Welcome back to The Week in Weed, your Friday look at what’s happening in the world of legalized marijuana.
Sadly, the big news this week is vaping. Hundreds are sick and several have died, apparently as a result of using e-cigarettes and other vaping products. As a result, the cannabis industry expects fallout from this situation, as states are issuing warnings against using vape products.
In federal news, the Food and Drug Administration seeks comments on the international rescheduling of cannabis. Meanwhile, the Federal Trade Commission sent warning letters to companies who are marketing CBD-infused products as cure-alls.
As usual, there was lots of action on the state level. In Massachusetts, Real Action for Cannabis Equity (RACE) launched with the goal of bringing more minorities into the cannabis industry. And Falls River mayor Jasiel Correia has been charged with extorting businesses to obtain licenses to sell cannabis.
Speaking of licenses, Oklahoma has issued over 7,000 of them for its medical marijuana program. Utah, meanwhile, may eliminate its state-run medical cannabis program in favor of private dispensaries. And Mississippi may have medical marijuana on the 2020 ballot; Mississippians for Compassionate Care has turned in more than enough signatures to make that happen.
If you think that’s impressive, note that 2019 hemp production has increased over 455% over 2018. That’s a lot of hemp. Remember, you probably don’t want to bring your hemp to Idaho, where there is no official distinction between hemp and marijuana.
And if all this expansion has you thinking, “Who will be working in this industry?” have no fear. Several schools are educating the next generation of marijuana entrepreneurs. The University of Guelph in Ontario is the most recent Canadian college to offer a program in cannabis cultivation. Oakton Community College in Des Plaines, IL has a cannabis certificate course. And 150 students are currently enrolled in the University of Maryland‘s masters’ program in medical marijuana.
See you next week!