New Jersey expands its medical marijuana program. NYC’s ban on CBD food and drinks took effect. A federal prosecutor-turned cannabis exec makes a Senate run in Kansas. Also: A North Dakota campaign unveils its proposed legalization ballot initiative for 2020. 🌳
New Jersey expands MMJ program.
New Jersey governor Phil Murphy signed a bill that would expand the state’s medical marijuana program. The Jake Honig Compassionate Use Medical Cannabis Act is named after a 7-year-old who passed away from brain cancer last year. His parents have been campaigning for expanding medical cannabis access. It will allow patients to possess more cannabis, home deliveries of marijuana, and makes it easier for doctors to recommend the drug. It also sets up a dedicated cannabis regulatory agency, moving oversight away from the health department. The Associated Press The health department announced Monday that it would issue up to 24 new business permits, far fewer than the 108 new licenses announced last month. Marijuana Business Daily
CBD regulatory confusion.
New York City’s health department ban on food and beverage products containing hemp-derived CBD took effect Monday. The agency will start issuing violations to businesses that sell such products starting October 1. Until then, the products will be seized from businesses if discovered. New York Daily News Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) took the U.S. agriculture secretary on a tour of a Kentucky hemp farm. Forbes CBD businesses face advertising restrictions from tech giants like Google and Facebook. Here’s how they are investing in SEO and PR. Morning Consult There’s no denying the medical benefits of CBD. But don’t fall for the marketing surrounding the cannabinoid as a health-and-wellness product. The Guardian
Illinois figures out legal weed.
Chicago Public Schools has changed its drug policies in the wake of the state’s new marijuana legalization law. Students now cannot be expelled for using marijuana or other drugs, which will instead be treated like alcohol. The Chicago Tribune The state’s medical marijuana patients will be prioritized if the recreational market leads to a supply shortage. Protections for medical patients came as a result of other states that saw their medical marijuana programs suffer after recreational legalization. Chicago Tribune
Prosecutor-turned cannabis exec makes run for Senate.
Former U.S. attorney Barry Grissom, who also served as general counsel for a Nevada cannabis firm, launched a campaign for Senate in Kansas. Grissom is running as a Democrat in hopes of replacing senator Pat Roberts (R-Kan.). The last time a Democrat won a Senate race in the state was 1932. “Cannabis prohibition doesn’t work. I’m very pro-law enforcement. When we spend money going after folks in the cannabis business I think it’s a waste of taxpayer money,” he said. The Kansas City Star
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Parsing the arguments against pot.
Opponents to marijuana legalization like to cite a statistic from the Centennial Institute at Colorado Christian University, which found that legal weed resulted in $4.50 in social costs for every $1 in revenue. Prominent drug policy experts say the oft-cited figure came from a flawed methodology that failed to take into consideration the costs of cannabis criminalization and the use of the drug in the context of other substances. “Guesswork + bias + arithmetic,” said one. The report is “one big logical fallacy,” said another. Vice
Schools prepare students for marijuana industry.
Colleges and universities are increasing their marijuana offerings in hopes of preparing students to work in the growing cannabis field. Schools offering marijuana-related degrees and courses include the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy, University of Connecticut, the State University of New York at Morrisville, and the Northern Michigan University in Marquette. ABC News
The Canopy-Acreage deal.
At a cannabis conference in Los Angeles last Friday, the Canopy-Acreage deal was the talk of the day. The unique arrangement is the first cross-border deal of its kind, though investors expect similar deals to become standard. The deal is an “acknowledgement that there’s this wall of capital that’s sitting in Canada, trying to come into the US… [and] a sign of life that more and more capital is going to continue to flow into the US and [that] people are really looking for creative ways to invest,” said one industry executive. Cannabis Wire
Cannabis in Canada.
There was a 40 percent increase in the number of Canadians using cannabis between 2013 and 2017, according to the United Nations’ latest world drug report. “The increase in Canada during this time was more pronounced in adults aged 20 or older, while it declined among young people aged 19 or younger.” Aldergrove Star Canadian MP Nathaniel Erskine-Smith introduced a bill to decriminalize possession of illicit drugs. Marijuana Moment
Elsewhere around the world…
Senator Lyndon Farnham of Jersey said he expects the Channel Island to start cultivating medical cannabis next year. ITV News A family in Perth, Australia said they were unwittingly served cannabis brownies at a local cafe. ABC News A court in Zambia rejected an appeal in a case of a man trying to cultivate medical marijuana. Lusaka Times Prison authorities in Sri Lanka have recruited two hangmen ahead of planned executions of four drug offenders, which would end a 43-year moratorium on the death penalty. The Associated Press
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Word on the States
- In Colorado, nearly 15,000 parolees will gain the right to vote as a new law takes effect. The governor launched an online tool to track its cannabis program, among others.
- In California, most local governments are sitting out legal weed.
- In North Dakota, the campaign to legalize marijuana unveiled its proposed ballot measure for 2020.
- In Iowa, Democrats keep pushing for medical marijuana expansion after an effort to call a special session failed.
- In New Mexico, a dispute over whether non-residents can participate in the medical marijuana program may end up in court.
- In Minnesota, Alzheimer’s is now an approved condition for the medical marijuana program.
- In Utah, medical marijuana cultivation licensing is moving forward.
- In Missouri, a Forsyth daycare owner is fighting against a proposed medical marijuana dispensary down the street.
- In South Carolina, the state’s top law enforcement official discussed his opposition to medical marijuana.
- In Hawaii, a new medical marijuana dispensary opens in Kailua-Kona.
- In Maine, Auburn is opting in to recreational marijuana.
Word for Word
“We must look into the corporate social responsibility of cannabis retailers, and whether they have any initiatives that support communities harmed by the policies and practices of the war on drugs. What are the philanthropic efforts of these retailers and do they impact the populations harmed by mass incarceration? Corporate initiatives could include funding the costs associated with expunging cannabis convictions; cannabis convictions create barriers to housing, employment, and education especially in Black and Brown communities. Initiatives could also include funding the legal defense for the hundreds of thousands of people across the country who are still being arrested on cannabis-related charges.” – Chicago-based attorney Michelle Mbekeani for Crain’s Chicago Business
“There’s a lot of his record, from busing to the 1994 crime bill. I was in law school, when that was going on, when you saw African American men being arrested at rates that were unconscionable… I came from Yale and Stanford, where people were using marijuana, using drugs, but lived in a country where there’s no difference between drug usage and drug selling between blacks and whites. But African Americans are almost four times more likely to be incarcerated for those things.” – Senator and Democratic presidential candidate Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Meet The Press via Marijuana Moment