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US Department of Agriculture explains how industrial hemp is legal – and how it’s not. Yet.

With the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill, the US Department of Agriculture has issued a set of guidelines to inform the public about how to proceed. The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is the agency in the department that will regulate the federal program, including providing funding for industrial hemp research.
 
A key point is that the final rule is expected to be complete by the end of calendar year 2019. Until then, all current industrial hemp activities in states that have legalized it must abide by Section 7606 of the 2014 Farm Bill.
 
Read this announcement from the US Department of Agriculture here.
The AMS has posted information on its website regarding the 2018 Farm Bill hemp program. Access it here

 
Some e-cigarette users are having seizures, most reports involve youth and young adults
 
The FDA has become aware that some e-cigarette users are experiencing seizures, especially adolescents and young adults. Seizures can be side effects of nicotine toxicity. Some e-cigarette brands contain as much nicotine as a pack of cigarettes. And some reports indicate other substances including marijuana were being used. Recent voluntary reports of seizures associated with e-cigarette use may signal an emerging safety issue.
 
FDA explains:
“Seizures result from sudden, abnormal electrical activity in the brain. Though often associated with convulsions in which a person’s entire body shakes uncontrollably, not all seizures show full-body shaking.
 
“Other possible signs of seizures include a lapse in awareness or consciousness, which may look like a person is staring blankly into space for a few seconds or suddenly stops moving. The person may or may not fall down. Most seizures end in a few seconds or minutes, and the person may seem fine, sleepy, confused or have a headache afterwards. They may not remember what they were doing or what happened right before the seizure.
 
“While seizures generally do not cause lasting harm, they indicate the need for prompt medical attention to look for a cause and to prevent future seizures, if possible. 
 
If you think a person is having a seizure, call 911 and seek immediate medical help. For exposures with less serious visible effects, or if you have questions, call poison control at 800-222-1222.”
 
The FDA asks that members of the public report any seizure experiences from e-cigarette use to the Safety Reporting Panel.
 
Read full FDA announcement here.
Report seizures to Safety Reporting Panel here.

 
Severe psychological distress and daily cannabis use: Implications for mental health?
 
Daily marijuana use increased significantly from 2008 to 2016, and use among those with past-month serious psychological distress was about three times higher (8 percent) than among those without such distress (2.7 percent).
 
Researchers from Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health conducted an analysis of the 2008-2016 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, drawing a sample of 356,413 people age 18 and older and measured by the Kessler Psychological Distress Scale. Non-Hispanic Blacks were the only group where daily marijuana use did not differ significantly among people with or without serious psychological distress.
 
The researchers call for more research to better understand this phenomenon, its implications for mental health problems, and effective ways to deal with it.
 
Read Science Daily summary here. Read Drug and Alcohol Dependence abstract here.

 
Driver in New York limousine crash had marijuana in system
 
The driver of a limousine that crashed and killed 17 people in a wedding party, 2 bystanders, and the driver in Schoharie, New York last October had “significant” amounts of marijuana in his system, according to people with knowledge of his post-mortem toxicology report. Also present in his system were traces of an anti-seizure medication.
 
Police investigations of the accident found several safety violations, including faulty brakes. The information about marijuana is likely to be featured in the criminal case being brought against the limo owner, the driver’s father, that is underway now.
 
Read story here.

 
Medicinal use of
cannabis-based products and cannabinoids
 
The British Medical Journal published an overview of marijuana-based products and cannabinoids as a result of marijuana being downscheduled from Schedule 1 to Schedule 2 in the UK.
 
The content of the overview is summarized in the journal below:


“What you need to know

·       “Cannabis based products for medicinal use contain cannabinoids derived from the cannabis plant, including ∆8-tetrahydrocananbinol (THC), cannabidiol (CBD), or a combination of THC and CBD. Synthetic cannabinoids for medicinal use typically mimic the effects of specific cannabinoids such as THC.

·       “THC is the constituent of cannabis that causes the “high,” whereas CBD is not intoxicating at typical doses. THC and CBD have contrasting mechanisms of action and therapeutic indications; THC carries a higher risk of adverse events compared with CBD.

·       “Rescheduling on 1 November 2018 permits some unlicensed cannabis-based products to be prescribed for the first time in the UK, but only by doctors on the relevant Specialist Register of the General Medical Council.

·       “Indications for treatment, supported by evidence of low to moderate certainty, include chronic pain, some treatment resistant epilepsies, and nausea and vomiting caused by chemotherapy (table 2).

·       “Non-medicinal CBD products are legal and widely available on the internet and from health food retailers, but they lack quality standards and should not be used for medicinal purposes.” 

Read British Medical Journal article here.

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.

Subscribe to The Marijuana Report e-newsletter.


The Marijuana Report Staff
Executive Editor
Sue Rusche
Editor
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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