firm and expressed its primary concern for consumer safety and lack of scientific data on CBD products. The report maintains the FDA’s hands-off approach to CBD in cosmetics and does little to advance the agency’s stance on CBD in human and animal drugs and foods. But, for perhaps the first time, the FDA signaled a policy shift and potential regulatory pathway for CBD in dietary supplements.

Recognizing its authority to create an exemption through rulemaking that would allow CBD products to be sold as dietary supplements, the FDA will continue evaluating the differences between full-spectrum and broad-spectrum products compared with isolate products. This shift hints at a regulatory pathway that the industry has suspected for some time.

Safety Concerns Remain the Priority

The FDA continues to highlight its concern over the potential safety risks of using CBD, including risks associated with liver injury, drug interactions, drowsiness that may affect driving, and potential male reproductive toxicity. Also of concern are the long-term effects of using CBD, cumulative exposure and use by vulnerable populations such as children, the elderly and women who are pregnant or lactating.

Essential questions include: What happens if you use CBD daily for sustained periods of time? What level of intake triggers the known risks associated with CBD? How do different methods of exposure affect intake, such as oral consumption, topical use or vaping? What is the effect of CBD on the developing brain?

The FDA’s Position on CBD in Drugs, Food and Cosmetics Remains Unchanged

The FDA has not changed – and almost certainly will not change – its position with respect to the use of CBD as a drug. Under the Food, Drug and Cosmetics Act’s drug exclusion rule, once a substance that was never in the food supply is (1) an active ingredient of an approved drug product or (2) an active ingredient of a product in clinical trials that have been made public, a food or supplement containing that substance cannot be shipped in interstate commerce.

The FDA has cited Epidiolex® as an example of a clinical investigation regarding CBD that has been made public. Epidiolex was approved by the FDA in June 2018 for treatment of childhood seizures associated with two rare forms of epilepsy. The Agency has therefore concluded that CBD products are in fact drugs and require FDA approval.

The FDA again maintains a strong position that CBD cannot lawfully be added to human or animal food because „the data currently available to FDA raise safety concerns about the use of CBD in food.” The report encourages the continued development and sharing of information with the FDA „regarding whether there are conditions under which CBD could safely be added to food.”

The report does not materially change the FDA’s position with respect to CBD in cosmetic products. The agency has stated previously that although certain cosmetic ingredients are prohibited or restricted by regulation, „currently that is not the case for any cannabis or cannabis-derived ingredients.”

Nevertheless, the FDA warns that no ingredient − including cannabis-derived ingredients – can be used in a cosmetic if „it causes the product to be adulterated or misbranded.” A cosmetic may be considered adulterated „if it bears or contains any poisonous or deleterious substance that may render it injurious to users under the conditions of use prescribed in the labeling.”

The FDA also cautions that a product may be considered both a cosmetic and a drug − even if it affects the appearance − if it is „intended to affect the structure or function of the body, or to diagnose, cure, mitigate, treat or prevent disease.”

The report states that the FDA is aware of only limited data on CBD when used topically. The FDA points to some animal studies that provide information on the skin permeability of CBD cream or gel, but notes that clinical evidence of safety is lacking. The agency has initiated a research study to evaluate CBD and THC levels in a sample of cosmetic products to assess sensitization and dermal penetration.

The FDA Anticipates Rulemaking for Allowing CBD in Dietary Supplements

Though CBD products cannot be marketed lawfully as dietary supplements, the FDA is considering using its authority to create an exemption through its rulemaking process. The report cautions that the FDA is considering how potential CBD rulemaking may impact the agency’s ability to provide effective oversight not only for CBD products but also for other types of dietary supplements.

For example, the FDA lacks clear authority to require dietary supplement companies to disclose what products they are making and selling to consumers. There also is concern that expanding the FDA’s responsibility to include a large number of new products will impact the agency’s overall workload and the prioritization of CBD over other dietary supplements. The report nevertheless outlines several „additional next steps” that may facilitate this rulemaking, discussed below.

Vape Products

The FDA deftly sidesteps its lack of regulatory authority over CBD vape products. The report acknowledges that the FDA has no regulatory oversight over some products containing CBD that fall outside its jurisdiction „even to address potentially serious matters of public health and safety.” The report identifies certain public health questions with vaping CBD, including toxicity concerns as well as the potential use by children and other vulnerable populations.

The FDA affirms that it will regulate CBD-containing vape products that meet the definition of „tobacco products,” which cannot be marketed without FDA premarket authorization. Left unsaid in the report, however, is the fact that the vast majority of CBD vape products do not contain tobacco or nicotine, such that they are not currently regulated by the FDA. For these products, the report merely concludes that „more safety data and research are needed on this route of administration and potential applications for local and systemic effects.”

Additional Next Steps

The FDA identifies several „additional next steps” relating to its enforcement policy, including the need for additional safety information, further engagement with other regulatory partners, evaluation of full-spectrum and broad-spectrum hemp extracts, new research and CBD product sampling.

Enforcement Policy

The report confirms that the „FDA has been actively monitoring the CBD market for violative products that pose the greatest risk to consumers.” This includes products being marketed with unsubstantiated therapeutic claims, as well as products that put the public at risk in other ways, such as through contamination, incorrect statements about the amount of CBD and products marketed for use by vulnerable populations such as children.

With regard to possible changes to its enforcement policy, the report states that the „FDA is currently evaluating issuance of a risk-based enforcement policy that would provide greater transparency and clarity regarding factors FDA intends to take into account in prioritizing enforcement decisions.”

Distinguishing Full-Spectrum and Broad-Spectrum Hemp Extracts from CBD Isolate Products

For the first time, the FDA has stated publicly that it intends to evaluate whether „full-spectrum” or „broad-spectrum” hemp extracts should be treated differently than other CBD products, including those that contain highly concentrated CBD isolate. See our recent article on this topic, „Uncertainty Surrounds Legality of Different CBD Forms.”

The FDA report states:

Products that are being marketed with such terms can vary widely in their characteristics, but our understanding is that such terms generally are intended to convey that the product is not a CBD isolate, and that the products contain other substances extracted from the plants. At the same time, we are aware that many products currently marketed as „full-spectrum” or „broad-spectrum” hemp extracts may contain very high concentrations of CBD, and may be derived from varieties of the hemp plant that have been selected specifically for their high CBD content.

The FDA is actively seeking information regarding the manufacturing processes for full- and broad-spectrum hemp products and how they compare with CBD isolate products. „Such information will be critical to informing our evaluation of the regulatory status of such products.”

Receipt of Safety Information; Further Collaboration, Research and Product Sampling

To facilitate receipt of additional product-specific information, the FDA is reopening indefinitely the docket established as part of its May 2019 public meeting in order to have a central publicly accessible place to receive new information.

The FDA also will collaborate with state and local regulators, other federal agencies and foreign regulatory counterparts to share information on cannabis-derived compounds, including CBD. In addition, the FDA continues to pursue additional research into CBD products, including studying CBD exposure during pregnancy and the use of CBD in cosmetic products, among other studies.

The report also explains that Congress has instructed the FDA to perform a sampling study of the current CBD marketplace „to determine the extent to which products are mislabeled or adulterated.” The agency will report the results of its sampling study to Congress within 180 days. This inevitably recognizes the proliferation of CBD products in the marketplace and the extent to which bad actors could harm consumers. When the FDA last randomly sampled CBD products in 2015, just 2 of the 24 products sampled contained the amount of CBD claimed on the label.

The Takeaway

While the FDA is firmly entrenched in its position regarding CBD in foods and beverages, it has finally expressed a clear intent to create a viable regulatory pathway for CBD as a dietary supplement. The new report clearly indicates a desire by the agency to strike a balance between consumer demand and concerns over safety.

Whereas many have been frustrated by a perceived lack of action on the part of the FDA, this report lays out several concrete steps that may pave the way for CBD as a dietary supplement through FDA rulemaking. These steps include a focus on obtaining safety and use data on specific CBD products, completion of research studies already under way and conducting a sampling study on CBD products to help prevent product mislabeling and adulteration.

The FDA’s report has been issued amid other signs that CBD policy is advancing in the United States and abroad. FDA’s newly appointed commissioner, Stephen Hahn, acknowledged on February 26, 2020, that CBD products are here to stay. „People are using these products. We’re not going to be able to say you can’t use these products. It’s a fool’s game to try to even approach that.”

Commissioner Hahn further recognized that „We have to be open to the fact that there might be some value in these products and certainly Americans think that’s the case. But we want to get them information to help them make the right decisions.”

New guidance on CBD products also has been issued in the United Kingdom by its Food Standards Agency (FSA). This guidance allows current CBD products to remain on the shelves but requires businesses to submit novel food authorization applications by March 31, 2021. After that date, only products for which the FSA has a valid application will be allowed to remain on the market. The guidance should facilitate the availability of regulated CBD products in the United Kingdom.

The World Health Organization (WHO) also recently weighed in on CBD products, emphasizing that CBD is not subject to control under the 1961 Single Convention because it „shows no potential for abuse or dependence and any ill-effects are minimal.” In its January 31, 2020, report for the United Nations Commission on Narcotic Drugs, WHO stated that it was „aware that CBD products, such as foods, are being sold in many countries,” and that „Member States can regulate its availability using their own national legislation.”

Those who wish to see movement toward a regulatory pathway for CBD in the United States should take encouragement from the FDA’s report to Congress. Given that the agency moves notoriously slowly in its regulation of drugs, food and supplements, there appears to be good progress made since public hearings were held by the FDA in May 2019. All eyes are now on the results of the FDA’s CBD product sampling study, which is due to be reported to Congress by June 20, 2020.

This article appeared in the March 16, 2020, edition of Law360.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

CBD Benefits of Oil Drops or Topical CBD Creams | Latest World News – Breaking News & Top Stories – Byte Bell

CBD Benefits of Oil Drops or Topical CBD Creams

As far as CBD is concerned, there has been a huge amount of hype about it in the media, online, and in just about every other platform that you can think of.  But even with all of the attention that CBD has been getting in the past couple of years, there is still a ton of confusion about what it is and exactly what it can help you do.

When it comes to CBD creams and oils, they are going to be the two most common and popular forms of CBD to date.  Because of this, here is everything that you need to know about these two particular products. What makes that special, is that once you have all of the facts about both forms of CBD, you will then be able to make a very informed decision about whether or not you are going to start taking them.   

To find out more info, check out NanocraftCBD.Com Learn More.

CBD for Maximum Pain Relief

Also referred to as cannabidiol, CBD is going to be the second most popular cannabinoid that is derived from the marijuana plant.  In fact, it is going to actually rank right below THC (which is also referred to as tetrahydrocannabinol). What makes CBD distinct and unique though, is the fact that unlike THC, there are going to be no intoxicating effects when it comes to CBD, no matter how much you take.  Essentially, CBD is going to give you all of the health and wellness effects, but without the psychoactive feeling of being ‘high’.

As if that weren’t enough, CBD has also shown that it has a wide multitude of other medical benefits as well.  This is because CBD is going to affect your body’s endocannabinoid system, which is more commonly referred to as ECS.  This is going to be the system that is in charge of naturally producing cannabinoids all by itself, which are referred to as endocannabinoids.  

What makes this important is the fact that your ECS is going to be responsible for helping some of your body processes, which include pain control, sleep regulation, and multiple immune system responses, have some very positive benefits.  What this means is that CBD is going to be able to help you relieve several different symptoms that you may be suffering from, some of which include:

  • Inflammation
  • Insomnia
  • Pain
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Muscle spasms
  • Muscle soreness
  • Arthritis and general join pain
  • Cramping
  • Inflammation
  • Tendonitis
  • Menstrual cramps
  • Migraines and headaches

When it comes to CBD, there are going to be many different symptoms that it can be used for to help alleviate.  However, there is still going to be much more research that is going to need to be done in order to fully understand exactly how this miracle compound is able to provide such a wide range of different health and wellness symptoms.  Essentially, without more research, it is never going to be known exactly how and why CBD is able to provide so many health and wellness benefits, or how many different symptoms that it can actually help with.  

Hand Sanitizer: Pure Bloom CBD Launches new line in response to COVID-19 outbreak – Yahoo Finance

MARIN, Calif., March 27, 2020 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ — Known for bridging the gap between wellness and beauty through her Pure Bloom CBD Skincare line, Wendy May Real has launched a new hand sanitizer in response to the COVID-19 outbreak.

As hand washing and arm bumping become the new norm, the niche hand sanitizer market will continue to expand during the next several months even in the absence of the COVID-19 virus. However, this pandemic has spotlighted the importance of practicing good hygiene. Future forecasts suggest this trend will continue to increase and the personal care category will significantly expand. This new, category-defining personal care product combines the antiseptic power of 80% certified organic ethyl alcohol with the skin hydrating benefits of full spectrum CBD, cold-pressed hemp seed oil and vegetable-derived glycerin to leave your hands feeling soft and nourished after every use. 

As with any new product release, consumers will have questions: Will the CBD molecules interact with the ethyl alcohol (ethanol) or make it less effective as an antiseptic to kill germs and bacteria? No, CBD molecules nor the other ingredients decrease the efficacy of the antiseptic or other chemical properties of the ethyl alcohol.    

Does ethyl alcohol (ethanol) degrade (breakdown) the CBD molecules causing them to be less effective? No, the ethanol doesn’t degrade, change or impact the effectiveness of CBD, other cannabinoids or other ingredients. Additionally, ethanol is a well-known topical penetration enhancer, which means it can be used to increase the transdermal delivery of skin-loving ingredients directly into the skin including CBD molecules.

The new sanitizer comes in two calming scents. Blissful Bloom is unique proprietary floral blend of intoxicating aromatic flowers formulated to provide stress relief, balance and a soothing calm. Calming Citrus provides versatile scents of citrus fruits are known to be calming and uplifting during times of stress and anxiety.

Pure Bloom CBD is also doing it’s part to give back financially during the Coronavirus Crisis. The company will be donating a portion of profits to local organizations supporting vulnerable women, families and elderly patients who need food assistance and direct relief during this time.

Wendy May Real cares about giving back to the community, she cares about what goes into her products. The brand new hand sanitizers include Organic Ethyl Alcohol, a powerful antiseptic. This formula contains 80% certified organic ethyl alcohol (ethanol) making it 99.9% effective against most common germs and bacteria. Although effective as a sanitizing ingredient, ethyl alcohol can also strip the skin of vital nutrients and natural oils, thus having a dehydrating effect on the skin. But, this „good alcohol” is also a well-known topical penetration enhancer, which means it can be used to increase the transdermal delivery and absorption of skin-loving ingredients into the skin including CBD molecules.

She also uses Full Spectrum CBD Hemp Extract – Exclusively made with 25 mg of Full Spectrum CBD Hemp Extract sourced from USDA certified organic hemp that won’t make you high.  This multi-tasking molecule is known for its powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties; thus helping to calm inflammation, eliminate redness, soothe dehydrated skin and restore skin nutrition. It can also promote sensory calming and relaxation during times of stress, uncertainty and anxiousness. Another ingredient is Organic Hemp Seed Oil – This highly concentrated, cold-pressed oil is rich in potent antioxidants, vitamins A & E and the ultimate skin hydrators, omegas 3, 6 and 9. This lightweight oil reduces inflammation, hydrates and regulates normal oil production in the skin.

The product also includes Vegetable-Derived Glycerin – Derived from plant oils, this humectant is known for its ability to draw water into the outer layers of the skin and form a protective layer on the skin’s surface, helping to retain moisture and keep harmful chemicals & environmental elements out of the skin. This powerhouse ingredient also helps to repair and regenerate skin cells promoting cellular healing in deeper layers of the skin.  

http://www.getpurebloom.com.” data-reactid=”26″>Consumers can find the product online and store shelves. Good Earth Natural Market is currently carrying the new hand sanitizer in stores and several others are set to follow suit. In the meantime, visit http://www.getpurebloom.com.

More About Pure Bloom CBD: This female-founded company began with a singular goal in mind: to create luxury CBD products of impeccable quality, purity and efficacy for the responsibly CBD curious and ingredient conscious consumer. Pure Bloom only uses pure, strategically sourced, performance-driven ingredients, including organic hemp from their family farm and certified organic botanicals. Each formulation uniquely created using proprietary technology, extraction and manufacturing techniques in compliant manufacturing facilities to provide a luxury line of plant-based therapeutic wellness and beauty products you can trust from seed to shelf.

 

SOURCE Pure Bloom CBD

CBD Co. Can’t Shake Topical Cream Maker’s Trade Secret Suit – Law360

Law360 (March 27, 2020, 6:35 PM EDT) — A CBD brand has lost its bid to kill a suit claiming it was part of a conspiracy to steal a formula for a hemp-based topical cream, with a Florida federal judge ruling the cream maker’s claims of trade secret theft are strong enough to go forward.

U.S. District Judge Donald M. Middlebrooks said Thursday that Healthcare Resources Management Group LLC could go ahead with its suit against Medterra CBD, despite Medterra’s contention that Healthcare Resources hadn’t sufficiently alleged that Medterra stole the formula for the topical cream.

„Medterra’s continued use of plaintiff’s trade secret qualifies as misappropriation because Medterra uses…

This New York CBD company’s quarantine care packages raise money for CityMeals – Time Out New York

Seeing that we all need a little TLC right now, one New York City-based CBD company is offering a care package that not only aims to bring some comfort to quarantined New Yorkers but feed elderly residents who can’t go out for groceries.

Sojen Inc., a CBD company „for working professionals,” is selling a „Positivity Pack” with quarantine essentials and will donate all the profits to CityMeals on Wheels.

The package, which is listed at $129, aims to provide items that reduce anxiety for people staying inside. It comes with a one-month supply of Sojen Refocus CBD Tincture; one full-sized 15-pound weighted blanket from Luna; one vibrant Zebra Haworthia desk plant from Desk Plants; and one eight-pack sampler of Sparkling Tea from SOUND.

Sojen positivity pack

Photograph: Courtesy Sojen Inc.

According to Andrew Vuu, the chief operating officer of Sojen Inc., purchasing one pack would pay for one day of meals for three elderly New Yorkers.

„Being a New York based company and seeing how this pandemic has affected the city that we love so much, we wanted to do what we could to support the community here,” he said. „For us, that meant partnering with like-minded brands to send positivity to people who are hunkered down in their homes and to support the elderly community that’s been disproportionately impacted by what’s going on.”

As of Tuesday, March 23, CityMeals has delivered 150,000 emergency meals to older New Yorkers across the five boroughs and is preparing and delivering an additional 300,000 to meet demand. It has had to double its warehouse staff and relies on hundreds of volunteers to pack boxes and bags for deliveries.

Find out more ways to help older residents here.

A Complete Guide on CBD Flower – SF Weekly

CBD oil is becoming a popular hemp extract for its potential benefits. But these days, most people prefer to use CBD flowers for their desirable effects like pain relief and relaxation. So here we have a guide on CBD flowers, and you can learn all about them and where to buy CBD flowers.

1.    What is the CBD flower?

CBD flowers are taken directly from the hemp plant, and these flower buds contain the same beneficial terpenes and cannabinoids found within other CBD products. But CBD flowers are different from many other CBD products as they are directly trimmed from the help stalks without any additional purification or manufacturing.

2.    Is it Legal?

In the past few years, CBD flowers are legal in the U.S as long as it contains 0.2 percent of THC. Recently Farm Bill legalized hemp as an agricultural crop, therefore, making CBD flowers legal as well. Many other cannabis plants may produce buds with low THC concentrations and high CBD, but they are not considered legal since they are extracted from marijuana cannabis strains.

3.    Do They Get You High?

Industrial hemp strain has a naturally low THC level. This means that its flowers also contain a low amount of THC. These plants produce rich CBD buds that will not create any high effects that are commonly associated with THC.

4.    Best CBD Flower Companies to Buy Online

As compared to CBD oil and many other CBD products, there are a lot more challenges facing the distribution and selling of CBD flowers. For this, there is not a big market to buy CBD flowers for people who prefer to smoke it. In simple words, there are fewer suppliers to meet demand. But here we have found some best company that sell CBD flowers:

Serene Tree

Those who are looking for high-quality hemp flowers at a reasonable price, Serene Tree, is an affordable brand with its best quality of CBD flowers. They believe in marinating the standard of their CBD products, and you can even find lab test results for their hemp flowers.

5.    How Do You Use CBD Flowers?

Hemp smoking is the preferred method of using CBD flowers, especially for those who are on their recovery way and looking for relaxation without getting high. Many users use CBD cigarettes or pre-rolled joints made from hemp flowers, and many others like to buy buds to smoke on their own terms.

6.    Benefits of CBD Flower

Like CBD oil, CBD flowers are believed to have many medical benefits. One can use CBD hemp flowers to alleviate anxiety, chronic pain, insomnia, depression and stress, and many more. Some studies have shown that CBD flower helps with reducing stress, it Anti-inflammatory properties work to cure pain, and also have potential neuroprotective properties.

CBD flower is beneficial in many ways, and its advantages are appealing, but it is important to note that inhaling anything except oxygen can harm your lungs. So whenever you go for it, make sure to consult a doctor and don’t go for high quantities to avoid its side effects.

Experts Warn of COVID-19 CBD Scammers – L.A. Weekly

There will always be those looking to take advantage of dark times, and the people pushing their cannabis products as a COVID-19 cure or reliever definitely fall into that category. 

Over the past couple of weeks, the nation’s oldest cannabis reform organization NORML has twice warned consumers about shady companies looking to take advantage of the crisis currently unfolding across the globe. Los Angeles County Public Health officials announced there are now 1,465 cases of COVID-19 in L.A., and the death toll has risen to 26 as of early Friday afternoon. 

NORML first warned consumers about scammers last week. In an email going over organizational efforts to continue advocacy through telecommuting and best practices for consumers, executive director Erik Altieri noted: “We also encourage everyone to remain vigilant of online misinformation (like any claims cannabis or CBD can help cure or protect against this virus) and to beware of potential scammers promoting similar claims.” 

But this would not prove enough. Unfortunately, after multiple reports of frauds at the intersection of cannabis and coronavirus, NORML had to speak more directly to the issue a week later. 

NORML told its membership in an email some predatory marketers are seeking to profit by selling coronavirus-inspired snake oil products based on unsubstantiated claims and that some of those trash heaps are explicitly targeting cannabis consumers.

“If something sounds too good to be true, it likely is. During these difficult times, we encourage people to be skeptical of any unsubstantiated claims, particularly those circulating online, surrounding the use of cannabis or any other uncorroborated treatment for COVID-19,” Altieri wrote.

We asked Altieri if it seemed like a growing problem over the last week causing NORML’s follow-up email on the subject. 

“It should be of no surprise that similar folks who had no qualms with taking advantage of patients and other concerned individuals during good times, have no problem doing so during a health crisis,” Alteri told L.A. Weekly in an email. 

Alteri admits it is hard to quantify if there is a higher volume of scams related to CBD and cannabis occurring during the COVID-19 pandemic than before, but it would seem obvious that it is even crueler now. 

“People are nervous about the state of the world and their own health, combined with social distancing and isolation, they are now more than ever seeking out answers or products that give them a sense of control and safety,” he said, “Unfortunately, answering this call for knowledge is an army of snake oil salesmen who lack any real moral center and are putting their ‘customers’ and the general public at great risk with their false promises and bogus products.”

Alteri recommends for all Americans to be skeptical of all health claims from unreputable sources and stick to getting advice from agencies like the CDC or their own health care professionals.

The Alleged Culprits

NBC KGW8 in Portland called the Oregon Attorney General’s office about advertising claims around CBD and coronavirus. The AG’s office was quick to jump on the claims as a violation of a “substantiation rule,” set to go into effect in early April that requires scientific evidence to support promotional health claims

“We were very pleased that the store was willing to remove their sandwich board sign when our investigator explained that it could be in violation of Oregon law,” Kristina Edmundson of the AG’s office told KGW8. “Unfortunately, the message is simple: There are no known cures for COVID-19. Please don’t try to sell something that suggests there are!”

The store noted to KGW8 their heart is in the right place and “we want to help people as much as we can.”

The wellness enthusiasts at HerbalAmy.com were hit with a notice from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Federal Trade Commission for improperly marketing a COVID-19 prevention package. The letter was a notice to owner Amy Weidner they had reviewed claims she made about products on her website and social media in February. 

“The FDA has determined that your website offers “Coronavirus Protocol” products (Coronavirus Boneset Tea, Coronavirus Cell Protection, Coronavirus Core tincture, Coronavirus Immune System and Elderberry Tincture) for sale in the United States and that these products are intended to mitigate, prevent, treat, diagnose or cure COVID-19 in people. FDA has determined that these products are unapproved new drugs sold in violation of section 505(a) of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act), 21 U.S.C. § 355(a),” the notice from the Feds read. 

Owner Amy Weidner issued a statement explaining the incident from her perspective. 

“FDA is very stringent on the wording we can use to describe our herbal products. We quoted a description from the inventor of this particular herbal combinations from Stephen Buhner. He is considered one of the leading experts in herbal products and developed this formula called Coronavirus Protocol. The letter we received from the FDA was simply an administrative warning that we cannot make any claims concerning herbal products. We removed the passage containing Mr Buhners description of the products and are in order to be in compliance with all FDA requirements. The quality of the product was never in doubt and we continue to service clients nationwide,” Weidner wrote on her blog. 

The Expert

Michael Backes, the author of Cannabis Pharmacy: The Practical Guide to Medical Marijuana and one of the top cannabis pharmacology minds in general, weighed in about the FDA getting involved and the actual impact of cannabis on the immune system. 

“The FDA has sent a lot of warning letters in relation to CBD,” Backes told L.A. Weekly.

He went on to note the nutraceutical industry runs into similar problems all the time around health claims. “So the nutraceutical industry, what they do is they don’t make medical claims. They make what is called structure and function claims.”

That means they can’t say chamomile tea cures insomnia but can say it promotes restful sleep. 

“These guys got in trouble because they were making a medical claim about impacting, mitigating or curing COVID-19,” Backes said of the HerbalAmy.com letter. “The FDA hates that and the FDA has gotten really good at monitoring the internet for claims on these products.”

Backes said these things are the last kind of thing you want to see from the FDA saying,” they will show up and shut you down no problem.” And they don’t make the distinction between well-intentioned hippies spreading their cures and the real charlatans.

“There are people making these claims bases on a real desire to help people and there are people making these claims to make a quick buck,” Backes said. “I don’t mind if they go after some people because there is a lot of quack crap out there when it comes to the effectiveness of CBD because the truth is not a lot of people bother to learn or figure out how CBD really works.”

Real Best Practices for Smokers

Backed noted giving your cannabinoid receptors a break for a few days can really help give your immune system a little boost because smoking cannabis slows down your first line of defense against viruses. 

“When your body gets a virus, the first thing it does is introduce interferons locally. The problem with people smoking cannabis is that they slow that response down because THC is mildly immunosuppressive,” Backes said. “So you have to be a little careful with it, you don’t want to be taking big fat dabs all day and expect your lungs to respond like the lungs of someone who wasn’t taking big fat dabs all day.”

Backes says most of your brain’s receptors completely rebuild in about 28 days, except for in the hippocampus, which plays a big part in learning and memory.

“That can take up to six months. But the interesting thing is if you take a little CBD tincture every day, people whose hair tested positive for both THC and CBD didn’t have those changes in the hippocampus,” Backes said. “It looks like CBD kind of works like a safety belt for protecting the hippocampus from those changes.”

Hedge Funds Were Buying Tenet Healthcare Corp (THC) – Yahoo Finance

Recession is Imminent: We Need A Travel Ban NOW and predicted a US recession when the S&P 500 Index was trading at the 3150 level. We also told you to short the market and buy long-term Treasury bonds. Our article also called for a total international travel ban. While we were warning you, President Trump minimized the threat and failed to act promptly. As a result of his inaction, we will now experience a deeper recession (see why hell is coming).” data-reactid=”12″>We hate to say this but, we told you so. On February 27th we published an article with the title Recession is Imminent: We Need A Travel Ban NOW and predicted a US recession when the S&P 500 Index was trading at the 3150 level. We also told you to short the market and buy long-term Treasury bonds. Our article also called for a total international travel ban. While we were warning you, President Trump minimized the threat and failed to act promptly. As a result of his inaction, we will now experience a deeper recession (see why hell is coming).

THC) is a good investment right now. We like to analyze hedge fund sentiment before conducting days of in-depth research. We do so because hedge funds and other elite investors have numerous Ivy League graduates, expert network advisers, and supply chain tipsters working or consulting for them. There is not a shortage of news stories covering failed hedge fund investments and it is a fact that hedge funds’ picks don’t beat the market 100% of the time, but their consensus picks have historically done very well and have outperformed the market after adjusting for risk.” data-reactid=”13″>In these volatile markets we scrutinize hedge fund filings to get a reading on which direction each stock might be going. Keeping this in mind, let’s take a look at whether Tenet Healthcare Corp (NYSE:THC) is a good investment right now. We like to analyze hedge fund sentiment before conducting days of in-depth research. We do so because hedge funds and other elite investors have numerous Ivy League graduates, expert network advisers, and supply chain tipsters working or consulting for them. There is not a shortage of news stories covering failed hedge fund investments and it is a fact that hedge funds’ picks don’t beat the market 100% of the time, but their consensus picks have historically done very well and have outperformed the market after adjusting for risk.

THC) shareholders have witnessed an increase in hedge fund interest of late. Our calculations also showed that THC isn’t among the 30 most popular stocks among hedge funds (click for Q4 rankings and see the video at the end of this article for Q3 rankings).” data-reactid=”14″>Tenet Healthcare Corp (NYSE:THC) shareholders have witnessed an increase in hedge fund interest of late. Our calculations also showed that THC isn’t among the 30 most popular stocks among hedge funds (click for Q4 rankings and see the video at the end of this article for Q3 rankings).

see the details here). We were also able to identify in advance a select group of hedge fund holdings that’ll significantly underperform the market. We have been tracking and sharing the list of these stocks since February 2017 and they lost 35.3% through March 3rd. That’s why we believe hedge fund sentiment is an extremely useful indicator that investors should pay attention to.” data-reactid=”15″>Hedge funds’ reputation as shrewd investors has been tarnished in the last decade as their hedged returns couldn’t keep up with the unhedged returns of the market indices. Our research was able to identify in advance a select group of hedge fund holdings that outperformed the S&P 500 ETFs by more than 41 percentage points since March 2017 (see the details here). We were also able to identify in advance a select group of hedge fund holdings that’ll significantly underperform the market. We have been tracking and sharing the list of these stocks since February 2017 and they lost 35.3% through March 3rd. That’s why we believe hedge fund sentiment is an extremely useful indicator that investors should pay attention to.

Larry Robbins of Glenview Capital

GLENVIEW CAPITAL

this one. We even check out the recommendations of services with hard to believe track records. Our best call in 2020 was shorting the market when S&P 500 was trading at 3150 after realizing the coronavirus pandemic’s significance before most investors. With all of this in mind let’s take a glance at the recent hedge fund action regarding Tenet Healthcare Corp (NYSE:THC).” data-reactid=”28″>We leave no stone unturned when looking for the next great investment idea. For example we recently identified a stock that trades 25% below the net cash on its balance sheet. We read hedge fund investor letters and listen to stock pitches at hedge fund conferences, and go through short-term trade recommendations like this one. We even check out the recommendations of services with hard to believe track records. Our best call in 2020 was shorting the market when S&P 500 was trading at 3150 after realizing the coronavirus pandemic’s significance before most investors. With all of this in mind let’s take a glance at the recent hedge fund action regarding Tenet Healthcare Corp (NYSE:THC).

What does smart money think about Tenet Healthcare Corp (NYSE:THC)?

Heading into the first quarter of 2020, a total of 34 of the hedge funds tracked by Insider Monkey held long positions in this stock, a change of 31% from the previous quarter. On the other hand, there were a total of 35 hedge funds with a bullish position in THC a year ago. So, let’s review which hedge funds were among the top holders of the stock and which hedge funds were making big moves.

Glenview Capital was the largest shareholder of Tenet Healthcare Corp (NYSE:THC), with a stake worth $750.5 million reported as of the end of September. Trailing Glenview Capital was Nantahala Capital Management, which amassed a stake valued at $98.8 million. Camber Capital Management, Cyrus Capital Partners, and Redwood Capital Management were also very fond of the stock, becoming one of the largest hedge fund holders of the company. In terms of the portfolio weights assigned to each position Nut Tree Capital allocated the biggest weight to Tenet Healthcare Corp (NYSE:THC), around 19.06% of its 13F portfolio. Cyrus Capital Partners is also relatively very bullish on the stock, setting aside 8.73 percent of its 13F equity portfolio to THC.” data-reactid=”42″>More specifically, Glenview Capital was the largest shareholder of Tenet Healthcare Corp (NYSE:THC), with a stake worth $750.5 million reported as of the end of September. Trailing Glenview Capital was Nantahala Capital Management, which amassed a stake valued at $98.8 million. Camber Capital Management, Cyrus Capital Partners, and Redwood Capital Management were also very fond of the stock, becoming one of the largest hedge fund holders of the company. In terms of the portfolio weights assigned to each position Nut Tree Capital allocated the biggest weight to Tenet Healthcare Corp (NYSE:THC), around 19.06% of its 13F portfolio. Cyrus Capital Partners is also relatively very bullish on the stock, setting aside 8.73 percent of its 13F equity portfolio to THC.

Concourse Capital Management also made a $2.9 million investment in the stock during the quarter. The other funds with new positions in the stock are Bhagwan Jay Rao’s Integral Health Asset Management, Donald Sussman’s Paloma Partners, and Michael Kharitonov and Jon David McAuliffe’s Voleon Capital.” data-reactid=”43″>With a general bullishness amongst the heavyweights, specific money managers were breaking ground themselves. Arrowstreet Capital, managed by Peter Rathjens, Bruce Clarke and John Campbell, created the most outsized position in Tenet Healthcare Corp (NYSE:THC). Arrowstreet Capital had $9.9 million invested in the company at the end of the quarter. Joseph Mathias’s Concourse Capital Management also made a $2.9 million investment in the stock during the quarter. The other funds with new positions in the stock are Bhagwan Jay Rao’s Integral Health Asset Management, Donald Sussman’s Paloma Partners, and Michael Kharitonov and Jon David McAuliffe’s Voleon Capital.

TREE), Blueprint Medicines Corporation (NASDAQ:BPMC), CarGurus, Inc. (NASDAQ:CARG), and HUYA Inc. (NYSE:HUYA). This group of stocks’ market valuations match THC’s market valuation.” data-reactid=”44″>Let’s now review hedge fund activity in other stocks – not necessarily in the same industry as Tenet Healthcare Corp (NYSE:THC) but similarly valued. We will take a look at LendingTree, Inc (NASDAQ:TREE), Blueprint Medicines Corporation (NASDAQ:BPMC), CarGurus, Inc. (NASDAQ:CARG), and HUYA Inc. (NYSE:HUYA). This group of stocks’ market valuations match THC’s market valuation.

[table] Ticker, No of HFs with positions, Total Value of HF Positions (x1000), Change in HF Position TREE,26,104147,3 BPMC,37,786766,10 CARG,33,936090,11 HUYA,21,305224,-1 Average,29.25,533057,5.75 [/table]

View table here if you experience formatting issues.” data-reactid=”46″>View table here if you experience formatting issues.

BPMC) is the most popular stock in this table. On the other hand HUYA Inc. (NYSE:HUYA) is the least popular one with only 21 bullish hedge fund positions. Tenet Healthcare Corp (NYSE:THC) is not the most popular stock in this group but hedge fund interest is still above average. This is a slightly positive signal but we’d rather spend our time researching stocks that hedge funds are piling on. Our calculations showed that top 20 most popular stocks among hedge funds returned 41.3% in 2019 and outperformed the S&P 500 ETF (SPY) by 10.1 percentage points. These stocks lost 17.4% in 2020 through March 25th but beat the market by 5.5 percentage points. Unfortunately THC wasn’t nearly as popular as these 20 stocks and hedge funds that were betting on THC were disappointed as the stock returned -52.7% during the same time period and underperformed the market. If you are interested in investing in large cap stocks with huge upside potential, you should check out the top 20 most popular stocks among hedge funds as many of these stocks already outperformed the market so far this year. Video: Click the image to watch our video about the top 5 most popular hedge fund stocks.” data-reactid=”47″>As you can see these stocks had an average of 29.25 hedge funds with bullish positions and the average amount invested in these stocks was $533 million. That figure was $1171 million in THC’s case. Blueprint Medicines Corporation (NASDAQ:BPMC) is the most popular stock in this table. On the other hand HUYA Inc. (NYSE:HUYA) is the least popular one with only 21 bullish hedge fund positions. Tenet Healthcare Corp (NYSE:THC) is not the most popular stock in this group but hedge fund interest is still above average. This is a slightly positive signal but we’d rather spend our time researching stocks that hedge funds are piling on. Our calculations showed that top 20 most popular stocks among hedge funds returned 41.3% in 2019 and outperformed the S&P 500 ETF (SPY) by 10.1 percentage points. These stocks lost 17.4% in 2020 through March 25th but beat the market by 5.5 percentage points. Unfortunately THC wasn’t nearly as popular as these 20 stocks and hedge funds that were betting on THC were disappointed as the stock returned -52.7% during the same time period and underperformed the market. If you are interested in investing in large cap stocks with huge upside potential, you should check out the top 20 most popular stocks among hedge funds as many of these stocks already outperformed the market so far this year. Video: Click the image to watch our video about the top 5 most popular hedge fund stocks.

5 Most Popular Stocks Among Hedge Funds

Insider Monkey.” data-reactid=”60″>Disclosure: None. This article was originally published at Insider Monkey.