More on Canada’s legalization bill. Legislation to legalize recreational marijuana in the country still needs to the passed by Parliament. But its chances look good thanks to prime minster Justin Trudeau’s Liberal majority there. The Washington Post The legislation runs afoul of international drug treaties. One recent study suggested that the federal government could get around this by justifying legalization under exemptions for “scientific purposes.” The New York Times
Health Canada comes under scrutiny. Several federally licensed medical marijuana companies have raised concerns about the government’s ability to regulate the industry. Producers say the industry lacks appropriate standards and that the federal agency may not be up to the task of overseeing product safety. The criticisms come after a recent scandal surrounding pesticides found in federally regulated medical marijuana: “Prior to the tainted cannabis problems, Health Canada said it would take a ‘zero-tolerance’ approach to dangerous pesticides.” After the scandal, the agency admitted that they hadn’t been testing for those pesticides. The Globe and Mail
‘My son would have died for nothing.’ Six years ago, 19-year-old Michael Swan was murdered in a drug robbery. An Ottawa judge sentenced one man involved in his murder to nine years in jail — on the same day the federal government introduced its legalization bill. The sentencing brought Swan’s parents little comfort: “It doesn’t matter how many years he got, it won’t bring my son back,” said his mother. His parents say Swan simply enjoyed smoking weed. “He died for something that soon will be legal in this country and there will be no motivation to do drug rips of this type,” said his father. CTV News
Reported drug czar pick has dubious history. House rep. Tom Marino (R-Pa.), widely reported to be the Trump administration’s pick for drug czar, has a record of opposing drug policy reforms. But nearly 20 years ago, he tried to help a friend expunge a cocaine charge from his record. Marino hand-delivered a request to clear his friend’s criminal record of a 6-year-old charge of delivering 2 grams of cocaine. The friend “went on to commit many more crimes.” Opponents of Marino hope the case could help derail his appointment, which requires a Senate confirmation. “That Marino gave his friend special treatment while waging a punitive war on everyone else ought to disqualify him from being drug czar,” said one pro-reform advocate. US News
Cannabis Caucus anticipates progress. House rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) says the Congressional Cannabis Caucus anticipates “brisk progress after the April recess” on marijuana policy reform. First item on the agenda will probably be legislation to open up medical marijuana research. Second is a bill to reform how cannabis businesses are treated under the federal tax code. The Hill
Work for the government? Feds don’t care if weed is legal in your state. The U.S. Office of Personnel Management wants to change its background check forms to add a clarification about pot, which asks prospective workers about their illegal drug use “in accordance with Federal laws, even though permissible under state laws.” (The move was initiated during the Obama administration.) The agency’s acting director wrote that marijuana possession “can raise questions about an applicant’s or employee’s reliability, judgment, and trustworthiness or ability or willingness to comply with laws, rules, and regulations.” MassRoots
Investor interest in cannabis is growing. Mainstream investors have an increasing interest in the cannabis industry, especially after legalization ballot measures passed in seven states last November. But while institutional investors are eyeing the industry, that interest has not yet become action. “I don’t predict a stampede in the next two years, but I do think you’ll see institutional interest transition into the beginning of institutional investment,” said a partner at the cannabis-focused holding company MedMen. Marijuana Business Daily
High Times changes its mind about consumption at Cannabis Cup. Next week’s Cannabis Cup in San Bernardino is the first to take place after the passage of adult-use legalization in California. For months, the site promoting the event said anyone over 21-years-old could enter the consumption area with an ID. But the site recently changed its mind, saying only adults with valid medical marijuana cards will be allowed. “The magazine appears to be the latest in a string of cannabis event organizers who’d hoped to loosen up their policies following legalization only to discover that — in California in particular — the rules can get more complicated in a regulated market.” The Orange County Register
CBD products are a ‘rising trend’ in the beauty industry. The beauty industry is embracing cannabis for the purported skin care benefits of hemp seed oil and CBD. “We’ve been seeing this step away from the stigma of cannabis and [people] really understanding the benefits and healing properties,” said a product manager for a personal care company. Los Angeles Times
Word on the States
- In California, legislators are at odds with the governor on marijuana regulations.
- In North Dakota, the governor plans to sign a medical marijuana bill.
- In Tennessee, the governor signed legislation to block decriminalization ordinances in Nashville and Memphis.
- In Florida, an anti-marijuana group is helping craft the state’s medical marijuana laws.
- In Georgia, a change in state law drove a for-profit probation provider out of business.
Word for Word
“Getting work out of [Hunter S.] Thompson was becoming difficult. The magazine put him up at hotels in San Francisco or Florida, and stocked his room with booze, grapefruit and speed. A primitive fax machine, which Thompson called his ‘Mojo Wire,’ was installed in the Rolling Stone offices, and he’d transmit his copy a few pages at a time at odd hours, adding the transitions and endings later. He would often call [editor Jann] Wenner at 2 a.m. to discuss the pieces. ‘It was a bit like being a cornerman for Ali,’ said Wenner. ‘Editing Hunter required stamina, but I was young, and this was once in a lifetime.'” – Patrick Doyle for Rolling Stone
L’isle joyeuse. Inspired by the Colorado Symphony’s “Classically Cannabis” events, this week’s playlist delves into Debussy and Puccini. Word on the Tree