Congress is talking about marijuana reform, but could it actually happen? As local officials crack down on CBD, senators urge the USDA to hurry up with hemp regulations. A group of 75 doctors and researchers discredit Alex Berenson in an open letter. Also: A Colorado school fired a substitute teacher for talking about cannabis science on YouTube (while receiving funding from marijuana tax revenue). 🌳
Could marijuana banking reform actually advance? Marijuana advocates praised the U.S. House for discussing marijuana banking reform last week. But “the House Financial Services Committee hearing provided more bark than bite, since this was just an initial discussion of the issue.” Westword An exchange during the hearing went viral, featuring U.S. rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez asking about whether marijuana reform is “compounding the racial wealth gap… Is this industry representative of the communities that have historically [borne] the greatest brunt of injustice based on the prohibition of marijuana?” Esquire Related: In a signing statement, president Trump reserved the right of his administration to enforce federal prohibition, despite a budget rider preventing the DOJ from interfering with state medical marijuana laws. Marijuana Moment
The Northeast grapples with legalization. States across the Northeast are considering legalization, including New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Connecticut. The Journal News New Jersey governor Phil Murphy and state legislative leaders have almost reached a deal on legalization after an impasse between the governor and state Senate president on the issue of marijuana taxes. The sponsor of the legalization bill says the deal is not finalized yet, but the major sticking points of taxes and the regulatory commission have been resolved. nj.com
On CBD. New York City’s health department plans to step up its enforcement of CBD and will fine businesses for selling food and beverages that contain the cannabinoid. Starting October 1, they’ll start issuing infractions for selling CBD food and beverage products. CNBC The American Motorcyclist Association banned CBD company sponsorships after a racer snagged a sponsorship from a CBD oil brand and was forced to cover up its logos during a race. Racer X Law enforcement agencies are warning about high-CBD hemp flowers that look and smell like marijuana. Police lack field tests that are able to verify whether the THC content in the flowers is less than 0.3 percent. WTHR Related: U.S. senators Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) are urging the USDA to implement hemp legalization “expeditiously.” Marijuana Moment
Houston police officer lied about narcotics raid. A Houston police officer lied about using a confidential informant in an affidavit for a search warrant for a drug raid that left two suspects dead and five officers injured. Still, the police chief insisted that had good reason to investigate the house because a woman called to report her daughter doing heroin at that location. The New York Times Houston’s police chief said that there is a “high probability” that the officer would be criminally charged. “When we prepare a document to go into somebody’s home … it has to be truthful, it has to be honest, it has to be absolutely factual,” he said. The Associated Press
Doctors and scientists discredit Tell Your Children. A group of 75 researchers and medical professionals signed an open letter criticizing a new book on marijuana for its “alarmism… based on a deeply inaccurate misreading of science.” Though the signatories include “academics from New York University, Harvard Medical School and Columbia University and care providers including addiction medicine doctors, psychologists, psychiatrists and social workers,” Berenson dismissed the letter. “We urge policymakers and the public to rely on scientific evidence, not flawed pop science and ideological polemics,” read the letter. The Guardian
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Colorado school fires sub for ‘Pot Scientist’ YouTube channel. Carter Baird once started a YouTube channel called the ‘Pot Scientist Reports,’ where he would talk about cannabis-related topics from the perspective of a scientist. The channel never took off, and Baird decided to go back to work as a lab technician. He also found work as a substitute high school teacher. But he got fired from that gig because of his past YouTube videos. School officials told him his videos don’t “align with their ethics policy.” Baird is miffed about the fact that the school is partially funded by marijuana revenue. “It seems disingenuous to fire me over ethics when they take the money that’s a result of cannabis consumption.” Leafly
When legalization leaves behind longtime advocates. Ed ‘NJ Weedman’ Forchion has been fighting for legalization in New Jersey for two decades. The tide is finally changing, with lawmakers and industry lobbyists ironing out the specifics of legalization while Forchion is largely left out. He worries that a felony marijuana conviction will lock him out of the industry, and he already deals with business troubles as a result of being targeted by police. “I feel stabbed in the back… All these years in the fight and I cannot be a part of it,” he said. nj.com Related: Point Pleasant Beach, N.J. was the first town in the state to ban marijuana sales. Turns out, its mayor Stephen Reid is a paid lobbyist for anti-legalization advocacy group SAM. A new lawsuit alleges conflicts of interest and called out the mayor for failing to disclose his ties to the group. nj.com
UPS sues cannabis delivery companies. United Parcel Service (UPS) is suing a group of cannabis delivery companies for trademark infringement. The companies, including United Pot Smokers and UPS420, market and sell marijuana products online. “UPS accuses the defendants of infringing on its family of trademarks, including its shield logo… The alleged infringement hurts UPS’s reputation by associating the company with the cannabis trade, which is illegal under federal law even where states have lifted their prohibitions, UPS said.” Bloomberg Law
In cannabis business news… A look at the rise of armored trucks that have been designed to move cannabis. Detroit Free Press Major U.S. stock exchanges may be happy to list Canadian cannabis producers, but business is difficult for their American counterparts. Barron’s Investing in cannabis is risky. Here’s a look at how investors can mitigate that if they just can’t wait to get into the industry. Barron’s American CBD companies have an advantage over Canadian producers when it comes to the Brazilian CBD market. Marijuana Business Daily Howard Burns joins Marijuana Business Daily as its new editor in chief. He was previously the editor in chief for NJBIZ. Marijuana Business Daily
Elsewhere around the world… The U.K. may have legalized medical cannabis last November, “but so far, virtually no-one in the UK has been able to access it.” Now, the first imported medical cannabis has arrived from the Netherlands and three patients will finally be able to access it. BBC Cannabis cultivation and production will be a key part of Turkey‘s economic plan, which involves a cultivation pilot program in 20 provinces. “We will expand commercial licenses according to the demand we see,” said a Turkish economist. Jerusalem Post The Cyprus House passed legislation to allow medical cannabis cultivation and distribution. Cyprus Mail Singapore, a country known for its harsh drug laws, acknowledged “potential therapeutic uses of cannabinoids.” The government seems to be open to considering pharmaceutical products derived from cannabis. Marijuana Business Daily
Word on the States
- In Colorado, a look at all the marijuana bills introduced so far in the state legislature.
- In Nevada, a cannabis advisory panel questioned whether it has enough resources or authority to regulate the marijuana industry.
- In Massachusetts, a bill would make it easier for cities to host marijuana cafes. Marijuana adds a new wrinkle to impaired driving cases.
- In Vermont, a state Senate committee advanced a tax-and-regulate marijuana bill.
- In California, the governor calls for tougher cannabis enforcement. The Cannabis Wedding Expo descended on a San Francisco mall.
- In Illinois, the governor includes recreational marijuana tax revenue in his budget.
- In New York, local officials seek to ban recreational marijuana sales ahead of legalization. Bodega owners want to be allowed to sell marijuana if it’s legalized. The mayor of Buffalo announced a new marijuana decriminalization policy.
- In Pennsylvania, patients bought $132 million worth of medical marijuana during the first year of sales. Most people at an Erie town hall spoke in support of recreational legalization.
- In Wisconsin, the governor proposes marijuana decriminalization and medical marijuana legalization in the budget.
- In Arkansas, how advocates are trying to push for recreational legalization after the legislature denied expanding the medical marijuana program.
- In Minnesota, a look at a medical marijuana regulatory bill.
- In Montana, lawmakers consider studying recreational marijuana legalization.
- In Louisiana, the first medical marijuana crop passed a lab inspection.
- In West Virginia, the House approved a medical cannabis-related banking bill, sending it to the Senate.
- In Texas, a bill proposes replacing “marihuana” with “cannabis” in state statutes. A local bottled water company is getting into the CBD space.
- In the Northern Marianas, a new commissioner was sworn in to the CNMI Cannabis Commission.
Word for Word
“One reason not many are taking advantage of medical cannabis is that most people in chronic pain get treated at a pain center associated with a hospital. In order to be treated, you must sign a DEA agreement which prohibits the use of cannabis… So the people who need it the most are in a pickle. Most people can’t just walk away from the pain center treatment, even if the treatment isn’t that effective, or they have no appetite, and might benefit from cannabis. Why do we have to choose one treatment over the other?” – Roger Wattles to The Pantagraph
“I’ve never seen a sector have the political tailwinds, the economic tailwinds, and the wellness tailwinds that [the cannabis] sector potentially has… Shorts can only go to zero. Longs can go to infinity.” – Investor Danny Moses, CNBC