December 2020 News

Consumers Perceive Pre-Paying as Safest Transaction Option

The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly influenced consumers’ buying habits, pushing a higher share of purchases onto the internet and away from the physical point-of-sale.

According to a new survey from market research firm Packaged Facts entitled Digital Consumer Payment Trends in the U.S., respondents who pay directly from a mobile app on their phone are five times as likely to use this payment method more because of COVID-19 than to use it less.

Relatedly, while they are most likely to say they will use mobile apps more, consumers tend to perceive pre-paying before picking up items as the safest. Apart from giving a card to person at register, consumers are also at least as likely to say a listed payment method is safe as they are to say it is unsafe.

Colorado Marijuana Enforcement Division Praised for Concentrate Safety Regulations

A coalition of cannabis vaporizer brands, that includes The Blinc Group, Inc., PAX Labs and the Colorado Cannabis Manufacturers Association, applauds the Colorado Marijuana Enforcement Division for the adoption of new industry-leading testing standards for cannabis concentrates. Effective October 10, these updated regulations address evolving testing needs for improved consumer safety. 

New emissions testing rules change procedures so that mandated analyses are conducted on the vape cartridge aerosol that is produced through combustion of the product, rather than the raw oil contained in the cartridge — which is what the consumer is inhaling. Shelf stability rules require manufacturers to label vaporizer cartridges with an expiration date based on scientific understanding of consumer safety and quality.

Can You Burn Through 8,000 Pounds of Weed a Day?

The Drug Enforcement Administration Phoenix Division is seeking an Arizona-based contractor capable of incinerating up to 1,000 pounds of cannabis and other federally prohibited substances per hour, for up to eight hours per day.

The contract winner will need access to an incinerator “with the capability of destroying marijuana to a point where there are no detectable levels of byproduct from the destruction process.”

Don’t even think about inhaling the fumes. Drug testing will also be required of the contractor and employees. An armed DEA agent will be present during all scheduled burns and security cameras will document the entire process.

The contract goes from January 1, 2021 through 2026.

Earn a Certificate in Cannabis Studies

University of Cincinnati has launched a cannabis studies certificate which includes history, culture, society, and regulatory topics.

Sue Trusty, a horticulture professor in the College of Design, Art, Architecture, Art and Planning (DAAP), had already been teaching Introduction to Hemp and Medical Cannabis when school officials approached her about expanding the offerings to a certificate program. 

The new two-year program includes five 3-credit courses, according to the university website, including Trusty’s hemp and medical cannabis course, a hands-on Hops and Hemp Field Experience course, and three courses chosen “from a menu of possible classes based on the student’s interest or job preference.”

Professor Trusty hopes the program will put students in a positive position to enter the lucrative cannabis job market and dispel much of the false information about cannabis on the Internet.

Metal from E-Cigarettes May Contribute to Vape Illness

A new study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association shows that the vape lung disease known as EVALI could be produced by the metals used to create certain e-cigarette and vape products.

In studies with rodent participants, neither THC nor vitamin E acetate were found to be damaging to the lungs as had been previously claimed.

The researchers caution that e-cigarette users “should be cautioned about the potential danger of operating electronic cigarette units at high settings” as there is a possibility that certain heating elements may cause harmful effects.

Spamming is Bad, M’Kay

A growing number of cannabis businesses are being sued for violating the Federal Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TPCA) according to an investigation by Marijuana Business Daily. The report found at least 12 class-action lawsuits going back to 2018 that alleged cannabis businesses used unsolicited texts and emails to spam customers with deals and sales.

In an interview with MJBIZ Daily, California attorney Mark Roth warned marketers that getting customer consent before sending offers is key to avoiding trouble. “That’s the holy grail of protecting yourself from liability,” he said. “If you have consumer consent. . . you’re bulletproof.”

Tobacco Plus Expo Moves to May 2021

Traditionally known as the first tobacco trade show of the year, Tobacco Plus Expo 2021 will take place in the spring, a move driven by the COVID-19 pandemic. Originally slated for late January, Tobacco Media Group (TMG) decided to push back TPE 2021 to May 12-14. The event will still take place at the Las Vegas Convention Center.

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