The Digital Dime: 1/17/2020

By Samantha Wahl

Following important cannabis news articles every day can be a real burn-out, we know. That’s why the Emerald rolls up a chronicle of the headiest news hits, and passes them to you at the end of each week. We Bring You: The Digital Dime.

2020 Goals: Legalization

New Year, New Mexico, New York, as they say. Both ends of the nation are moving toward legalization in 2020, and they’re not wasting any time. 

New Mexico has some big resolutions for recreational cannabis. Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, D-NM, announced the plans on her website, including safety strategies and overall structure of creating an adult-use market for her state. Her goals are supported by three-quarters of the state population, and would create over 10,000 jobs, MJBizDaily reports.

Meanwhile, over in New York, Gov. Andrew Cuomo, D-NY, is pushing for the same goal. In his State of the State Address last week, he announced his commitment to legalizing adult-use by the end of the year. His strategy could include cooperation from surrounding states, after Tri-State Area cannabis meetings in late 2019. Cannabis Business Times reports, since Illinois finally made the jump through legislative action, the same could go for NY. 

Lung Illnesses Come From Legal Vapes Too

A recent nationwide study brought new vape-related data to health radars this week. The ongoing investigation suggests that not all vapes sold in dispensaries are safe. While we once chalked illnesses up to shady sources, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggests that consumers, “consider refraining from the use of all e-cigarette, or vaping, products.” One in six of the patients they surveyed who had lung illness reported that their vapes were purchased from a licensed distributor. So even if a vape has a stamp of approval from the government, it may not be good for lung function. There are endless ways to enjoy cannabis without vaping, and we urge our readers to practice safe consumption

Bernie Sanders Supports Unionization in the Industry

2020 Presidential candidate, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-VT, is a union advocate, and he’s bringing his support to the cannabis industry. He publicly pushed for Cresco Labs, an Illinois-based growing facility, to unionize over 100 workers on Tuesday. The votes were counted in favor of Sanders’ side, and Cresco is now the first business in the industry to unionize in Illinois, according to an MJBizDaily article. Cresco acknowledged Sanders’ promotion in a tweet, hashtagging workers’ right to vote, Marijuana Moment reported.

Washington Wants to Fill Up on CBD

Washington state’s new bill would make CBD a legal ingredient in food. While the 2018 Farm Bill legalized the hemp plant as a food ingredient, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations surrounding CBD are still hazy. The FDA does not yet regard CBD as being safe for consumption, and therefore restrict its use in food products sold around the U.S. Late last year, the FDA released a disappointing list of regulations for hemp use, that sets back any new growers across the hemp industry. Current regulations require cannabis products to contain 0.3% THC, Cannabis Business Times reports. But bills like these reflect states’ acknowledgement of this issue, and show they can take matters into their own hands.

Emerald contributor since September 2019

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