Will feeding hemp to cattle pass along a high to humans? That’s what researchers at Kansas State University hope to discover after the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) awarded them a $200,000 grant.
Although the federal government legalized hemp under the 2018 Farm Bill, it’s prohibited for use as animal feed, and no one really knows what effect cannabinoids have on cattle. Plus, using hemp as livestock feed could potentially result in concentrations of THC in meat and milk.
“Our goal is to fill in the knowledge gaps,” said Michael Kleinhenz, one of the researchers at Kansas State University. “Until feedstuffs containing hemp are established as safe in animals, our data will assist producers in managing situations involving intentional or unintentional hemp exposures.”
According to a study conducted by the Yale School of Public Health, higher rates of e-cigarette and marijuana vaping did not result in more vaping-related lung injuries (known as EVALI) in states with legalized marijuana.
“Indeed, the five earliest states to legalize recreational marijuana—Alaska, California, Colorado, Oregon and Washington—all had less than one EVALI case per 100,000 residents aged 12 to 64. None of the highest EVALI-prevalence states—Utah, North Dakota, Minnesota, Delaware and Indiana—allowed recreational marijuana use,” according to Yale researchers.
So what accounts for the difference? It turns out that the use of Vitamin E acetate, a vaping additive used to dilute marijuana oils in mostly black-market vaping products, is responsible for the rise in EVALI cases. People in states where marijuana is still prohibited are more likely to seek out black-market products.
Yale researchers used data collected by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) related to EVALI hospitalization and deaths nationwide.
Marijuana sales in Colorado have been breaking records nearly every month, despite (or maybe because of) the COVID-19 pandemic. July was no exception: Recreational marijuana dispensary sales amounted to $183,106,003, while medical marijuana sales amounted to $43,268,565. Combined, that’s $226,374,568 worth of weed, up 13.8% from June.
So far, Colorado dispensaries have sold more than $1.2 billion worth of marijuana edibles, concentrate, and flower in 2020, amounting to $203 million in taxes for the state.
If cannabis sales continue to break records, 2020 could surpass 2019’s record of $1.75 billion in annual sales.