State and federal lawmakers are taking matters into their own hands when it comes to hemp and CBD. Who’s to blame for New York’s failure to legalize marijuana? A newspaper successfully sued Missouri for information on medical marijuana business applicants. Also: A study sheds light on why individuals respond to cannabis differently. 🌳
Hemp and CBD confusion.
States are setting up their own industrial hemp regulations as federal agencies drag their feet on coming up with their own rules. The patchwork of rules creates a “dizzying array of laws… a paradoxical consequence of hemp legalization through last year’s Farm Bill.” Hemp Industry Daily Congress is getting impatient with how slow the FDA is moving on hemp and CBD regulations. Some lawmakers are privately circulating legislation to address the issue, but an industry advocate “doesn’t expect any formal push from Congress until at least later this fall.” The Hill Hemp research is booming at colleges and universities across the country. Cannabis Wire Agriculture secretary Sonny Perdue is worried about the overproduction of hemp. Marijuana Moment Seven companies in Indiana filed a lawsuit to challenge the state’s ban on smokable hemp. Courthouse News Service
Elsewhere in Congress…
Eight members of Congress are circulating an online petition to end federal marijuana prohibition in hopes of bolstering their re-election campaigns. The lawmakers represent Oregon, California, Washington, Massachusetts, and Wisconsin — the only state of the bunch that has yet to reform its marijuana laws. Marijuana Moment U.S. rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) said that federal marijuana legalization is the way to end racially disparate drug enforcement. Marijuana Moment
What happened to legalization in New York?
Pro-legalization lawmakers blame governor Andrew Cuomo for not doing enough to get legalization legislation across the finish line. Governor Cuomo, for his part, blames the legislature for not wanting to put marijuana reform in the budget. NY Daily News Pro-legalization assemblyman Kevin Cahill (D-Kingston) said that the main reason legalization efforts failed was because “the parties couldn’t get together and figure out how to re-compensate communities that have been disproportionately impacted by prohibition,” he said. HV1 Related: The New York Civil Liberties Union is apologizing for a report that said that black people were 74 times more likely than white people to be arrested for cannabis in Schenectady. They are actually 10 times more likely to be arrested. WTEN
Legal weed can be bad for the environment.
One cannabis executive is pushing for legislation in Colorado and California to mandate the recycling of vape cartridges. But others argue that recycling the vape cartridges are too costly and time consuming when there are other larger items to focus on. One industry expert said that state-level laws restricting certain materials don’t have much of an impact unless similar regulations are implemented elsewhere, too. The Californian Federal prosecutors indicted the owner and administrator of California cannabis company WellgreensCA for allegedly dumping more than 1,500 pounds of hazardous waste around San Diego county. KNSD
Lawsuit compels Missouri to release MMJ applicants.
A Cole County judge ruled in favor of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, which sued the state over its decision to keep medical marijuana records sealed. Among the 500-some applicants are hemp growers and large, multi-state operators based in other states. “Curaleaf, a Massachusetts-based giant in the industry, wants to open up shop in eight locations across Missouri… One of the business applicants is a local government official — state law allows local governments to set zoning ordinances, odor control and other requirements for state-approved marijuana businesses applying for permits.” St. Louis Post-Dispatch
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What the studies say…
Why does marijuana affect different people differently? A new study on THC in rats found that “different effects between individuals is likely due to genetic variation leading to differential sensitivity of each area.” Medical Xpress A meta-analysis found that cannabis has potential as an effective means of pain management. PsyPost A new study found that teens are more likely to experience seizures and coma with synthetic cannabinoids vs. cannabis. AAP News The research on cannabis as a treatment for anxiety is pretty inconclusive. “Many people who think of themselves as self-medicating for anxiety are actually self-medicating for stress,” said one doctor who has a cannabis-focused practice. The Guardian
Today in cannabis business news…
Volatile weed prices in Colorado may have finally found some stability, according to state data. Westword The former CEO of Canopy Growth Bruce Linton said that “Canopy’s new investors from the beverage world wanted him out.” Quartz His non-compete agreement means he can’t work for other Canadian cannabis companies, and some speculate he could head to the U.S. Bloomberg Acreage CEO Kevin Murphy said the company is “hiring a director of corporate social responsibility, an area where Murphy acknowledged it has fallen short thus far.” WeedWeek
Cannabis in Canada.
Canada’s Federal Court ruled in favor of a medical marijuana patient who argued that he needed more cannabis to manage his chronic pain, and that the 150-gram regulatory cap on medical marijuana possession violated his constitutional rights. But the decision was soon “overturned by the Federal Court of Appeal after a challenge from the attorney general.” CBC News Ontario’s government announced plans to triple the number of privately owned dispensaries in the province. Reuters Alberta has collected about $30 million in cannabis tax revenues since legalization. Global News
Elsewhere around the world…
The Health Ministry of Israel announced new rules for its medical marijuana program, which are designed to make medical cannabis easier to access for patients. But some patients are questioning whether the new rules will really help. Jerusalem Post The Scottish government has appointed a new “drugs tsar” to examine Scotland’s drug laws. BBC Cannabis growers in New Zealand are preparing for legalization ahead of next year’s ballot referendum. Underground growers are being offered amnesty by the government as some turn their attention to unique strains that have evolved in the country. The Guardian Iceland is calling on the UN Human Rights Council to act on the rising number of killings in the Philippines drug war. Rappler
Meet Paul Stamets, a mushroom expert spreading the gospel of psilocybin as states consider decriminalization. Mashable One woman with treatment-resistant depression writes about how she responded to ketamine infusions. But she still has her concerns about the treatment and isn’t sure whether she will continue them. Undark A 19-year-old in Australia who died after consuming MDMA took an “unusually high amount” of the drug due to her fear of getting caught by police. The Guardian
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Weed + Grub
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Word on the States
- In Illinois, public health officials are considering limits to potency in pot products.
- In Maine, 15 municipalities have opted in to legal weed.
- In Michigan, the state prepares for legal adult-use marijuana.
- In Massachusetts, two more recreational dispensaries opened over the weekend. Public hearings on new marijuana regulations are scheduled in Boston and Springfield.
- In California, an investigation into a shooting leads police to bust an unlicensed cannabis farm. Riverside County has issued its first cannabis business licenses.
- In New York, medical marijuana companies and patients look elsewhere after efforts to expand the program failed.
- In Arkansas, medical marijuana sales hit $2.2 million two months into the program. A group is pushing to legalize recreational marijuana through the ballot.
- In Utah, 81 people have applied to grow medical marijuana for the state.
- In Maryland, medical marijuana regulators approve 🔒 five new dispensaries.
- In Connecticut, New Haven gets its first medical marijuana dispensary.
- In Montana, competing recreational legalization initiatives are seeking a place on the 2020 ballot.
- In Idaho, a medical marijuana ballot campaign cleared its first hurdle of signature-gathering.
- In Ohio, employers are working out how to handle medical marijuana legalization.
- In Wisconsin, state lawmakers say neighboring Illinois’ decision to legalize marijuana won’t have an impact on the issue for them.
- In Mississippi, a Hemp Cultivation Task Force will look at the crop’s potential for the state economy.
- In Nebraska, the agriculture department announced industrial hemp licenses, and some applicants are frustrated.
Word for Word
“Over the past half-century, the number of people behind bars in the United States jumped by more than 500%, to 2.2 million. This extraordinary rise, often attributed to decades of ‘tough on crime’ policies and harsh sentencing laws, has ensured that even as crime rates have dropped since the 1990s, the number of people locked up and the average length of their stay have increased… Last December, the First Step Act, which includes provisions for home detention, was signed into law by President Donald Trump with support from the private prison giants GEO Group and CoreCivic. These corporations dominate the so-called community-corrections market — services such as day-reporting and electronic monitoring — that represents one of the fastest-growing revenue sectors of their industry. By far the most decisive factor promoting the expansion of monitors is the financial one.” – Ava Kofman for ProPublica