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Inside Cannabis (Sep 24th, 2019)

1. A ninth person has died from the mystery vaping illness, and it’s the second death to have occurred in Kansas. A Monday statement from Kansas governor Laura Kelly only says that the victim was “a male over the age of 50 who also had underlying health conditions,” and does not acknowledge whether he was vaping cannabis or nicotine. This brings the total number of vaping lung illness fatalities to nine, with an estimated 530 people nationwide still sickened by the illness, and the Centers for Disease Control maintains that “most” of the victims had vaped THC, while “some” had vaped only nicotine. The fallout from this health scare has actually helped one cannabis testing lab raise $22 million in new funding.  — CNN

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2. Canadian officials are concerned, as cannabis vaping is set to become legal later this year. Canada is staggering its rollout of legal cannabis product types, so edibles, drinks, and vaping products won’t be sold until December 16. But the vape crisis is giving officials pause on legalizing vape cartridges, though only one illness has been reported thus far in that country. The big marijuana brands say that tighter regulations in Canada will prevent similar outbreaks, a suspicious claim considering that each different province will have its own completely different set of regulations. — BLOOMBERG 

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3. Mexico is considering several recreational marijuana bills as it scrambles to meet a deadline next month. The Mexico Supreme Court mandated that recreational cannabis be legal by October 24. The problem is that Mexico’s congress is still haggling over ten different proposed bills to create marijuana rules and regulations. Business owners worry that the congress will delay well past the October deadline. Mexico would be only the third country to legalize adult-use marijuana nationwide, behind Canada and Uruguay. — LEADER POST 

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4. Wisconsin and South Dakota have both undertaken medical marijuana initiatives. Only 17 states in the U.S. have no form of legal cannabis, but that number could drop further. The Wisconsin legislature has bipartisan bills submitted in both their house and senate chambers, though previous medical marijuana bills have fallen short. In South Dakota, both medical and recreational proposals are gathering signatures to make the 2020 state ballot. — LEAFLY 

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5. Popular delivery service Eaze has countersued a competing delivery service. Back in June, Eaze was sued by former partner and now competitor Herban Industries (doing business as Dionymed) for allegedly running fraudulent credit card payments through shell companies. New Eaze is suing Herban, claiming the initial lawsuit was part of a “campaign of dirty tricks” meant to “confuse cannabis consumers” and grab Eaze’s market share. — GREEN MARKET REPORT 

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6. Attorneys general from 21 states have lobbied congress to pass a state-level banking act. A bipartisan bill that would allow cannabis banking in legal states has the expressed support of 21 state AGs, though this state-level banking bill is separate from the federal banking legalization bill on which the U.S. House of Representatives is scheduled to vote on Wednesday. — MARIJUANA MOMENT 

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7. An appeals court has ruled that cannabis businesses must pay overtime wages to employees. Colorado security guards forced to work overtime at dispenaries have won their case for back pay with a U.S. Court of Appeals, but defendant Helix vows to appeal, claiming federal labor laws do not apply to state-level cannabis industries. — MJ BIZ DAILY  

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8. Canada’s Green Party has included several inaccurate flubs in their cannabis policy platform. The Green Party called for an end to an outdoor growing ban, certain packaging requirements, and a federal minimum price. The problem? None of these laws actually exist. — GLOBAL NEWS

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9. New York governor Andrew Cuomo hopes for a three-state ‘regional’ cannabis policy. Cuomo will meet with the governors of bordering states New Jersey and Connecticut in hopes of creating “regional symmetry” as those states consider legalization. — NY STATE OF POLITICS 

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10. Gizmodo wonders, ‘Can you overdose on weed?” The website spoke with 12 doctors and policy analysts. The collective short answer was that you might vomit or hallucinate but you won’t die. — GIZMODO

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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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