March 2021 NEWS

Cannabis May Becomes Locals-Only in Amsterdam

The mayor of Amsterdam has submitted a proposal to ban non-residents from being able to purchase cannabis products at any of the city’s 166 marijuana-tolerant coffee houses starting in 2022. The initiative, she says, is designed to deter foreign visitors from viewing Amsterdam as a destination for “soft drug tourism.”

“Amsterdam is an international city and we wish to attract tourists – but for its richness, its beauty and its cultural institutions,” wrote Mayor Femke Halsema in a recent letter to the Amsterdam city council, The Guardian reports.

Under the new measure, only residents of the Netherlands would be allowed to purchase small amounts of marijuana within the city’s coffeeshops. Such regulations are already in place in other major Dutch cities since 2013, though Amsterdam was granted an exception at the time, according to Dutch news outlet NRC.

High Capacity 18650 Li-Ion Batteries Not Intended for Vaping

The US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has warned that consumers should not buy or use a particular type of lithium-ion battery cells — used in vapes, e-cigarettes, flashlights and toys — due to possible fire and even death risk.

“These cells are manufactured as industrial component parts of battery packs and are not intended for individual sale to consumers,” the CPSC said.

18650 cells are larger, higher density, and often used in more heavy-duty commercial settings, and even power Tesla’s Model X and Model S vehicles. But CPSC warned they are often misused as a stand-alone battery because they typically do not have protection circuits.

“Specifically, these battery cells may have exposed metal positive and negative terminals that can short-circuit when they come into contact with metal objects such as keys or loose change in a pocket,” the commission stressed.

“Once shorted, loose cells can overheat and experience thermal runaway, igniting the cell’s internal materials and forcibly expelling burning contents, resulting in fires, explosions, serious injuries and even death.”

FDA Stepping Up CBD Research

In a letter, FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn and Principal Deputy Commissioner Amy Abernethy noted the “rapid increase in the interest and availability” of the products but pointed out that “we still have a limited understanding of the safety profile of CBD and many other cannabis-derived compounds, including potential safety risks for people and animals.”

Challenges include limited sources of information on adverse reactions to CBD products, a “poor” understanding of rates of cannabis use, a lack of “specific codes that can precisely identify specific CBD products” in data collection and minimal longitudinal studies to learn about long-term impacts of cannabis consumption.

To help resolve some of those issues, FDA will take steps to improve CBD product identification, increase product sampling as it relates to reports of adverse effects, help develop a register of CBD consumers, look at market research data and evaluate “which strategies are best for safety and quality monitoring for different types of CBD products,” among other practices.

“We see significant promise in small, targeted projects that improve data methods in the near-term and point to future opportunities for collecting and analyzing data on CBD products and, potentially, other types of products in the future,” FDA said.

Will South Dakota Gov Overturn Recreational Sales?

South Dakota Republican Gov. Kristi Noem issued an executive order that indicated she is behind the effort to overturn voter-approved recreational cannabis legalization and that she has the right to challenge legalization as part of her duty to defend the state’s constitution.

South Dakota was the first state in the country to simultaneously legalize medical and recreational marijuana at the ballot box.

South Dakotans for Better Marijuana Laws, which backed the constitutional amendment, has said the lawsuit is trying to “overturn the will of the voters on the basis of two incorrect legal theories.”

California Plans to Simplify Cannabis Regulations Framework

California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s proposal – to merge the three regulatory agencies that oversee the state’s marijuana industry into one new department – is slated to be completed by July.

Though the merger is pending approval from lawmakers, the move is part of Newsom’s 2021-22 budget proposal and therefore expected to receive the needed thumbs-up.

The merger – which has been delayed because of the coronavirus pandemic – is intended to simplify a host of industry issues and reduce regulatory red tape for marijuana businesses.

The plan is to combine California’s Bureau of Cannabis Control (BCC) with the marijuana regulatory wings in the departments of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) and Public Health (CDPH) into a new state agency called the Department of Cannabis Control (DCC).

“This proposal seeks to better serve stakeholders including cannabis businesses, local governments, and members of the public by acting as a single point of contact as well as leverage existing funding in a more efficient way by reducing redundancies,” the release added.

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