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Inside Cannabis

Inside Cannabis (Sep 20th, 2019)

1. After an eight person has died from the mystery lung illness, the FDA is opening a criminal probe. It’s unknown whether the latest victim of the still-unexplained vaping illness was vaping cannabis, though a doctor who treated the Missouri man did note that the victim “started vaping because of chronic pain issues.” The Centers for Disease Control also revised the total of number sicknesses up sharply, now reporting 530 confirmed cases. The Food and Drug Administration is now launching a criminal probe into the matter, the agency’s director of the Center for Tobacco Products saying, “We’re very alarmed about products containing THC.” Meanwhile, cannabis labs are beginning to test for the widely blamed additive vitamin E acetate, and Wisconsin officials busted one of the country’s largest underground vape cartridge operations. — CNN

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2. The House of Representatives will indeed vote on the SAFE Banking Act next week. While a specific day was not referenced, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) announced Friday morning that the full House floor would vote on the Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act in a  “suspension of the rules” vote that will require a two-thirds majority. Surprisingly, pro-cannabis lobby Drug Policy Alliance had asked for a delay on next week’s vote, signing a letter along with the American Civil Liberties Union asking House leadership to implement other broader reforms first. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez agreed with them and may oppose the bill, but industry advocacy groups National Cannabis Industry Association (NCIA) and NORML still support the measure. — MARIJUANA MOMENT

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3. Follow Friday:  Politico’s Natalie Fertig @natsfert   

You may have smelled something funny lately at the D.C. political insider website Politico — a whole lot more cannabis coverage. Leading that charge is Natalie Fertig, formerly a contributor contributor for McClatchy and the NY Daily News.

With so much significant cannabis legislation before congress, you will find no better source of vote-count gossip and parliamentary explainers on these bills than on @natsfert’s feed. She also exposes plenty of the pork that the public doesn’t notice, as well as other monetary machinations that often happen in the dark.     

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4. Doug Ford’s Ontario Cannabis Store has lost $42 million this year. The province of Ontario only had one cannabis retailer in the early months of legalization, per the decision of premier Doug Ford. That retailer, the Ontario Cannabis Store, lost more than $40 million in the first quarter of 2019,  though analysts argue the number is not as bad as it sounds, as it only includes sales figures up until March 31, 2019, with all startup costs baked in. — CBC 

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5. A federal judge has declared Indiana’s smokable hemp ban unconstitutional. Hemp that looks like cannabis but doesn’t get you high was illegal in Indiana because law enforcement couldn’t tell the difference, but a U.S. District Judge sided with seven hemp companies who sued the state for the right to smoke hemp. — BENZINGA 

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6. Nevada is investigating its cannabis labs for allowing mold and mislabeled THC levels. No labs were named in the announcement of the investigation, but it’s a follow-up to last month’s revelation that yeast, mold, and inaccurate THC labeling had made it through laboratories and onto dispensary shelves. — LAS VEGAS  REVIEW-JOURNAL 

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7. Cannabis use for 20 years or longer has been linked with increased periodontal disease. Previous studies had shown long-term cannabis smoking correlated with several minor mouth diseases, but the American Dental Association now includes mouth and neck cancer on that list. — LEAFLY

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8. Pennsylvania’s seed-to-sale tracking system crashed, at great cost to dispensaries. Tuesday’s hours-long crash of the mandatory software system MJ Freeway temporarily halted all sales in the state, as well as shipments, forcing dispensaries to eat the costs of lost sales. — PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER 

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9. Scandal-plagued CannTrust gets $1.3 million worth of cannabis returned, because no one can sell it legally. CannTrust was stripped of its Canadian license over an illegal grow scandal this summer, but the bright side is that the government returned them more than a million dollars worth of unsellable weed. — GLOBAL NEWS

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10. Famous Oakland “pot college” Oaksterdam sues its former CFO for stealing the company name. Former CFO Aseem Sappal allegedly filed a false police report claiming Oaksterdam founder Dale Sky Jones had stolen his car (she claims to have paid him $4,000 for it), but the real problem is that he’s accused of stealing the company name for a rival business. — MJ BIZ DAILY

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