OLCC Issues Guidance: What Do I Do If My Employee is Sick?

Guidance for OLCC Alcohol & Marijuana Licensees On What Action to Take If An Employee is Sick

OREGON: OLCC licensees are operating in a difficult business environment right now. To help slow the spread of COVID-19, the Governor’s March 17, 2020 Executive Order 20-07 prohibited on-site consumption of food and drink and gatherings of 25 or more people at bars, restaurants and similar establishments. But in adopting to this new reality, licensees also need to watch for one more thing: What to do if an employee becomes sick.

First, for those who are ill, the message is simple: Stay home, save lives. If you are experiencing symptoms of mild illness — fever, cough, mild shortness of breath — stay home. Stay away from others in your home, keep everyone in your household home, stay in touch with your doctor and wear a face mask.

Second, for licensees, know the signs and symptoms of COVID-19 and what to do if staff become symptomatic at your place of business. Encourage personal protective measures among staff such as staying home when sick, and increase the frequency of your cleaning/disinfecting schedule you’re already doing. Remember social distancing, and increase physical space between workers.

The CDC has published helpful fact sheets and information on cleaning and disinfection for Businesses and Organizations. Sign up for updates from the Oregon Health Authority for the most current information on COVID-19 in Oregon.

For more information and answers to common questions about COVID-19, visit coronavirus.oregon.gov

CannaTech Tel Aviv & PsyTech Summit Postponed

New Dates

PsyTech Summit: June 14-15, 2020

CannaTech Tel Aviv: June 15-16, 2020

ISRAEL: In light of developing circumstances with the COVID-19 coronavirus and based on recommendations from the Israeli Ministry of Health, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), CannaTech Tel Aviv and PsyTech Summit are postponed.  PsyTech Summit will take place June 14-15 and CannaTech, June 15-16, 2020.

Saul Kaye, CEO of iCAN: Israel-Cannabis commented: “Our number one concern is the health and safety of our attendees and speakers, our partners, our colleagues and our vendors. While we are disappointed to postpone both CannaTech Tel Aviv and PsyTech Summit, we are very confident it will be worth the wait.

“We thank our sponsors and attendees for their understanding and wish all those affected by the virus our very best. We are fully committed to create beautifully crafted events in June that will showcase the brands and solutions that fuel this industry.”

OLCC Notice of Public Hearing: OAR 845-025-5760 Audit, Compliance, And Random Testing

OLCC

OREGON:  OLCC Notice of Public Hearing.

What: OAR 845-025-5760, Audit, Compliance, and Random Testing

When:  2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m., Monday, March 16, 2020

Where: Oregon Liquor Control Commission, 9079 SE McLoughlin Blvd., Portland, OR 97222

Public Notice & Proposed Rule Draft

The national outbreak of e-cigarette or vaping product use-associated lung injury (EVALI) has resulted in more than 2,800 hospitalizations and 68 deaths, including 2 deaths in Oregon. At this time neither the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA), nor the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) have determined the cause of the illness outbreak in Oregon. While studies using cases in other states have identified Vitamin E acetate as one likely cause in those states, there is no evidence of Vitamin E acetate being linked to cases in Oregon and the CDC and FDA have not ruled out other potential causes of the illness outbreak.

This rule is needed to assist the OLCC and OHA in the ongoing investigation of the cause of EVALI cases in Oregon as well as to prevent and respond to potential future outbreaks or risks to public safety due to additives, adulterants, microbiological contamination, heavy metals, or other contaminants.

In addition to the recent EVALI outbreak, undisclosed ingredients and additives have been discovered in marijuana products in violation of Commission rules. These ingredients and additives cause public health and safety issues and decrease transparency for members of the public using these products. These rule amendments will allow the OLCC to sample the products of marijuana licensees to determine whether they contain ingredients or additives. Further, the ability to randomly test acts as a deterrent and discouraging licensees from making marijuana items with illegal or unknown indigents, additives, solvents or pesticides.

Public comment period ends Sunday, March 22, 2020 at 11:55PM

 

 

 

WSLCB Issues Ban On Sale Of Flavored Vapor Products

To:         Cannabis Licensees

Fr:          Liquor and Cannabis Board

Re:         Sale of Flavored Vapor Products is Prohibited –  Effective Oct. 10, 2019 

This message is to follow up today’s Washington State Board of Health meeting where the Board of Health took action on Gov. Inslee’s Executive Order 19-03: Addressing the Vaping Use Public Health Crisis. It instituted emergency rules that direct action on Oct. 10, 2019, by both cannabis licensees and vapor product licensees. The Board of Health’s rules are available here in draft form. The only changes made were to WAC 246-80-030 regarding reporting requirements of cases to the Health Department. This change is Health-specific and not does pertain to regulated cannabis businesses.

 

Background

As you know, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), state and local health departments, and other clinical and public health partners are investigating a multistate outbreak of vape-associated lung injury associated with the use of both regulated and illicit vapor products. This investigation is ongoing and has not identified a single cause, but all reported cases have a history of using vapor products. Most patients with severe lung disease have reported a history of using vapor products containing THC. Some have reported the use of vapor products containing only nicotine.

Executive Order

On Sept. 27, 2019, Gov. Inslee issued Executive Order 19-03. This order directs the Liquor and Cannabis (LCB) and the Department of Health (Health) to immediately take certain actions to protect public health.

Those actions are reflected below as numbers 1 and 3. In addition, the agencies are directed to work together to draft legislative proposals to bring tighter regulation to the non-cannabis vapor industry.

Four actions have come forward that licensees and the LCB can do now while public health officials conduct their investigation:

  1. Signage. Prominently post this warning sign in retail locations. This required sign is co-branded with the Washington State Department of Health. A Spanish version, also available, may be posted as an additional sign.
  2. Clarify rule regarding additives on packaging and labeling. There is some confusion among industry members that certain additives, like terpenes, imported CBD, and other cannabinoids do not need to be disclosed on packaging. Current rules require all product components on packaging (WAC 314-55-105).
  3. Disclose to LCB all compounds (including ingredients, solvents, additives, etc.) used in the production and processing of products that are vaped and vaping devices themselves. Public health officials have requested assistance in gathering additional information about ingredients in vapor products.
  4.  Cooperate with the ongoing epidemiological investigation. Local, state and federal health agencies are looking into which products have been involved with Washington cases of disease. We ask for your cooperation if you are contacted by someone from a state or federal epidemiology team and/or a representative from your local health jurisdiction.

Action Directed Today

The sale of flavored vapor products by cannabis licensees is prohibited – effective Oct. 10, 2019. The definition of flavored vapor products is available in the Board of Health’s posted draft rules (linked above).

  1. The LCB directs processors to immediately cease sales of flavored vapor products.
  2. The LCB directs retailers to immediately cease sales of flavored vapor products.

The LCB is consulting with affected state agencies and will follow up soon with options for returning or destroying product.

Thank You for Cooperation

We appreciate the cooperation and collaboration demonstrated by members of in the cannabis industry on this important public health crisis.

Additional Information

For more information on this topic, please visit:

Centers For Disease Control: Initial State Findings Point To Clinical Similarities In Illnesses Among People Who Use E-cigarettes Or “Vape”

No single product linked to all cases of lung disease

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA: Initial findings from the investigation into serious lung illnesses associated with e-cigarette products point to clinical similarities among those affected. Patients report similar exposures, symptoms and clinical findings and these align with the CDC health advisory released last week. While many of the patients, but not all, reported recent use of THC-containing products, some reported using both THC- and nicotine-containing products. A smaller group reported using nicotine only.

No evidence of infectious diseases has been identified in these patients, therefore lung illnesses are likely associated with a chemical exposure. However, it is too early to pinpoint a single product or substance common to all cases, according to authors of articles published today in the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) and the New England Journal of Medicine.

“We are committed to finding out what is making people sick,” said Robert R. Redfield, MD, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “All available information is being carefully analyzed, and these initial findings are helping us narrow the focus of our investigation and get us closer to the answers needed to save lives.”

CDC, FDA, and state partners are combining information about e-cigarette exposures, results from FDA testing of product samples, and clinical testing results to identify a cause or causes of these illnesses.

“The FDA appreciates the continued collaboration between our federal and state public health partners to get to the bottom of these distressing incidents and gather more information about any products or substances used. We are leaving no stone unturned in following any potential leads and we’re committed to taking appropriate actions as the facts emerge,” said Acting FDA Commissioner Ned Sharpless, M.D. “Our laboratory is working closely with our federal and state partners to identify the products or substances that may be causing the illnesses and have received more than 120 samples from the states so far. The FDA is analyzing these for a broad range of chemicals but no one substance, including Vitamin E acetate, has been identified in all of the samples tested. Importantly, identifying any compounds present in the samples will be one piece of the puzzle but won’t necessarily answer questions about causality, which makes our ongoing work critical.”

CDC launched a multi-state investigation into the lung illnesses on August 1, 2019, and has worked closely since then with FDA, states and other public health partners, and clinicians to determine the cause. As of today, more than 25 states have reported possible cases of lung illnesses associated with use of e-cigarette products (e.g., devices, liquids, refill pods, and cartridges).

At least two deaths have been reported to CDC. Additional cases of lung illness are being investigated to determine whether they are linked to e-cigarette use and have similar clinical features. This includes looking back for older cases based on CDC’s case definition. States are in the process of classifying possible cases, and this information will be reported next week.

What CDC is doing

CDC has created an incident command structure to respond to these illnesses and is working with FDA and states to investigate whether the illnesses may be linked to specific devices, ingredients, or contaminants in the devices, or substances associated with e-cigarette product use. On August 30, 2019, states were asked to submit data to CDC about lung illnesses associated with e-cigarette product use, as well as information about the types of e-cigarette products used. CDC is currently receiving data from affected states and will share updates as more information becomes available.

What health care providers can do

CDC encourages clinicians to immediately report possible cases of e-cigarette-associated lung disease to their local or state health department for further investigation. If e-cigarette product use is suspected as a possible cause for a patient’s lung disease, a detailed history of the substances used, the sources, and the devices used should be obtained, as outlined in the HAN (Health Alert Network), and efforts should be made to determine if any remaining product, devices, and liquids are available for testing.

What the public can do

While this investigation is ongoing, people should consider not using e-cigarette products. People who do use e-cigarette products should monitor themselves for symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath, chest pain, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, fever) and promptly seek medical attention for any health concerns. Regardless of the ongoing investigation, people who use e-cigarette products should not buy these products off the street and should not modify e-cigarette products or add any substances that are not intended by the manufacturer. E-cigarette products should never be used by youth, young adults, pregnant women, or adults who do not currently use tobacco products.

If you are concerned about your health after using an e-cigarette product, contact your health care provider, or you can also call your local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Health care providers also can contact their local poison control center.

CDC and FDA encourage the public to submit detailed reports of any unexpected health or product issues related to tobacco or e-cigarette products to the FDA via the online Safety Reporting Portalexternal icon.

The reports released today in CDC’s MMWR include “Severe Pulmonary Disease Associated with Electronic-Cigarette-Product Use – Interim Guidance” by CDC authors and “Notes from the Field: An outbreak of e-cigarette associated acute lipoid pneumonia — North Carolina, July–August, 2019,” from North Carolina cliniciansThe New England Journal of Medicine today released “Preliminary Report: Pulmonary disease associated with e-cigarette use, Illinois and Wisconsin,” with authors from the two states and CDC co-authors.

More information about the investigation is available on the CDC website.

FDA Warns Consumers To Protect Themselves By Avoiding Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)-Containing Vaping Products

FDA Warning

The FDA is providing consumers information to help protect themselves while health officials investigate recent illnesses following the use of vaping products.

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA: Consumers are likely aware of the recent reports of respiratory illnesses — including some resulting in deaths – following the use of vaping products. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) remains deeply concerned about these incidents and is working closely with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as well as state and local public health partners to investigate them as quickly as possible.

While the work by federal and state health officials to identify more information about the products used, where they were obtained and what substances they contain is ongoing, the FDA is providing consumers with some information to help protect themselves.

In particular, many of the samples tested by the states or by the FDA as part of this ongoing investigation have been identified as vaping products containing tetrahydrocannabinol (or THC, a psychoactive component of the marijuana plant) and further, most of those samples with THC tested also contained significant amounts of Vitamin E acetate. Vitamin E acetate is a substance present in topical consumer products or dietary supplements, but data are limited about its effects after inhalation.

While the FDA does not have enough data presently to conclude that Vitamin E acetate is the cause of the lung injury in these cases, the agency believes it is prudent to avoid inhaling this substance. Because consumers cannot be sure whether any THC vaping products may contain Vitamin E acetate, consumers are urged to avoid buying vaping products on the street, and to refrain from using THC oil or modifying/adding any substances to products purchased in stores. Additionally, no youth should be using any vaping product, regardless of the substance.

At least one of the associated deaths that has been publicly disclosed External Link Disclaimer appears to have been related to illicit THC vaping products. In many cases of illness reported by the states, patients have acknowledged recent use of THC-containing vaping products while speaking to healthcare personnel, or in follow-up interviews by health department staff.

It’s important to note that more information is needed to better understand whether there’s a relationship between any specific products or substances and the reported illnesses. To help gather and analyze as much information as possible, the FDA’s laboratory is working closely with our federal and state partners to identify the products or substances that may be causing the illnesses.

The FDA is analyzing samples submitted by a number of states for the presence of a broad range of chemicals, including nicotine, THC and other cannabinoids along with cutting agents/diluents and other additives, pesticides, opioids, poisons, heavy metals and toxins.

No one substance has been identified in all of the samples tested. Importantly, identifying any compounds that are present in the samples will be one piece of the puzzle but will not necessarily answer questions about what is causing these illnesses.

Federal and state partners are following any potential leads, including the presence of Vitamin E acetate found in many of the samples containing THC. The FDA is committed to taking appropriate actions as the facts emerge and keeping the public informed as we have more information to share.

However, in the interim, we encourage consumers to help protect themselves and avoid buying vaping products of any kind on the street, and to refrain from using THC oil or modifying/adding any substances to products purchased in stores. If you continue to use these THC-containing vaping products, monitor yourself for symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath, chest pain) and promptly seek medical attention if you have concerns about your health. If you are concerned about your health after using a vaping product, contact your health care provider, or you can also call your local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Health care providers also can contact their local poison control center.

CDC and the FDA encourage the public to submit detailed reports of any unexpected tobacco- or e-cigarette-related health or product issues to the FDA via the online Safety Reporting Portal.

The Great MMJ Tax Debate

MJ NEWS NETWORK EXCLUSIVE. WASHINGTON: Black Diamond, a former coal mining town 45 minutes south of Seattle, held a great debate on the future of medical marijuana yesterday. The event was organized by MMJ Universe and it’s owner Deidre Finley, who have been on the forefront of Washington’s medical marijuana movement by providing a safe access point for medicine and educational seminars for patients. [Read more…]