News Briefs: September 9, 2019

The Big Players Keep Getting Bigger

A deal could be in the works to reunite Philip Morris International and Altria more than a decade after the two companies split. Altria spun off PMI in 2008 and has remained a largely U.S.-focused company, selling Marlboro cigarettes domestically while PMI has focused on selling cigarettes overseas. Altria has also invested $12.8 billion for a 35% stake in Juul and $1.8 billion for a 45% stake in Canadian cannabis company Cronos. A Philip Morris-Altria merger would create a global tobacco powerhouse in the e-cigarettes and cannabis market.

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Don’t Vape Your vitamins

Federal health officials investigating mysterious lung illnesses linked to vaping have found the same chemical in samples of marijuana products used by people sickened in different parts of the country and who used different brands of products in recent weeks. The chemical is an oil derived from vitamin E. Commonly available as a nutritional supplement and used in topical skin treatments, Vitamin E is not harmful when ingested or applied to the skin. The hazard comes when it is inhaled causing possible cough, shortness of breath and chest pain.

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Lucky You: Police Can’t Tell the Difference Between Marijuana and Hemp

After passage of the 2018 federal farm bill legalized hemp production, states scrambled to pass their own laws legalizing hemp and CBD. But in doing so, they may have inadvertently signed a death warrant for the enforcement of marijuana prohibition.

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Mass Shootings Linked to Marijuana Use

Guns don’t kill people; marijuana does. At least that’s the opinion of Fox News commentator Tucker Carlson who sees a correlation between the increase in mass shootings and increased access to marijuana across the country. “A toxicology report on the Dayton shooter,” Carlson reported, “revealed that he had several drugs in his system including cocaine and Xanax. He was also known to be a longtime user of marijuana. It turns out, in fact, that many violent individuals have been avid marijuana users.”

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Sex, Marijuana and Rock ‘N Roll

Listen up — classic rock, hip-hop, and pop top the charts of those that listen to music while getting high. That unsuprising factoid is courtesy of marketing firm Ipsos that teamed with PAX Labs to survey more than 2,700 American and Canadian adults to learn more about modern cannabis trends. Worth noting: 92 percent of people admitted that marijuana enhanced their sex lives.

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