The Illinois Senate approved a comprehensive marijuana legalization bill, sending it to the House. New legislation signed by Colorado’s governor brings opportunities for cannabis in the state. Google says no to weed-selling apps. Also: Former U.S. rep. Dana Rohrabacher joined the board of a cannabis company. 🌳
Illinois Senate approves legalization bill.
The Illinois Senate advanced legislation on Wednesday to legalize recreational marijuana in a 38-17 vote. The comprehensive legalization legislation sets up a taxed-and-regulated marijuana market and pardons those with past pot offenses. To win over skeptics, sponsors of the bill got rid of the home grow provision that would have allowed adults to cultivate cannabis for personal use. The compromise bill also toned down some of its original expungement provisions. But it keeps other social justice provisions like the creation of a social equity program for the industry and the establishment of a community reinvestment fund. The Chicago Tribune “If the bill is signed into law, cannabis sales could start as early as New Year’s Day. Illinois would be the first state to legalize cannabis and regulate sales by legislature.” Cannabis Wire
Big changes for Colorado’s cannabis industry.
Colorado governor Jared Polis signed a bill on Wednesday that ends the state’s ban on outside investors in its cannabis industry. “The change in law is expected to bring new cannabis products to Colorado from companies that have previously stayed away from the state. It could also accelerate consolidation.” The Denver Post The governor also signed bills that would allow cannabis consumption businesses and home delivery of marijuana products. But “the changes don’t take effect immediately. Voters in a city or county must first approve of allowing both new varieties of marijuana businesses.” The Associated Press Related: After dispensary chain Sweet Leaf’s co-owners were sentenced to prison in an illegal pot sales scheme, a company called Xclusive Cannabis has taken over its remaining retail locations. The Denver Post
What’s the point of restrictive MMJ programs?
Texas lawmakers passed legislation this session to expand its medical marijuana program and legalize industrial hemp. But even if the reforms are enacted, the state is home to one of the most restrictive medical cannabis laws in the nation: medical cannabis products are capped at 0.5 percent THC. Meanwhile, CBD products derived from industrial hemp have a 0.3 percent THC cap. “I am concerned that this program is irrelevant because patients can just buy safe and effective products over the counter,” said one legalization advocate, who explained that there is no meaningful difference between CBD products that have 0.3 percent or 0.5 percent THC. The Houston Chronicle
Google changes rules for some weed apps.
Google added a new rule for its Google Play Store banning apps that “facilitate” the sale of marijuana. The tech giant says it does not want to kick cannabis apps off of its platform, but that it was working with developers to make sure that they “move the shopping cart flow outside of the app itself to be compliant with this new policy,” according to a spokesperson. California cannabis delivery platform expressed disappointment over the decision: “Eaze connects adults only to licensed, regulated cannabis retailers… Google’s decision is a disappointing development that only helps the illegal market thrive.” The Verge
Another former U.S. lawmaker joins cannabis company.
Former U.S. rep. Dana Rohrabacher, who was a prominent Republican champion of marijuana reform in Congress, has joined cannabis company BudTrader as a shareholder and advisory board member. The former congressman said he will “continue the fight for cannabis legalization on a national level” in his new role. Rohrabacher joins the ranks of former U.S. lawmakers Joseph Crowley, Tom Daschle, and John Boehner — all of whom have joined cannabis companies after serving in Congress. The Hill
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Today in cannabis science news…
Cannabis isn’t for everyone: While the drug can help reduce anxiety in some people, it can have the exact opposite effect in others. Here’s a look at how THC in the brain results in increased anxiety for some. One expert recommends consuming CBD before THC to counteract such effects. Leafly Recent research out of the University of Colorado Boulder dispelled notions of lazy stoners, finding that many cannabis consumers used the drug for exercise. The research builds on the substantial amount of anecdotal data of athletes consuming cannabis, especially among ultramarathoners. Westword
Today in cannabis business news…
Marijuana sales in the U.S. are on pace to surpass $12 billion this year and could reach $30 billion by 2023, according to an analysis by Marijuana Business Factbook. Marijuana Business Daily A bunch of cannabis companies are releasing earnings this week. Here’s a roundup of the highlights from companies including Charlotte’s Web, Acreage, MedMen, and Cresco. Cannabis Wire
Cannabis in Canada.
Canadian farmers weigh in on what has changed for them after federal legalization. Some of the takeaways: Legalization has helped genetic diversity but caused problems in the supply chain. Leafly A look at preparations for what will become the country’s largest outdoor cannabis farm. CTV News
Elsewhere around the world…
A U.K. restaurant that used CBD oil in its food has been shut down after a police raid. The owners of The Canna Kitchen in Brighton said “they were assured less than a year ago by police and trading standards that the products were legal.” Now, they face losing hundreds of thousands of pounds and laying off 15 staffers. The Guardian As the popularity of CBD grows, Europe still lacks regulations and standards for such products. Lab tests revealed that many products were mislabeled and possibly contained other contaminants. Marijuana Business Daily Related: British mothers who lost their children to ecstasy are advocating for legalizing the drug. Mirror
On other drugs.
“Scientists invited a group of meditators to take psilocybin, the active component of magic mushrooms. Their self-reported experiences – and brain scans – hint that such a combined approach leads to stronger effects.” New Scientist 🔒 The illicit drug trade is very damaging to the environment. “The swiftest way to remedy this is to rescind our outdated drug laws and formally regulate, monitor and control these lucrative markets.” Vice Therapists across the world are taking MDMA as part of their training to administer MDMA therapy. Elemental
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Word on the States
- In Arizona, the legislature passed a bill to require medical marijuana lab testing, sending it to the governor. Dispensaries cheered the court ruling in favor of marijuana extracts.
- In Wisconsin, authorities raided a Rastafarian church that uses marijuana as a sacrament.
- In Alabama, a House committee approved a bill to establish a medical cannabis commission, a step back from the more ambitious Senate version.
- In Pennsylvania, the state considers adding anxiety to the medical marijuana program.
- In Florida, the state’s agriculture commissioner is learning about medical marijuana on a trip to Israel.
Word for Word
“How do we want to create an economy? The thing is, it’s really important to say that legalizing cannabis is not going to cure the ills of capitalism. Legalizing cannabis is not going to end racism. This is one way to reduce the harms of structures that are harming communities. But we can’t put on huge ideas on this substance and think that it will save all societal ills. It means that we have more space to be innovative to do different things… The framing of the conversation is shifting. You have Governor Cuomo, who’s saying, ‘We have to do this in a way that does not enrich corporations, and actually empowers poor communities.'” – New York State director of the Drug Policy Alliance Kassandra Frederique, Truthout
“There are plenty of wild rumors, mythologies, and eyebrow-raising stories from the long history of music, including claims that parts of synthesizers designed by electronic music pioneer Don Buchla had been dipped in LSD. But as engineer Eliot Curtis recently discovered, those claims might actually hold some truth. Curtis, a Broadcast Operations Manager at the KPIX 5 CBS affiliate in San Francisco, volunteered to fix and restore a Buchla Model 100 modular synthesiser… he started to experience a tingling sensation, the beginnings of an acid trip, that would last nine hours.” – Andrew Liszewski for Gizmodo