Thursday | September 28, 2017. Melania Trump hosted a discussion on addiction, disabled medical marijuana patients in Maine are facing eviction, and Target is now selling Charlotte’s Web CBD products. Plus: the magazine industry’s declining ad revenues may force them to accept advertising from marijuana businesses.
First lady will host discussion on addiction. Melania Trump hosted a listening session on opioids. Addiction experts, individuals affected by the crisis, and journalists attended the event in the State Dining Room today. A spokesperson for Trump said she “wants to work in tandem with the president’s drug commission on youth and prevention initiatives.” The Associated Press The White House’s commission on the opioid crisis met yesterday to discuss “innovative pain management.” Despite receiving thousands of comments on medical marijuana as an alternative to opioids, no one mentioned cannabis during the meeting. Marijuana Moment
Who will head the DEA? Joseph Fuentes, the head of the New Jersey state police, is being floated as Trump’s pick to head the Drug Enforcement Administration. In 2000, when he was still an officer with the agency, he co-authored a paper defending racial profiling. He also defended a police superintendent who said: “It would be naive to think race is not an issue in drug trafficking.” During his confirmation process to head the state police, Fuentes disavowed his past comments, saying he evolved on those issues. Newsweek
MMJ patients face eviction. Susan Deschene and her son Phil are medical marijuana patients in Maine. Both of them are considered totally disabled by the federal government — receiving assistance and federally subsidized housing. They grow their own cannabis because they can’t afford to buy the medicine. But now, Susan’s landlord is pursuing an eviction case against them for “cultivating an illegal substance.” Portland Press Herald
The state of marijuana advertising. Cannabis companies are increasingly turning to traditional media for advertising, including TV, magazines, and billboards. But for the most part, mainstream media want nothing to do with the industry. Many still fear action from federal regulators for running marijuana-related ads. Policies also vary depending on geography: plant-touching companies have been able to advertise on public transportation in San Francisco and New York, but not in Boston. However, the woes of the magazine industry could change the stigma against cannabis: “As publishers continue to grapple with declining advertising revenue, it’ll become harder for them to say no to marijuana businesses.” Marijuana Business Daily
D.C.’s gray market. In Washington D.C., it’s illegal to buy and sell recreational marijuana. But giving it away is allowed under D.C. law, spawning a “unique” commercial space where businesses sell other items and give a “gift” of cannabis to the customer. “These businesses–many offering delivery–sell everything from coffee cups to artwork–all overpriced and all coming with a little something extra. It’s a curious legal and semantic tightrope, and one the District’s politicians and police seem determined to keep walking.” The Associated Press
Target is selling CBD. Charlotte’s Web products are now available at Target. The company gained prominence after a CNN documentary showed how young medical marijuana patient Charlotte Figi was helped by CBD. The company developed a strain and named it after her. BuzzFeed Editor’s Note: Hemp-derived CBD is not legal in all 50 states.
The problem with a criminal justice reform bill. Senators Cory Booker (D-N.J.) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) introduced a bill aimed at reducing mass incarceration. Such reforms are supported by a growing number of lawmakers on both sides of the political spectrum. While the bill seems like a big step forward, one expert argues that it’s based on “a misreading of the political history of mass incarceration” because it overstates the role of federal policy in state prison populations. Vox
Cannabis in Canada. A poll found that 68 percent of Canadians support the impending legalization of marijuana, and 47 percent said they would buy cannabis-infused foods. National Post Medical cannabis producer Tweed, a subsidiary of Canopy Growth, is planning to enter the recreational market by expanding its marijuana production facility. Niagara Advance The marijuana industry is using an upcoming Supreme Court case on cross-border alcohol limits to argue against provincial monopolies in the recreational marijuana market. CBC News A survey of 5,000 Canadians found that 65 percent of respondents support private retailers of cannabis. HuffPost
Medical marijuana in the Philippines. The health secretary expressed support for medical marijuana legalization after the House’s health committee advanced MMJ legislation. “We are for making it available for restricted and highly regulated medical use like what we have for morphine and other highly addictive drugs,” she said. The Philippine Star
Word on the States
- In Colorado, black-market grows are surging in rural areas of the state.
- In Massachusetts, at least six people have applied to run the Cannabis Control Commission.
- In Maine, a hearing on recreational marijuana drew crowds to the State House. The legislature considers doubling recreational pot taxes.
- In Michigan, lawmakers plan to introduce legislation to allow MMJ dispensaries to stay open. A Senate panel advanced legislation to regulate MMJ advertising.
- In California, consumers spent $681 million on marijuana in three months.
- In Rhode Island, a Superior Court judge blocked a town from restricting MMJ cultivation and distribution. Nineteen people were selected to study marijuana legalization.
- In Pennsylvania, the health department approves a medical marijuana marketing campaign.
- In Texas, a Dallas policy to reduce marijuana penalties has stalled due to “logistical concerns.”
- In Montana, two MMJ dispensaries were targeted by burglars.
- In Illinois, an MMJ patient lost a job due to a drug test, prompting the employer to change its policy.
- In New Mexico, Albuquerque rejected ads for an MMJ company, citing concerns about federal drug policy.
Word for Word
“In The Playboy Philosophy, a mix of libertarian and libertine arguments that Mr. Hefner wrote in 25 installments starting in 1962, his message was simple: Society was to blame. His causes — abortion rights, decriminalization of marijuana and, most important, the repeal of 19th-century sex laws — were daring at the time. Ten years later, they would be unexceptional. ‘Hefner won,’ [sociologist Todd] Gitlin said in a 2015 interview. ‘The prevailing values in the country now, for all the conservative backlash, are essentially libertarian, and that basically was what the Playboy Philosophy was.'” – Laura Mansnerus for The New York Times
“People are saying, ‘Oh my gosh, you’ve gotta try this famous strain for this particular region,’ it might be, or it might be just a strain that grows particularly well in the Emerald Triangle or in eastern Washington, wherever it is. Those conversations are definitely happening and I think it’s getting a lot of people really excited about cannabis whereas before it was just something to consume, something to smoke, something to reduce stress or use for medical properties. And now it’s something that you can get really excited about and really nerdy about, which is fun.” – Leafly editor Brett Konen, Wine Enthusiast