Illicit Tobacco and Nicotine Markets

FDA seeks ban on menthol cigarettes. FDA’s proposed flavored tobacco policy draws mixed reaction. Is it racist to ban menthol cigarettes—or not to? FDA tobacco crackdown draws fire from the right. Black advocacy groups cheer FDA’s push to ban menthol cigarettes.

Can a menthol ban survive lawsuits? Why an FDA ban on menthol is likely to survive a tobacco industry lawsuit. British American Tobacco sets out defense of menthols.

Flavored vapes draw FDA ire, with some exceptions: Mint, menthol, and tobacco flavors will stay on shelves. E-cig users are already searching for ways around coming sales restrictions.

Reps. Pallone and Shalala introduce comprehensive legislation to address youth tobacco use.
Prohibits all characterizing flavors of tobacco products, including menthol, and provides FDA with authority to collect user fees from all classes of tobacco, including e-cigarettes.

Ban on menthol tobacco products predicts cigarette cessation at one year.
The study found higher rates of quitting among menthol smokers compared with non-menthol smokers.

Evaluating a real world ban on menthol cigarettes: an interrupted time series analysis of sales.
Implementation of a menthol ban was associated with significant reduction of menthol cigarette sales and total cigarettes sales.

Statement from FDA Commissioner on advancing new policies aimed at preventing youth access to flavored tobacco products.
“Recent evidence indicates that mint- and menthol-flavored products are preferred more by adults than minors. We’re also aware that some adults may be using mint- and menthol-flavored products with the goal of ceasing combusted tobacco use, seeking health benefits at the individual level, and may be at risk of migrating back to cigarettes.”

Effect of menthol bans on tobacco purchases in the RTI iShoppe virtual convenience store.

NYC Council ignoring “unintended consequences” in discussing menthol ban.

Consumption of legal and illegal cigarettes in the Gambia. Policy makers’ views on the implementation of the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control in the Gambia.

Strategies and barriers to achieving Finland tobacco endgame. Trends in UK use of roll-your-own cigarettes, 2008–2017.

Economics of tobacco control, part three: evidence from the ITC Project.


Cannabis News Round-Up

Former anti-pot politicians are lining up to profit off the end of their war on drugs. Marijuana industry wants Los Angeles to crack down on illegal pot shops. Democrats urge tougher penalties for black-market sales in New York marijuana legalization bill. The $160 billion cannabis industry, much of it still illegal, makes for a “beautiful opportunity”. Behind Oregon’s blockbuster marijuana deal: a Russian billionaire, cannabis consolidation. Marijuana industry could surpass NFL in revenue by 2020. Could Big Cannabis overrun California?

New study: Making medical marijuana legal does not prevent fatal opioid overdoses.

Nevada becomes first state to ban pre-employment marijuana drug testing. Nevada to try limited banking for cash-heavy pot industry. Nevada US Attorney says marijuana prosecutions possible. Oregon hopes to be an interstate marijuana supplier. Portland, Oregon invests cannabis tax dollars into black-owned businesses. California prisoners can legally possess marijuana, appeals court rules.

Colorado touts reaching $1 billion in cannabis taxes but the industry is stagnating. Colorado still exporting black-market cannabis because it makes tons of money in other states. Colorado hard seltzers want to take over legal weed, too. Can Colorado micro-business licenses diversify the marijuana industry?

Why Illinois legalization law is different from all others. The economic impact of recreational marijuana in Illinois. What’s legal weed gonna cost in Illinois? A lot. Legal weed could send millions of dollars to Illinois violence prevention groups. Illinoisresidents see benefits in legalization, but concerns persist. Legal pot in Illinois means concerns in Iowa. Want to work in the Illinois legal pot industry? Here’s who’s hiring right now.

New York Farm Bureau backs marijuana legalization. Majority in New York back use of recreational marijuana. So many reasons to legalize cannabis in New York. Will New York legal marijuana go up in smoke before June adjournment? Chairman to New York Senate Democrats: Don’t vote on marijuana this year.

Washington DC is one step closer to recreational marijuana dispensaries. Will Delaware legalize marijuana this year? New Jersey medical marijuana expansion stalls, expungement reform advances amid legal weed protest.

Maine can have say about new recreational marijuana rules. Maine marijuana rules up for important committee vote. Rhode Island marijuana legalization probably dead this year.

In Michigan‘s Upper Penninsula, weed is a lonely pursuit for its one and only dispensary.

Democratic presidential candidates mostly agree on marijuana legalization. The exception? Joe Biden.

Canada blew its chance to be the world’s pot leader. Veteran cannabis company Harborside joins wave of US firms listing on Canadian exchange.

Why legal weed in United Kingdom may be a pipe dream.

Illicit Tobacco and Nicotine Markets

Colombia loses iconic cigarette as Philip Morris International packs up and goes.
PMI blamed the closing of its factories and the end of Pielroja on another iconic element of Colombian culture: contraband.

New report exposes continued impact of illicit tobacco trade in the European Union. The trade in black market cigarettes cost member states a total of €10 billion ($11.23 billion) in lost tax revenues in 2018.

Illicit cigarette factory discovered in Belgium.
The packaging indicated that the products were destined for Greek, Turkish and British markets. The number of cigarettes found was equivalent to over a million packs and the worth of the scheme was estimated at €6 million.

Manitoba man caught with thousands of contraband cigarettes.
In relation to the seized tobacco, Manitoba stood to lose $37,130.72 in tax revenue if these products had been sold. If convicted, the accused is subject to a triple tax penalty of $111,392.16.


Cannabis News Round-Up

How Illinois became the first state legislature to legalize marijuana sales. Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker vows to sign recreational pot bill heading to his desk. Illinois poised to enact historic marijuana bill that could clear convictions for 770,000. Legalizing marijuana is a victory for freedom in Illinois. Illinois legalization: How did your legislators vote? Will legalizing marijuana and sports betting solve Illinois budget problems? What you need to know about legalization in Illinois. Illinois is close to legalizing recreational marijuana: here’s what that means for Indiana. Marijuana legalization leader: Illinois just made New York and New Jersey look like dorks.

New York pot legalization bill sponsor questions Cuomo’s commitment to effort. Cuomo on New York marijuana legalization: “I don’t think it’s feasible at this point.” New top New York GOP leader is open to legalizing marijuana. New York legalization a few votes short in Senate, hung up on New York City suburbs. With New York marijuana legalization pending, enforcement gets murky. With marijuana legalization in doubt, will New York take baby steps? New York pot legalization opponents exaggerate dangers. Cannabis oil prompts debate about New York marijuana legalization. Symposium to tackle New York marijuana legalization’s impact on public health.

Impact of Illinois legalization on Wisconsin. Wisconsin should take cue from Illinois and legalize marijuana. Wisconsin will soon become an island surrounded by legal weed. Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer promised to expunge marijuana-related criminal records in Michigan: those convicted are still waiting. Michigan is blowing its lead as the first state in the Midwest to legalize pot. Recreational marijuana movement takes root in Midwest but efforts elsewhere have stalled. Coalition406 is taking a thoughtful approach to Montana legalization.

Oregon, awash in marijuana, takes steps to curb production. Last year’s harvest alone may give Oregon a surplus of more than 1 billion joints. How legal weed is killing Humboldt County, California marijuana farmers.
Medicine Man agrees to buy country’s largest outdoor marijuana farm in Colorado. Marijuana has been legal in Colorado for five years. Business is booming, but there’s a dark side. Gov. Hickenlooper touts Colorado marijuana legalization measure he opposed to raise money on Instagram.

Massachusetts governor leads governors in asking Congress to leave marijuana laws up to states. Maine tries again to enact marijuana rules before 3-year anniversary of legalization vote. As Connecticut General Assembly passes on pot, a new poll shows majority of residents support legal marijuana, expunging criminal records. Delaware marijuana legalization bill clears first legislative hurdle.

Marijuana advocates hit unexpected roadblocks. Bipartisan governors team up to demand federal marijuana reform. Congressional funding bill protects cannabis banking and lets DC legalize marijuana sales. Kirsten Gillibrand unveils wide-ranging marijuana plan.

Career pot-demonizer John Boehner stands to make millions off marijuana. Elizabeth Warren says she has always supported making recreational marijuana legal, but is that true? The No. 1 reason adults are interested in legalized cannabis (it’s not to get high). Americans spend roughly the same amount on legal weed and Taco Bell. Joint effort? Breweries add cannabis to their beer to fight rise in popularity of legal marijuana.

Medical Journal: 9/14/18

Showed the swelling in my feet to Dr. SanFilippo, the radiation oncologist, at my weekly check-in with him Tuesday. He was very concerned, especially about the fact that the right foot was more swollen than the left. Diagnosis: possible blood clot in the thigh, with some risk that a piece of clotted blood would break off and lodge in the lung (very, very bad). Recommendation: a sonogram. This was a big problem for me, since I had a train to catch for an important meeting in Albany, but he was pretty insistent that the test couldn’t wait. The folks in that unit browbeat the imaging group into seeing me quickly.

The test is administered by a technician, not an M.D. According to the rules, he couldn’t tell me the results; that ritual is reserved for the priesthood. But he told me in advance that if he found a clot I would be on my way to the E.D. for a shot of blood thinner, and when the exam was done he said “You’re going home.”

Made the trip to Albany and back with no significant problem. Spectacularly successful meeting; now more likely than not that New York will create the first cannabis legalization program designed to protect public health.

Fortunately, my voice, which comes and goes, was reasonably strong at the meeting; sometimes it’s just a whisper. Dr. SanFilippo assures me both that I won’t lose my voice entirely and that it will recover fully. In the meantime, the telephone is a challenge.

There’s no doubt that hydralazine/isosorbide combination is helping with the shortness-of-breath problem, but the problem is still there, especially at night, and my exercise capacity remains alarmingly low. Even in advance of getting through to Dr. Weiss, I had boosted the isosorbide (which seems to give quick relief and which doesn’t have to be taken with food) from three a day to four a day.

Needed sedatives to sleep Wednesday night and last night, but they’re working. Wednesday was very bad; I had work to do Thursday morning that I wanted to be alert for, so I tried to get through the night without anything until I finally gave up at 3:30. Happily, what I took was Tramadol, and the major aftereffect was that I was cheerful all day. Last night it was oxycodone and Ativan, which left me a little bit draggy this morning.

The throat irritation is either getting less marked over time or I’m getting used to it.

The cramps responded well to some stretching Gary Emmett recommended plus being careful about my position when I lie down to read.

Finally got through to Dr. Weiss this morning, who agreed that boosting the isosorbide dose was safe. He’d like to get more aggressive, but most of what he could get aggressive with has kidney risk associated, so he’s going to have to compare notes with Dr. Bomback before proceeding. After the kidney numbers went South Dr. Bomback recommended that I stop taking hydrochlorothiazide (a diuretic) and Losartan (which controls blood pressure through some other mechanism I don’t understand). It’s possible that the rapid deterioration in heart function reflects no longer being on those meds. I haven’t asked whether it might also or instead be a side effect of the two stress tests; the timing raises that question. Dr. Weiss seems to think that he’ll be able to manage the problem. I certainly hope so, because the lack of cardiac capacity is now seriously limiting daily activities and the intermittent shortness of breath is quite frightening and distressing.

Lowry Heussler is staying with me now, and Mike O’Hare and Debby Sanderson will be here next week.

Cannabis News Round-Up

Fourty-two people arrested across metro Denver in massive black market marijuana bust. Largest pot bust in Colorado history claims over 80,000 plants. Colorado marijuana industry opened to outside investors. Marijuana banking bill advances in U.S. House Committee. In a world of legal weed, Michael Thompson languishes in prison for selling it in 1994. Five questions that legal pot and Colorado face about stoned driving. New Colorado marijuana law addresses future of drug-sniffing dogs.

Legal pot sales coming to Michigan, but finding a store could wreck your high. Michigan recreational pot market to rival Colorado. With marijuana now legal in Michigan, Movement fest dances to a slightly different beat. Mom and dad, I’m going to Northern Michigan University cannabis school. Michigan governor: Smoking tons of weed could fix our terrible roads.

Illinois on the precipice of legalizing marijuana. As a deadline for legalizing marijuana in Illinois approaches, a new poll finds strong public support. Illinois legalization proposal unclear on what information about pot companies could be kept secret. The Illinois legalization debate: Who’s afraid of a little home grow? If pot is legalized in Illinois, what happens to medical marijuana? Illinois marijuana market could rival Colorado in the coming years, report finds.

Cuomo cites New York marijuana legalization as a top priority. Why civil rights advocates say New York decriminalization of marijuana isn’t enough. Would your county opt out of marijuana sales in New York? Unions come out in support of New York marijuana legalization bills. Drug Policy Alliance statement on Illinois State Senate passing legislation to legalize marijuana. Hundreds of drug dogs could face an uncertain fate if marijuana is legalized in New York.

New Jersey marijuana legalization: Legislature goes “back door” on pot. A wise pause on New Jersey and New York marijuana legalization. Recreational marijuana laws put on hold by New Jersey and New York: what’s that mean for Pennsylvania? Legalizing recreational marijuana in Pennsylvania still unclear. Home grow issue divides some Delaware marijuana legalization advocates.

No will in Connecticut legislature for legal marijuana. Connecticut lawyers react to failed marijuana legalization efforts. We must move forward on Connecticut marijuana legalization. Three years after voters legalized marijuana, Maine develops plan to begin sales. New Hampshire Senate votes to delay recreational marijuana legalization bill.

Marinette County, Wisconsin board formally opposes legalized recreational marijuana. Lawmaker’s “lonely ship” filling up as support for Wisconsin legalizing cannabis grows. What happened at the Minnesota Capitol with medical and recreational pot.

Louisiana marijuana legalization shot down in House committee. Tennessee needs to get a clue about cannabis and update its laws. Look inside bills directed at legalizing marijuana in North Carolina.

More cannabis shops in “weed desert” cities? California lawmakers just sank that idea. Plan to create special cannabis-friendly banks moves forward in California. Where does California cannabis tax money go? You might be surprised. Oregon brewery wants to become the unofficial beer of legal marijuana.

Snoop Dogg is right: Legal weed would benefit from more accurate dosing information. How the cannabis industry is revolutionizing the beverage sector. Legal weed can raise the roof on home prices. When pot legalization fails: Plan Bs and “consolation prizes”. For military members, cannabis still off limits despite growing legalization. Marijuana marketing is often far from mellow.

Implications of possible Mexico pot legalization. Legalizing cannabis in the United Kingdom will leave the working classes behind – just as we’ve seen in America.

Illicit Tobacco and Nicotine Markets

Scientists wanted: Recruited by Juul, many researchers say no. Most large public relations agencies swear off e-cigarette clients.

Man fined $20,000 after he’s busted trying to smuggle 9,000 cigarettes into Australia from UAE. This huge haul of dodgy cigarettes was seized in raid on UK shop. Ireland retailer ‘staggered’ by smuggling surge.

Cigarette smugglers find safe harbor in Montengro, again. Synonymous with cigarette smuggling in the 1990s, Montenegro is again the hub of a global tobacco smuggling scam funneling millions of copycat cigarettes into the EU through the use of ‘ghost’ ships, shell companies and fake paperwork.

Volumes of detained cigarette contraband have tripled in Lithuania reaching a value of 11 million euros.

Revenue vs public health in Pakistan. Several studies have shown that the share of illicit trade in cigarettes is far less than that claimed by the industry. Therefore, activists request that the government increase taxes on cigarettes.

Survey finds 36 illegal e-cigarette brands in India.

Will Philippines cigarette smuggling worsen with sin tax hike? The proposed law prohibits selling tobacco products at a price lower than the combined taxes with penal provisions against violators of not less than 10 times the amount of the excise tax plus value and imprisonment of four to six years.


Illicit Tobacco and Nicotine Markets

British American Tobacco pays Uganda $24,000,000 in taxes despite illicit cigarette trade persistence. Brazil studies reduction of cigarette tax to curb smuggling. Updated research quantifies relationship between cigarette taxes and smuggling.

Philip Morris social media snafu hurts its image turnaround. Health groups push technology firms to police Philip Morris marketing. Philip Morris going totally smokeless, looks to quit nicotine, executive says. Feel the burn.

Vaping regulations will empower the black market.

£60,000 fine for UK shopkeeper caught with illegal cigarettes. Man caught with 1,500 cartons of cigarettes on I-81, Augusta County, Georgia.

Cannabis News Round-Up

California Senate passes legislation to create state-chartered cannabis banks. California lawmakers already want to roll back a key promise of marijuana legalization. California marijuana industry is a mess, new data shows. How legalization changed Humboldt County, California. Marijuana sales in east poised to rival western markets including Colorado, California.

Social equity becomes a key question in New Jersey, other states. With New Jersey legal pot on hold, is decriminalization next? New Jersey lawmakers forge ahead with trio of pot bills. Money messed up New Jersey marijuana legalization’s justice angle. Plan to stop most weed arrests in New Jersey just advanced, but there’s a lot more work to do.

Is there enough political support for New York legalization? Activists want Westchester, New York to just say no to legalized marijuana. New York marijuana legalization bill could prevent police searches of cars based on smell of pot. What New York can learn from Mexico about marijuana legalization.

As Connecticut marijuana legalization falters, supporters eye constitutional amendment. Maine hopes to avoid pitfalls during marijuana legalization push.

Legal weed bill is back in Delaware, and a battle is brewing.

Most of Illinois says marijuana should be legal. Opinions on legalizing marijuana mixed in DeKalb County, Illinois. Illinois should take the slow road on marijuana. Illinois marijuana legalization proposal unclear on what information about pot companies could be kept secret. Legalizing pot in Illinois will harm minority-owned businesses and communities. What does the legalization in Illinois mean?

North Dakota marijuana legalization group withdraws petition for rewrite.

Why pot legalization is dividing Democrats.Biden’s shift on marijuana came days before fundraiser with pro-legalization donor. Marijuana legalization goes mainstream with first-ever forum in Capitol complex. State treasurers group endorses marijuana banking legislation. Using marijuana revenue to create jobs. Let’s really talk about marijuana: I sold the stuff as a kid, and I’m proud to lead the push to decriminalize and end the stigma associated with pot records.

Cannabis News Round-Up

Two corporate weed giants are entering New Jersey market. What will that mean for mom-and-pop sellers after legalization? NAACP, Catholic Conference warn of commercialization of marijuana in Illinois. Pot opponents express concerns over safety, commercialization. Support builds for bill to allow banks to assist pot businesses. Without banking bill, federal pot legalization is a three-legged horse until 2021. Wall Street chokes on cannabis bank bill. Michigan Attorney General joins coalition for change to marijuana banking law. Joe Biden supports decriminalization, not legalization. In 1989, Joe Biden believed the difference between marijuana and alcohol is that one can be used responsibly. Cannabis stocks can be a lucrative—but risky—bet.

Efforts to legalize marijuana in New York are at an impasse. Cuomo retreats from legal marijuana promises. New York marijuana: What to know about cannabis jobs, pot college and immigrant weed workers. With recreational pot unlikely, New York medical marijuana program may grow. Columbia County, New York officials to block pot sales if legalized.

Weed smuggling arrests at LAX have surged 166% since marijuana legalization. Illegal marijuana grows in Pacific Northwest declined after legalization. Pot tax revenue welcome in Boulder. Cannabis lounges are coming to Las Vegas.

Vermont legal pot sales doomed this session. New Hampshire Senate committee votes to delay marijuana legalization bill to 2020. Legal pot hearing sure to draw huge crowd in Maine. Maine pot rules must protect kids, problem users. What will marijuana cafes and concerts look like if they become legal in Massachusetts?

Delaware legalization bill announced. Pennsylvania Lieutenant Governor finally brought his listening tour to Pittsburgh—and most want legal weed. New Jersey lawmakers kill the bill, say voters should decide. Despite the doom-and-gloom around New Jersey legal weed efforts, some lobbyists still hold out hope. Booker bill would protect students with drug convictions from losing federal college aid.

Michigan to accelerate decisions on unlicensed pot shops, recreational market. Support for Illinois legal pot thinning. Illinois survey that supposedly shows support for legalization is dwindling actually shows it is rising. Marijuana bill may violate Illinois Constitution, prosecutors say. Growing at home might not be allowed after all under Illinois legalization proposal.

Hundreds march in Fort Worth for Texas legalization of marijuana. Why Kansas cops don’t want to legalize marijuana—medical or otherwise.

Women who love weed: can the industry free itself from stoner-bro culture? Retired NBA player Caron Butler to release documentary on pot industry. State-by-state legalization is a mess.

Canada black market is thriving—even after legalization.St. Kitts and Nevis court rules adults can legally use marijuana in private.