How federal prohibition leads to “gross misinformation” about cannabis and pesticides. New legislation in Congress would help foreigners who use cannabis or work in the industry. How the war on drugs kept black men out of college. Also: Veterinarians are lobbying the Canadian government to allow medical cannabis for animals. 🌳
Without federal rules, cannabis regulators left on their own.
The federal government sets rules for what kind of pesticides are allowed for every type of crop. Such rules are aimed at protecting consumers based on how the product is used. But they don’t apply to marijuana, leaving state regulators and the industry to figure out pesticide rules on their own. “In terms of pest management advice, I have never seen so much gross misinformation, so much junk science,” said Whitney Cranshaw, an entomologist at Colorado State University. Crenshaw helps develop pest management programs for other crops and says it drives him “nuts” that he can’t do the same for cannabis due to federal prohibition. Harvest Public Media
Elsewhere in the federal government…
Cannabis consumers and those involved in the legal marijuana industry can get barred from the U.S. for admitting their ties to the plant. U.S. rep. Earl Blumenauer has reintroduced a bill that would create exceptions in the U.S. immigration code for those who consume cannabis or work in the industry, if those activities are legal in the state or country where they occurred. Marijuana Moment Treasury secretary Steven Mnuchin said that “opportunity zone” tax benefits weren’t meant for the cannabis industry and urged Congress to look into the issues created from the state-federal conflict of cannabis laws. However, his team has yet to issue specific guidance on the issue. Marijuana Moment
What’s next for New Jersey.
Now that lawmakers are abandoning an effort to legalize marijuana through the legislature, voters will likely weigh in on the issue during the 2020 election. “The Legislature can put a marijuana legalization referendum on the ballot by passing a measure with simple majorities in consecutive years. The governor has no formal role in the process.” Politico It also means that lawmakers can turn their attention to an effort to expand the state’s medical marijuana program. They’re working on amendments to that bill, but declined to discuss specifics. Lawmakers are also working on legislation to expunge marijuana offenses. nj.com Governor Phil Murphy says he’s open to both medical marijuana expansion and criminal records expungement. The Associated Press
Illinois lawmakers wrestle with changes to cannabis bill.
Testimony on the state’s medical marijuana legalization bill highlighted concerns with home cultivation and record expungement. The Senate committee hearing ended without a vote, and supporters of the bill said they would consider making changes. “A tally of witnesses for and against submitted by potential witnesses, which is often looked to in Illinois as one indicator of a bill’s support, showed that 1,172 opposed the bill versus 556 in support as of late Wednesday.” Cannabis Wire Law enforcement were unsurprisingly opposed to the bill. So was the Illinois chapter of the NAACP. Some concerns voiced by opponents were just plain puzzling, including “whether or not weed causes erectile dysfunction.” Chicago Sun-Times
How the war on drugs kept black men out of college.
In the early ’80s, college enrollment of black men was on the upswing. But after the Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1986, the chances that a black man would enroll in college declined by 10 percent. The study “appears to be the first to establish a direct link between ’80s drug laws and college achievement… As the government spent more money sending black men to prison, it devoted fewer resources to programs that would have helped the formerly incarcerated reenter society after they were released.” Meanwhile, other policies prevented those with drug convictions from accessing higher education by barring them from financial aid. The Atlantic
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Updates from Oregon.
A bill that would have legalized marijuana consumption spaces is “100 percent dead,” said the group behind the effort. While certain jurisdictions are moving to allow cannabis consumption spaces, the effort has stalled in the state for now. Statesman Journal Elsewhere in the legislature, the state Senate passed a bill that would allow marijuana imports and exports. While some tout the legislation as a way to ease the state’s cannabis oversupply problem, the solution relies on the federal government allowing the arrangement in some way. Currently, federal prohibition prevents marijuana from traveling across state lines. KATU
Michigan’s marijuana crackdown.
The Michigan State Police has created a special unit focused on cracking down on unlicensed medical marijuana activities. The team’s 40 detectives and civilian analysts will soon begin addressing the illicit cannabis market. They have their work cut out for them: “It’s unclear where the black market ends and where the licensed industry begins at this point,” said a spokesperson for a licensed marijuana business. Meanwhile, “higher courts consistently challenged or overturned prosecutorial efforts related to marijuana after medical pot was legalized in 2008.” The Detroit News
Today in cannabis business news…
A survey of American bankers found that most of them want to participate in the industry. About 82 percent of bank executives support legislation in Congress that would allow financial institutions to work with the cannabis industry. Most survey respondents represented small, community banks. The Sacramento Bee Women are raising concerns with High Times‘ business practices, from trademark disputes to “intensely photoshopped” images of models. “It’s not an ‘us vs. them’ issue; there are three women on that board of directors,” said one entrepreneur. Forbes
Cannabis in Canada.
A group of veterinarians is lobbying the Canadian government to allow medical cannabis products for animals. While research on cannabis for animals is scarce, vets say the lack of pot laws for pets are leading pet owners to take matters into their own hands and give animals cannabis products that were designed for humans. CBC News The president of a Vancouver-based cannabis processing company thinks that infused products won’t be widely available on the Canadian cannabis market until 2020. Marijuana Business Daily Edmonton police are urging public vigilance after discovering three unlicensed cannabis extraction labs. Two of the labs were discovered after explosions. Edmonton Journal
Elsewhere around the world…
The mother of an epileptic son in the U.K. describes how she gets cannabis oil from the gray market to treat his seizures. BBC The medical cannabis pilot program in Denmark has surpassed 2,000 patients. The program also has more than 300 non-Danish patients, most of whom hail from Sweden. The government had expected 500 during the first year of the four-year program. Marijuana Business Daily A parliament committee on human rights in Ukraine has endorsed a bill to legalize medical marijuana in the country. UNIAN A 54-year-old New Zealand man pleaded guilty to cultivating cannabis. He said he grew the stuff to help his knee pain and did not want to purchase cannabis from the black market. He said he sold some of it at a reduced price to other medical cannabis patients and does not believe he should be penalized. stuff.co.nz
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Word on the States
- In Connecticut, the House speaker said that a vote on marijuana legalization could happen in the next three weeks (instead of pushing it to a special session).
- In Nevada, a new bill would transfer cannabis regulation to a governor-appointed, five-member board. Las Vegas aspires to be the “New Amsterdam” with its cannabis lounges.
- In Texas, the legislature passed a bill to legalize hemp. The House speaker is optimistic about expanding medical marijuana in the state.
- In Missouri, a medical marijuana lobbyist is co-hosting a fundraiser for the governor next week.
- In Utah, the state will treat medical marijuana just like any other prescription drug.
- In Pennsylvania, the Department of Health considers three medical marijuana changes.
- In Louisiana, the House advanced a medical cannabis inhaler bill, sending it to the Senate.
- In Nebraska, the medical cannabis bill stalled in the legislature as supporters look to the 2020 ballot.
- In Alabama, Summerdale police raise questions about THC testing.
- In California, Santa Cruz County is easing its cannabis cultivation rules.
- In Ohio, Cincinnati delayed voting on marijuana decriminalization.
- In Florida, a look at a nursery competing for Southwest Florida’s first medical marijuana license.
Word for Word
“There is a new bipartisan consensus on criminal justice, and it is that the old consensus was wrong… No one in the 2015 report suggested decriminalizing marijuana, but Mr. Booker, Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and former Representative Beto O’Rourke of Texas did in the new one, and other candidates have suggested it elsewhere… The new centerpieces include eliminating cash bail and getting rid of mandatory minimum sentences altogether.” – Maggie Astor for The New York Times
“Douglas’s day job is in the cannabis industry, and he supplements his regular income with the money he makes from pushing psilocybin. He says he’s never felt like he’s committing a crime. ‘Morally or ethically, I’m not doing anything wrong, because psilocybin is medicine,’ Douglas says. ‘The only thing that could be wrong is maybe if I gave it to somebody who wasn’t educated on use and took too high of a dose and put himself in danger. But most people are educated. And a lot of that is out of my control.'” – Conor McCormick-Cavanagh for Westword