Inside | Real news, curated by real humans
Inside Cannabis

Inside Cannabis (Sep 3rd, 2019)

1. Two underground THC vape ‘brands’ have identified links to the ongoing mystery lung illness. Friday’s Centers for Disease Control update says the still-unexplained condition has now affected 215 vape users in 25 states, and that THC vapes had been used “in many cases” (though not all). Rolling Stone has identified an underground cannabis oil brand called West Coast Carts used by one California victim, and last week Inverse discovered that a fake brand called Dank Vapes was used by a Wisconsin victim. Both are underground companies with no identifiable ownership whose products are sold on the black market, but internet sleuths are hunting out and posting pictures of Dank Vapes packaging. — LEAFLY 

  • Email gray
  • Permalink gray

2. A dubious study claiming cannabis is safe for pregnant women is picking up social media traction. There may be some wisdom in the surgeon general’s new crusade against marijuana use among pregnant women. An obscure 25-year-old study claiming Jamaican women who smoked marijuana had more alert babies has seen a sudden uptick of shares on social media in the past two months. This despite the fact that the study’s federal funding was cut off, and that its results have never been duplicated. The online shares have not been from the medical community, but from bloggers and social media accounts, and website metrics analysis indicate it’s been seen by as many as a million viewers.  — SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN  

  • Email gray
  • Permalink gray

3. Biochemists are trying to engineer cannabinoids without growing the cannabis plant. Canadian giants Canopy Growth and Zanavis have both embarked on projects to create “lab-grown” cannabinoid molecules that would make growing the plant itself unnecessary. Scientists say biomanufacturing the active ingredients would be far more efficient and consistent and create the potential for little-known and hard-to-extract cannabinoids like CBG and THCV. But as the journal Nature notes, the federal illegality of cannabis ensures that no one can get a U.S. patent for any of these inventions. — NATURE 

  • Email gray
  • Permalink gray

4. Seth Rogen is hosting a marijuana-themed charity benefit for Alzheimer's research. The star of cult comedies “Pineapple Express” and “Superbad” announced the one-day live event Charity for Hilarity County Fair, a follow-up to his 2018 Netflix special that also raised money for Alzheimer’s research. It’s unclear how cannabis will be involved in the event scheduled for Sept. 14 in Los Angeles, but the online promo video does make notable mention of “weed.” Rogen has testified before a Senate committee on Alzheimer’s research, and his mother-in-law has the disease. — MARIJUANA MOMENT

  • Email gray
  • Permalink gray

5. Another High Times Cup event went badly, with overcrowding and lack of water and food. The magazine’s recent Oklahoma Cannabis Cup admitted more than double the number of expected guests, and attendees complained on social media of hours-long lines, little or no available water, and mudslide conditions with no ADA access. But at least it wasn’t canceled last-minute, as was the case with recent High Times events in Sacramento and Humboldt County. — TULSA WORLD

  • Email gray
  • Permalink gray

6. Four Michigan products have been recalled from shelves over pesticides and contaminants. Medical cannabis products from RSO, Glue-Buds, Savage Signature, and  Platinum Vapes have been pulled from dispensaries for showing unsafe levels of pesticides and heavy metals. — MLIVE 

  • Email gray
  • Permalink gray

7. Half of Hawaii’s first hemp crop was destroyed for high THC levels. Farmers are still struggling to produce hemp with less than the legal limit of 0.3 percent THC, and Aloha State farmers say that hemp seeds from other states produce more THC than they would elsewhere because of Hawaii’s unique climate. — ASSOCIATED PRESS 

  • Email gray
  • Permalink gray

8. Feds have granted $250,000 to fight pesticides in cannabis. The National Science Foundation grant to startup Brooklyn Biosciences will not actually study the cannabis plant, but instead how to detoxify pesticides found in marijuana plants, wine grapes, and other high-value crops. — EUREKA ALERT 

  • Email gray
  • Permalink gray

9. Thailand no longer classifies cannabis or hemp as narcotics. The southeast Asian country had only allowed hospitals and research facilities to handle cannabis, but has loosened restrictions so businesses and investors can develop medical cannabis products. — BANGKOK POST 

  • Email gray
  • Permalink gray

10. New York state hemp farms have increased from 60 to 20,000 acres in three years. The state Department of Agriculture and Markets had previously limited hemp farming to academic institutions, but nearly 500 private farmers have been granted licenses and are now growing. — BUFFALO NEWS 

  • Email gray
  • Permalink gray

Joe Kukura has been the cannabis writer for SF Weekly since 2016, and his work has appeared in Thrillist, the Daily Dot, and NBC Bay Area. You can follow him on Twitter at @ExercisingDrunk.

Edited by: Kim Lyons (Pittsburgh-based journalist and managing editor at Inside).

  • Email gray

Subscribe to Inside Cannabis