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FTC Warns Three CBD Companies About Unfounded Health Claims

Daniel King

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FTC Warns CBD Companies

The Federal Trade Commission announced Tuesday, September 10, it has sent letters to three CBD companies cautioning them about the use of health claims that have no reliable scientific evidence to promote their products.

The FTC has refused to name the three CBD companies. However, the agency did go into some detail regarding the health claims that each company had made.

“One company’s website claims CBD ‘works like magic’ to relieve ‘even the most agonizing pain’ better than prescription opioid painkillers,” the FTC revealed in a statement. “To bolster its claims that CBD has been ‘clinically proven’ to treat cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, multiple sclerosis (MS), fibromyalgia, cigarette addiction, and colitis, the company states it has participated in ‘thousands of hours of research’ with Harvard researchers.”

Company two, on the other hand, is said to had claimed that CBD can treat autism, anorexia, bipolar disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, schizophrenia, anxiety, depression, Alzheimer’s disease, Lou Gehrig’s Disease (ALS), stroke, Parkinson’s disease, epilepsy, traumatic brain injuries, diabetes, Crohn’s disease, psoriasis, MS, fibromyalgia, cancer, and AIDS. It was also reported that the company promotes CBD as a “miracle pain remedy” for acute and chronic pain, as well as for pain stemming from cancer treatment and arthritis.

Lastly, the third to get the warning letter is said to have advertised CBD gummies as an effective treatment for “the root cause of most major degenerative diseases, including arthritis, heart disease, fibromyalgia, cancer, asthma, and a wide spectrum of autoimmune disorders.”

In addition, the company had also claimed that CBD cream can cure arthritis pain, and CBD oil serves as a good treatment alternative for “depression, PTSD, epilepsy, heart disease, arthritis, fibromyalgia, and asthma.”

According to FTC, the use of unfounded health claims to promote CBD products could result in forced reimbursements to those who had purchased the items and even federal injunction. To date, the agency is giving the company a 15-day allowance to reply and provide details about the steps they have taken to address the concerns presented by the agency.

Earlier this year, the FTC, along with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), had joined forces to send a previous round of letters to three CBD companies concerning their use of unproven health claims to sell their products.

“Before making claims about purported health effects of CBD products, advertisers need sound science to support their statements,” the FTC wrote on its website. “The takeaway tip for anyone in the industry is that established FTC substantiation standards apply when advertisers make health-related representations for CBD products.”

Cannabis News

Cannabis Sales in Illinois Reaches an All-Time High

Carissa Stevens

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Cannabis Sales in IL

As businesses have slowly been opening around the globe, one of the industries that have greatly benefitted from this is the cannabis industry. In Illinois, the report from the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation showed that marijuana dispensaries in the state have reached a massive revenue for June, with more than $47.6 million worth of products sold.

Following this, NBC Chicago states that Illinois sales set an all-time high record within the state. Prior to Illinois’ current record, the previous record held by the region during May 2020 was $44.3 million.

According to the Daily Herald, approximately 994,545 marijuana items were sold, with around $48 per purchase. Marijuana Moment says monthly sales have risen by 5,000 more in June.

The increase of cannabis sales in the state was largely attributed to the out-of-state residents driving by to make purchases. NBC Chicago revealed that individuals who lived outside of state contributed a whopping $12.3 million worth of sale for the month of June alone.

Meanwhile, the Daily Herald reports that $35.2 million of the $47.6 million sold by the dispensaries come from in-state residents.

Patch states that sales in Illinois significantly rose by more than 21 percent. Meanwhile, the state’s pre-tax spending rose by less than 3.5 percent.

When asked about Marijuana Moment about the rising sales, the Office of Economic Analysis said in May that, “Expectations are that some of these increases are due to temporary factors like the one-time household recovery rebates, expanded unemployment insurance benefits, and the shelter in place style policies.”

Tax revenues will reportedly be released later this month by the Department of Revenue. The state is slated to make around $13 million in marijuana taxes and associated sales.

Currently, the state of Illinois imposes taxes on marijuana products based on its level of potency. THC products ranging sold in marijuana dispensaries are taxed accordingly with anywhere from 10 percent to 25 percent depending on its potency. According to the Daily Herald, these taxes go to a variety of dedicated coffers.

Among the groups that will benefit from the tax revenue distribution is the state’s general funding with a 35 percent allocation, communities affected by the war on drugs with 25 percent of funding, and 20 percent will go to substance abuse and mental health programs in the state. Meanwhile, 10 percent will be given to the overall bill backlog of Illinois.

Since its legalization in January 2020, marijuana dispensaries in the state of Illinois have successfully amassed $239.1 million worth of cannabis products. Patch reveals that more than $52.5 million was garnered by the state within the first five months of legalization.

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Cannabis Legalization

Hobo Cannabis Wants Delivery Service to be Legal in BC

Carissa Stevens

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Cannabis store chain Hobo Cannabis is urging legislators to make delivery service legal in British Columbia, said CBC. This call is a step toward stopping illegal dealing in the province. The licensed dispensary, along with other certified vendors, argued that they are “at a disadvantage against unlicensed competitors who deliver weed.” The report emphasized that BC does not have cannabis laws allowing the delivery of cannabis products.

This issue has been a concern for many licensed vendors for a long time, said Harrison Stoker, vice president of Donnelly Group, the company that owns Hobo Cannabis. However, the illicit delivery of cannabis products has become more rampant over the past few months because of the virus pandemic, as customers choose to get their products delivered to protect themselves from the public health risk.

According to Stoker, “The illicit market [in BC] is very intelligent, very strategic and very mature in their business models.” He also said that the pandemic was a prime time for the illegitimate industry. Stoker asserts that legalizing delivery services can help them compete with such illegal sellers. It could also help fight the black market.

The CBC report noted that consumers can have their products legally delivered through mail by going through the government-operated BC Cannabis Store. However, packages take a few days before they arrive, as opposed to delivery options that could be same-day.

The article also cited Weedmaps, a cannabis-focused website, which offers a list of delivery services in the Lower Mainland. It even guarantees quick delivery, usually within one hour. Stoker argues that modern times call for a more updated approach as “people expect these kinds of modern retail features.”

By allowing licensed stores to deliver, customers do not have to opt for black market products. Instead, they can choose among authorized products just like what happens in Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario, where delivery is legal.

Meanwhile, the province’s Ministry of Public Safety said that it is now evaluating the possibility of legalizing deliveries. It has also been taking steps to crack down on the illicit industry, despite facing significant challenges because many of them operate online. The Ministry is in charge of the legal cannabis program in the province.

Mark Haden from the UBC School of Population and Public Health with experience in writing about drug regulation said that legalizing deliveries is a great short-term move. The better action in the long-run is to “bring the illegal sector into line with the law.”

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Cannabis Legalization

Louisiana to Provide Wider Access to MMJ Via New Law

Stacey Wellington

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mmj expansion bill

Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards officially signed the expansion of the state’s therapeutic cannabis program into law last week. Edwards announced his action Monday evening, June 15, 2020. Under this, the in-state medical marijuana program will recognize an array of maladies and conditions beyond the initial set list approved by the legislature.

Slated to take effect by August 1, 2020, the new law would reportedly allow doctors to recommend medical marijuana-based treatment for any condition they see fit. Likewise, this would also take away the previous restrictions on cases which doctors can recommend this treatment.

The MMJ expansion bill was introduced and sponsored by Representative Larry Bagley. According to Marijuana Moment, Bagley initially only included traumatic brain injuries, as well as concussions, as part of the list. The bill, however, was amended to include what a doctor “considers debilitating to an individual patient.”

Moreover, ABC News reports that doctors will no longer have to sign up and register for a license to authorize or recommend cannabis treatment from the Louisiana State Board of Medical Examiners.

Prior to this amendment, only licensed cannabis specialists are allowed to provide cannabis-based recommendations to their patients based on the 16 serious health conditions found under the legislature-approved list, reports Fox 8.

Despite these changes, Fox 8 states that physicians are still required to uphold the state reporting requirements that seek to support the Louisiana State University (LSU) and Southern University in its respective research efforts. Both universities are the only two institutions that are recognized and authorized to grow cannabis within the state.

mmj bill

Apart from signing the bill into law, Governor Edwards also signed another legislation that protects banks and credit unions catering to cannabis businesses from being penalized by state regulators, reports Marijuana Moment.

The Louisiana governor has also signed another bill that extends legal protection to medical professionals and doctors, as well as medical facilities, who opt for a medical marijuana-based treatment program and who have respective cannabis patients under their care and jurisdiction, notes Marijuana Moment.

The approval and signing of the aforementioned bills come after lawmakers brought the cannabis bills to Edwards’ office earlier this June. A hemp and CBD regulation proposal has yet to be approved or acted upon accordingly by the state governor.

In an interview with Fox 8, war veteran and medical cannabis user Gary Hess said that the recent legislation in Louisiana may serve as a model for nationwide implementation. However, Hess believes that this is only possible if stakeholders truly express vigilance and care for their patients, and if the state addresses the stigma surrounding the plant.

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