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Report from Colorado doctors finds possibility of first death attributed to marijuana

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Report from Colorado doctors finds possibility of first death attributed to marijuana

DENVER – An 11-month-old child who died after being exposed to marijuana is believed to be the first person whose death has been attributed to marijuana exposure, according to two Colorado doctors who published a report on the death in August.

The report by Thomas M. Nappe, DO, who works at the Rocky Mountain Poison and Drug Center in Denver, and Christopher O. Hoyte, MD, with the Department of Emergency Medicine at the CU Anschutz Medical Center, was published in the August edition of the journal “Clinical Practice and Cases in Emergency Medicine.”

According to the report, the infant had “no known past medical history,” yet was admitted to the emergency room unresponsive with a depressed nervous system, then went into cardiac arrest and later died. The report notes that the infant was “irritable with decreased activity” in the day or two beforehand, but “was noted to be healthy” beforehand.

A subsequent medical examination on the child was performed, which found THC enzymes in his blood, though the report notes that “route and timing of exposure to cannabis were unknown.”

However, the report noted: “Additional history disclosed an unstable motel-living situation and parental admission of drug possession, including cannabis.”

It also said it was “highly unlikely” the THC entered the boy through “passive exposure,” which could mean second-hand smoking or breastfeeding, among other things.

The autopsy of the boy found he was suffering from myocarditis, an inflammation of the heart that, according to the Myocarditis Foundation, “usually attacks otherwise healthy people” and “is believed” to cause between 5 and 20 percent of sudden death in young adults. But the autopsy didn’t find signs of bacterial or viral infections, which often can contribute to myocarditis, according to the foundation.

Nappe and Hoyte in their report say that they “propose a relationship between cannabis exposure in this patient and myocarditis, leading to cardiac arrest and ultimately death.”

That conclusion, they say, should lead fellow medical professionals to consider urine screenings for THC in child patients who show signs of myocarditis and live in areas where marijuana is widely-used, like Colorado. They also recommend that parents be counseled on how to prevent such exposures, writing that children are at an increased risk of exposure through edible marijuana.

Their report says they believe given the timing of THC’s metabolism in the human body that the boy ingested “a single, acute high-potency” dose between 2 and 6 days before his death.

While no death has been directly linked to a marijuana overdose, the authors also note other instances in which young adults were diagnosed with myocarditis after ingesting marijuana, though all recovered.

The authors’ conclusion says:

Of all the previously reported cases of cannabis- induced myocarditis, patients were previously healthy and no evidence was found for other etiologies. All of the prior reported cases were associated with full recovery. In this reported case, however, the patient died after myocarditis associated cardiac arrest. Given two rare occurrences with a clear temporal relationship – the recent exposure to cannabis and the myocarditis-associated cardiac arrest – we believe there exists a plausible relationship that justifies further research into cannabis-associated cardiotoxicity and related practice adjustments. In states where cannabis is legalized, it is important that physicians not only counsel parents on preventing exposure to cannabis, but to also consider cannabis toxicity in unexplained pediatric myocarditis and cardiac deaths as a basis for urine drug screening in this setting.

Original Article at http://www.thedenverchannel.com/news/local-news/report-from-colorado-doctors-finds-possibility-of-first-death-attributed-to-marijuana

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[Winner] November 1, 2018 Giveaway (Episode 2)

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Brady Shepherd wins our 2nd Rate.Review.Win! Giveaway!

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Automatic Weapons to host November CannaMaps Giveaway!

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Automatic Weapons | CannaMaps

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Will mega marijuana deal get approval in New York?

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Will mega marijuana deal get approval in New York?

ALBANY — The planned merger of two of the nation’s largest cannabis companies is being closely watched by industry insiders in New York who are wondering just how state regulators are going to handle an acquisition that, on its face, seems to violate state law.

MedMen Enterprises and PharmaCann announced the $682 million deal to stockholders last week, noting that the acquisition would create the nation’s largest cannabis company with licenses to operate 79 facilities across a dozen states, including two cultivation facilities and eight medical marijuana dispensaries in New York.

The only catch?

New York Public Health Law, which allows marijuana for medical use only, prohibits a registered marijuana organization from owning and operating more than four dispensaries in the state. The provision was designed to prevent market domination, even as some argue it limits access for patients who must travel to far-flung destinations to get their medicine.

In response to that concern, the state last year doubled the number of medical marijuana organizations allowed to operate statewide from five to 10 — a move that also doubled the number of allowed dispensaries statewide from 20 to 40.

The four-dispensary-per-company limit remains, however.

MedMen, a Los Angeles-based company known for its high-end marijuana stores, would acquire the assets and licenses of Illinois-based PharmaCann in the stock deal, though it must gain regulatory approval from local and state authorities in each of the markets where those assets are held.

“We are in talks with the regulators in all of the jurisdictions impacted by this acquisition, including New York,” said MedMen spokesman Daniel Yi. “The first step in any acquisition is for the two parties to agree to the terms and enter into a binding contract. Then you go seek approvals from all the relevant regulators. We have begun that process now.”

New York’s Department of Health, which oversees the state’s still-nascent medical marijuana program, said Monday that any merger proposal submitted to the agency for approval must be in compliance with state law. There are also requirements regarding ownership changes, said department spokeswoman Jill Montag.

“Regulations prohibit a registered organization from changing the composition of its ownership without prior written approval of the Department of Health,” she said. “MedMen and PharmaCann do not have approval from the department to conduct this transaction, and at this time the department has insufficient information to determine if approval can be granted.”

MedMen said it expects the transaction to close within six months to a year. It declined to speculate on its plans should New York reject the deal.

“It would not be proper for us to get ahead of the process,” Yi said. “We are currently in talks with regulators and we feel confident about the outcomes.”

In a news release issued Monday, MedMen said that it will use “commercially reasonable efforts” to transition licenses to a third party if it is unable to gain regulatory approvals within a two-year time span, with proceeds going to the company and its investors.

Founded in 2014 in Oak Park, Ill., PharmaCann was one of the five original organizations registered to operate grow sites and retail stores in New York, which went live with its medical marijuana program in January 2016.

The firm quickly became a major player in the industry, and today is considered one of the nation’s leading providers of medical cannabis with operations in Illinois, New York, Maryland and Massachusetts, and planned expansions in Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia.

Its facilities in New York include a cultivation center in Orange County and dispensaries in Albany, the Bronx, and Central and Western New York.

MedMen, meanwhile, had become a major player of its own, primarily out west, selling both recreational and medical marijuana. It entered the New York market last year when it bought out Bloomfield Industries, one of five original organizations licensed to operate in the state.

But it didn’t garner much attention until this past spring, when MedMen opened its first dispensary in Manhattan on pricey Fifth Avenue. The move appeared to be a gamble that New York would soon legalize recreational marijuana, since the state’s tightly regulated medical marijuana program is small by industry standards and unlikely to generate sizable revenues without significant expansion.

Indeed, New York appears poised to jump on the recreational bandwagon. Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo in January ordered a study into a regulated, adult-use program, and by June the Department of Health concluded such a program would have more positives than negatives.

A task force is currently researching and crafting legislation for consideration in the upcoming 2019 legislative session, and public hearings on the matter are being held statewide.

MedMen said Monday that it has consistently advocated for full legalization of marijuana, as well as an increase in the number of licenses and dispensaries.

“We believe that legal, regulated cannabis leads to safer, healthier and happier communities,” Yi said.

Original Article at https://www.timesunion.com/news/article/Will-mega-marijuana-deal-get-approval-in-New-York-13311377.php

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