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FDA hearing to take place Friday:
Agency releases agenda
The much-anticipated FDA hearing titled “Scientific Data and Information about Products Containing Cannabis or Cannabis-Derived Compounds” will take place in two days (Friday, May 31).
FDA has released an agenda for the hearing here.
Those who cannot attend in person may view the day-long hearing (8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Eastern Time) here.
Barring technical difficulties, FDA plans to post a link to the recorded webcast after the hearing.

US Department of Agriculture
releases memo on industrial hemp
The general counsel of the USDA issued a memorandum to USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue, outlining key points regarding passage of the 2018 Farm Bill. Some of these include: 
  • The Farm Bill removes hemp, defined as containing no more than 0.3% THC by dry weight, from the Controlled Substances Act.
  • After USDA publishes hemp regulations, neither States nor Indian tribes may prohibit the distribution of hemp produced under a USDA, State, or tribal plan through their territories.
  • States and Indian tribes may, however, enact laws prohibiting the production of hemp within their borders.
  • The 2018 Farm Act does not change the authority of FDA to regulate hemp under US Food and Drug Administration laws.
USDA also clarifies on its website industrial hemp production regulations for Indian tribes.
Read USDA general counsel’s opinion here
Read USDA statement on industrial hemp production for Indian tribes here.

The Need for Federal Regulation
of Marijuana Marketing
Public health experts from UC San Diego’s Department of Medicine offer a Viewpoint in JAMA Network calling for federal regulation of marijuana marketing. They find that emerging brands have developed national marketing campaigns that can impact people in non-legal states and are using questionable marketing practices.
They cite as an example MedMen, the self-proclaimed “Apple Store of Weed,” which has outlets in six states. Health and medicine are implied in the company’s very name even though most of its stores sell marijuana for recreational use. Billboards and t-shirts worn by budtenders read, “Heal. It’s Legal.” (See here and here.)
The authors write that MedMen’s blog “has an entire section dedicated to health, including a claim that marijuana ‘can reduce anxiety, pain, and so much more,’ a physician’s recommended list of marijuana products for menstrual cramps, and promotion of marijuana as a safe, natural, and nonaddictive alternative to prescription medications, even implying that marijuana can treat opioid addiction, an opinion with which experts disagree.” The only two health warnings discourage driving or operating heavy machinery while using marijuana and state that MedMen “cannot guarantee the accuracy of any marijuana information provided’ on its website.
Worse still are marketing efforts appealing to teenagers, such as a blog post titled “How CBD Can Help with Breakouts” for treating acne. (See here.) “Taffy, gummies, and gingerbread house kits” are among MedMen products that can appeal to youth, along with apparel such as a high school varsity jacket with an embroidered marijuana leaf. (See here.)
The experts write that such advertising ploys might remind some of former tobacco marketing practices when doctors recommended specific cigarette brands and children wore tobacco-branded clothing to school. They say it is time for a “national evidence-based regulatory regime for marijuana marketing” because delay will expose more people to potentially hazardous marketing claims.
Read JAMA Network Viewpoint here.

“The Apple Store of Weed”:
Marijuana marketing is often far from mellow
As if to emphasize the out-of-control state of marijuana marketing, Patrick May writes in The Mercury News that a dozen pot-focused news releases a day are flooding newspapers.
“As the medical marijuana field flourishes in 33 states, and 10 states have legalized recreational marijuana, the PR machinery is in overdrive," he notes, "filling up our inboxes like some overstuffed spliff full of skunk.”
He fills his article with several PR pitches he's received from marijuana companies. There's even one from "The Apple Store of Weed." Read them here.
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The Marijuana Report is a weekly e-newsletter published by National Families in Action in partnership with SAM (Smart Approaches to Marijuana).

Visit National Families in Action's website, The Marijuana Report.Org, to learn more about the marijuana story unfolding across the nation.

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The Marijuana Report Staff
Executive Editor
Sue Rusche
Nicole Carter
IT Consultant
Lee Clontz
Social Media Coordinator
Margarita Eberline
We are grateful to our Board of Directors and Senior Adviser for their support of National Families in Action, which produces The Marijuana Report website and e-newsletter.
National Families in Action
Board of Directors

William F. Carter, Chairman of the Board
Realtor Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices – Georgia Properties, Atlanta.

Sue Rusche, President and CEO, Atlanta.

Richard L. Brown, Secretary
Attorney (Ret.), Lakewood Ranch, Florida
Founder & Chairman, Sudden Cardiac Arrest Association 

Jeannine F. Adams, Director
President and CEO, J. Addams & Partners, Atlanta.

Jack L. Arbiser, MD, PhD, Director
Thomas J. Lawley Professor of Dermatology
Winship Cancer Institute, Emory University, Atlanta

William H. Avery, Director
Partner (Ret.), Alston & Bird, LLP, Atlanta.

Margarita Eberline, Director
Strategy Director, 360 Marketing Plus, Atlanta.

Robert Margolis, PhD, Director
Founder, Caron Solutions Intensive Outpatient Program, Roswell, Georgia.

Shannon Murphy, MD FAAP, Director
Birmingham, Alabama 
Senior Adviser
Kent “Oz” Nelson, Chairman and CEO (Ret.)
United Parcel Service, Atlanta.
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