GW Pharma sets its sights on cancer. An early-stage clinical trial on the bio-tech company’s cannabis-derived drug showed promising results for patients with glioblastoma multiforme, an aggressive form of brain cancer. The company said the data would be used to speed up its oncology research, in hopes of developing cannabinoid drugs for other types of cancer too. The Telegraph
Sessions’ confirmation. Senate Democrats are dragging out a fight over Jeff Sessions’ confirmation as attorney general. After Republicans blocked a filibuster, they also prohibited Sen. Elizabeth Warren from reading a letter by Coretta Scott King opposing Sessions’ from a federal judgeship. The final vote and his confirmation is expected tonight. CNN Legalization advocates are worried about his past anti-marijuana comments. Cannabis businesses are banking on the administration to follow Trump’s campaign-trail promises. Fresno Bee
‘We ought to be careful with our predictions.’ While many in the cannabis industry aren’t worried about a Trump administration, others are urging caution. “Trump seems to have an infatuation with the law enforcement,” said one trimmer who works in northern California. A cannabis attorney in Colorado says a number of her clients have backed out of investments over fears of an attorney general Jeff Sessions. Vice
Medical marijuana in New Zealand. The federal government announced that it would lessen the bureaucratic hurdles for accessing medical cannabis in the country. The associate health minister also criticized doctors for being too conservative in prescribing the drug: “What I want to see from [doctors] is an open approach, not one where I think to date has been based a little on their wariness and in some cases downright prejudices.” New Zealand Herald
The public fights back. States that passed cannabis reform last year at the ballot box have all seen lawmakers attempt to roll back the voter-approved initiatives. While some of the opposition occurred behind closed doors without public input (like in Massachusetts), Florida voters came out in droves to criticize their lawmakers for overly stringent regulations. So many showed up to speak out against the draft rules that they couldn’t even fit into the room where the hearing took place. (Officials opened an overflow room.) Miami Herald
Colorado sets its sights on worker safety. After much hand-wringing about public safety after cannabis legalization, Colorado officials are now focusing on the safety of marijuana workers. Health officials debuted the first employee safety guide that addresses hazards unique to the industry like fires and explosions from concentrate extraction. The Cannabist
POTUS not a fan of forfeiture reform. After a sheriff criticized a state lawmaker for pushing civil asset forfeiture reform, the President joked that he could “destroy” this state senator’s career. There are many stories about law enforcement abusing the program, which allows officers to seize cash without even charging someone with a crime. The Washington Post Some wonder weather the senator in question is Konni Burton, a Texas Republican who has introduced legislation that would require a conviction before law enforcement could seize any assets. Democrat Juan Hinojosa has introduced similar legislation. Texas Tribune
Stoners, they’re just like us. The Post discovers that potheads are (gasp!) just your average professionals who work as teachers, TV execs, and businessmen. One teacher estimated that 85 percent of school workers in the city would fail a drug test. The New York Post
Op-ed of the day. César Gaviria, former president of Colombia, writes that the war on drugs doesn’t work: “Locking up nonviolent offenders and drug users almost always backfires, instead strengthening organized crime. That is the message I would like to send to the world and, especially, to President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines. Trust me, I learned the hard way.” The New York Times
And now, in local news…
- In Arkansas, House and Senate committees consider 11 medical marijuana bills.
- In California, the Los Angeles county board voted to extend a ban on cannabis businesses.
- In Connecticut, legal adult-use cannabis could bring in $30 – $60 million in tax revenue in its first year.
- In Georgia, a bill to expand the state’s medical marijuana program was approved by a Senate committee.
- In New Hampshire, a House committee approved a cannabis decriminalization bill.
- In Utah, the House approved a medical cannabis research bill.
- In Tennessee, Republican voters support medical marijuana legalization.