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Inside Cannabis

Inside Cannabis (Sep 10th, 2019)

1. Three vape companies have been subpoenaed by the New York Health Commission over their products’ possible role in the mystery lung illness. Vitamin E oil additives used by three companies are suspected in playing a role in the unexplained lung disease, and all three have stopped selling the product. Leafly reports that Honey Cut Labs’ website has gone completely dark, and oil companies Floraplex Terpenes and Mass Terpenes have pulled products from stock; each sells a thickening agent that uses vitamin E acetate. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has urged residents to not use any vape products whatsoever. The state will also require warning signs everywhere vape products are sold in the state, as the issue is occurring in both nicotine and THC vape items. Surprisingly, MJ Biz Daily spoke to many retailers and analysts, who say the scare has not affected sales of vape products. — NEW YORK POST

2. Canada’s pardon program is off to a slow start, with only 44 granted. While as many as 200,000 Canadians have prior cannabis convictions that could be removed under the nation’s new pardon program, only 71 people have applied. Though the $631 fee has been waived for cannabis pardon applicants, many are struggling with paper documents that are difficult to locate in various bodies of government, and many of these documents require in-person visits. Additionally, some applicants have such difficulty finding their arrest records that they perhaps correctly assume there is simply no more record of the arrest. — GLOBAL NEWS 

3. A Nevada cannabis regulator has been placed on administrative leave. The move may or may not be related to the ongoing lawsuit alleging that the state’s dispensary licensing system is corrupt, but Nevada Department of Taxation deputy executive director Jorge Pupo has been at the center of many of these allegations. Pupo admitted he’d accepted lunches, dinners, and informal post-government employment offers from dispensary applicants who were ultimately approved. The dispensaries who lost out, many of whom have sued the state, say Pupo gave the winners off-the-record advice and guidance on receiving approval. — LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL 

4. This month’s AARP Bulletin is a cannabis-themed issue. According to Forbes, the two magazines with the highest circulation in the country are the AARP (formerly American Association of Retired Persons) publications AARP Magazine and AARP Bulletin. That’s because they’re sent for free to all 39 million members of the group, and in another symbolic victory for cannabis normalization, the September issue of AARP Bulletin is a Special Report: Marijuana and Your Health. The issue provides a primer for the unfamiliar, comparing indica to sativa, addressing health conditions for which cannabis is beneficial, and dosage recommendations for various products. — FORBES 

5. Cannabis companies have been broadly unable to donate to charity. The restrictions are not due to an unwillingness to donate, but because charities that receive federal funds are afraid of losing that revenue since cannabis is still federally illegal. — LEAFLY

6. Nine Florida children were hospitalized after eating marijuana-infused candy. A student had brought infused sour candies to school; the packaging resembled regular candy. All nine kids were released from the hospital unharmed. — USA TODAY 

7. A 60-year-old diabetic Missouri man on an oxygen machine has been sentenced to 10 years in prison for possession of marijuana. Even though Missouri is a medical-use state, Steven Sutherland's possession charge is from prior to its passage of medical marijuana. — RIVERFRONT TIMES 

8. Arizona activists have made changes to their recreational use ballot measure. The group Smart and Safe Arizona has made “minor" changes to their 2020 ballot measure that would allow the state’s medical dispensaries to sell adult-use cannabis too. — AZ CENTRAL  

9. A Palo Alto man had to be rescued from on top of a Weedmaps billboard. Firefighters retrieved the man with a 108-foot aerial ladder, and it is unclear whether weed had anything to do with him climbing the Weedmaps billboard. — PALO ALTO DAILY POST

10. A cannabis festival on the Tyson Ranch has been canceled. The Kind Showcase Cannabis Industry Convention actually had a successful iteration on the event in February with 5,000 attendees, but the follow-up October event was postponed to November, and is now postponed indefinitely, with no explanation. — KESQ

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).

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