Cannabis News Week: THC-O Warning; States Making Drug Money

THC-O is potentially dangerous and has a similar profile to the component in vape pens that caused the 2019/2020 EVALI outbreak.

While cannabis has been proven over and over not only to be a safe drug, but also one that has numerous health benefits, there is concern that a certain type of cannabinoid is dangerous.

THC-O acetate, commonly known as THC-O, is the product of the chemical synthesis of hemp-derived CBD. 

A new study published in the Journal of Medical Toxicology suggests that THC-O has a similar structure to that of Vitamin-E acetate, an additive in unlicensed THC vape cartridges that has been linked to the outbreak of EVALI lung disease back in 2019. 

The EVALI outbreak resulted in thousands of people becoming sick, and more than 60 fatalities. The study says that upon heating in a vape pen, both substances produce ketene, a “highly potent lung toxicant” that is suspected to cause EVALI, NORML reported

THC-O has never been tested for safety in human studies, according to NORML, so based on this and the JoMT study findings it’s probably best to stay away from the product. 

Dry January Aided by Weed

Many people practice a dry January, giving up alcohol for the first month of the year in order to start the new year off on the right foot. 

Because giving up intoxicants isn’t easy, weed can be a welcome alternative to booze for those that indulge. 

People living in states with legal recreational marijuana experience lower rates of alcohol abuse compared to those that live in states where recreational use of the drug remain illegal, according to a new federally funded study. 

Researchers observed 240 pairs of twins in cases where one twin lived in a state with legal marijuana and the other didn’t. The study found that while overall alcohol consumption was statistically the same, those living in recreational states were “less likely to risk harm while under the influence of alcohol,” according to the peer-reviewed study published in the medical journal Psychological Medicine. 

“Recreational legalization was associated with increased cannabis use and decreased AUD (alcohol use disorder) symptoms but was not associated with other maladaptations,” the study found. 

“Moreover, vulnerabilities to cannabis use were not exacerbated by the legal cannabis environment. Future research may investigate causal links between cannabis consumption and outcomes.”

Cannabis Funds Rolling In

As more states began legalizing cannabis over the past couple of years, talk of equity and righting wrongs of the past were common. 

But the real reason states are open to legal marijuana is that it brings in the big bucks. With that in mind, here’s a look at some of the tax revenue totals from states with legalized cannabis, as well as some projections for states that are thinking about legalizing. 

Arizona just released its numbers for October, with adult-use cannabis sales reaching a new record of $84.5 million. Some of that growth was at the cost of the state’s medical marijuana industry, which saw revenue fall for the eighth straight month to $31.4 million, according to the Arizona Mirror.

Meanwhile in Connecticut pot smokers were able to purchase legal weed from dispensaries starting this week. The state’s seven dispensaries took in $359,130 in revenue during the first day of availability, CT Insider reported citing the state’s Department of Consumer Protection data. 

As part of Hawaii’s consideration of legalizing recreational, a report by the Dual Use Cannabis Task Force says that tax revenues in the state could reach between $34 million and $53 million annually, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported

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