Where There’s Smoke, There’s … a Bonfire? Update on E-Cigarette and THC Vaping Related Illnesses

Previously on Life Science Matters, we discussed what appeared to be the sudden outbreak of vaping-related hospitalizations and illnesses sweeping across the country. Since that article, cases involving injuries to lungs associated with vaping products have been reported to the Center for Disease Control (CDC) from 49 states, the District of Columbia, and one United States territory. To date, 28 people have died across 21 states. More than 1,250 cases of vaping-related illnesses have been reported. Every patient involved reported a history of using…
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Kenney v. Helix TCS, Inc.: Leveling the Playing Field in the Marijuana Industry and Beyond

Are employers in the marijuana industry excused from complying with federal law because their business practices are federally prohibited? In the recent case of Robert Kenney v. Helix TCS, Inc.[i], the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit answered that question with an unequivocal “no.” The plaintiff in that case, Robert Kenney, was a former security guard for the defendant, Helix TCS, Inc., a private company that provides security services to businesses in Colorado’s state-sanctioned marijuana industry. Kenney alleged that he…
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The Delicate Web of the Pot-tent Gap — An Overview of the First Hemp Plant Patent

In the patent world, it is common knowledge that products of nature are not eligible for patent protection. Yet, patents for natural things do exist. In an ever-changing field to protect ingenuity and “inventor-ship,” the rules have changed. Combined with the questionable legality of cannabis, it was laughable for any cannabis-related plant matter to be considered for patent protection… until now. Using a combination of the 2018 Farm Bill and a judicious breeding process, the Stanley brothers of CWB Holdings, Inc., have secured the first…
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Up In Smoke: Where Are Potential New Illnesses Tied To Vaping Leading the Cannabis Industry?

In the cannabis industry the CDC recently identified 450 cases of lung disease in people who used vaping products. It indicated that many of the patients suffering from the disease used products containing THC, while others had used a combination of nicotine and THC. On Thursday, September 5, 2019, New York state officials said the illnesses may be related to Vitamin E acetate, but stressed that “No one substance, including Vitamin E acetate, has been identified in all of the samples tested,” according to Stephanie…
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What is THC (Δ-9-Tetrahydrocannabinol)?

Many people associate cannabis with, “getting high” and in part, they are not wrong. The most commonly known active component of Cannabis sativa and Cannabis indica—two of the most common variants of herbal cannabis, is delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol. In its natural state, THC is not psychoactive! However, this is a slight chemical misnomer—THC in its natural state on the plant is actually THCa or tetrahydrocannabinolic acid. Merely taking a bite out of cannabis plant material should not have an effect on the consumer aside from providing…
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Ketamine: Another Pandora’s Box or Viable Treatment for Pain?

In the wake of the opioid crisis, some physicians are seeking to utilize ketamine, a highly addictive drug, to treat chronic pain and depression. Ketamine is a generic name for Ketalar (ketamine hydrochloride) and belongs to a class of drugs known as dissociate anesthetics. Ketamine’s FDA label warns of the potential emergence of psychological issues with potentially dangerous drug interactions with barbiturates and narcotics. Ketamine has already proven its high potential for abuse and is well-known as a “recreational drug,” “club drug,,” and “date rape…
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DEA Breaks Silence on Marijuana Grower Applications

We previously reported on a unique lawsuit filed this summer by Scottsdale Research Institute, LLC (SRI) against the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). By filing a petition for writ of mandamus, SRI sought to compel the DEA to take action on its application to grow cannabis for clinical research, which was filed in 2016. With a deadline to respond to SRI’s petition looming just two days away, the DEA announced on Monday that it is “providing notice of pending applications from entities applying to be…
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DEA Court Ordered to Address Silence on Marijuana Research Applications

In 2016, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) announced that it would be adopting a new policy designed to increase the number of entities that could manufacture marijuana for the use in federally approved research. However, despite receiving at least two dozen applications to grow research marijuana since that announcement, to date the University of Mississippi still holds the only license to manufacture marijuana for research in the United States. Although, that may finally be about to change. Last month, the Scottsdale Research Institute, LLC (SRI)…
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Florida Pill Mills

During the course of the opioid crisis one question remains – who is responsible? Recent litigation and criminal cases have been brought against doctors, pharmaceutical companies, and business executives.  The jury is still out on who is to blame, but one culprit worth reexamining is the involvement of Florida’s pill mill industry. During the 1990s and 2000s, Florida became a hot spot for prescription medications through their unregulated and unchecked pill mills. What is most shocking about the pill mills is that they not only…
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Court Finds That the Plaintiff Lacks Standing in Glyphosate-Related Consumer Class Action Matter

Lawsuits related to glyphosate, including consumer class action claims against food and beverage manufacturers, continue to be filed. In the consumer class action cases, the plaintiffs typically assert that the type of product (e.g., juice, cereals, etc.) had been tested by a laboratory and that trace levels of the pesticide had been detected. In those cases, the plaintiffs are not claiming that they were actually injured by consuming the product. Instead, they are essentially complaining that the product labels are misleading because they do not…
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