Colorado and Utah open up to out-of-state cannabis investors. Marijuana reform is progressing in Congress. Confusion between marijuana and hemp continues to hurt consumers. Also: How MDMA therapy for PTSD patients could become available before the FDA approves it. 🌳
Colorado and Utah open up to out-of-state marijuana investors.
Cannabis industry stakeholders met on Monday to iron out the details of a new law allowing out-of-state investors into the marijuana industry. The group, which included representatives from cannabis businesses, attorneys, accountants, and regulators, discussed “the scope of potential investors, mandatory disclosure of financial records, and divestiture of bad actors.” Cannabis Wire Utah has scrapped a proposed residency requirement for medical marijuana cultivators, concluding that the proposal would violate federal law. A government spokesperson said that the state still plans to award extra points for applicants that can show “positive connections to a local community.” The Salt Lake Tribune
Cannabis in Congress.
The U.S. Senate has scheduled a hearing on the cannabis industry’s lack of access to financial services. “The move for a hearing is somewhat of a surprise, as [committee] chairman Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) had refused to commit to schedule time for the issue.” Forbes U.S. rep. Justin Amash, who left the Republican Party earlier this month, has filed a bill to allow states to set their own marijuana policies. The bill is very similar to the STATES Act. Marijuana Moment
BOP ignored congressman’s letters.
The office of U.S. rep. Rob Wittman (R–Va.) sent three messages to the Bureau of Prisons regarding the case of Rick Turner, a non-violent drug offender who died in prison earlier this year. Turner’s family expressed concern that his life was at risk in a violent, gang-controlled maximum security prison. “Although Turner had no prior criminal record or history of violence, he was sent to a maximum security penitentiary because of the length of his sentence.” The judge felt that the mandatory 40-year sentence was “wrong” and at least one juror regretted convicting him due to the excessive sentence. The BOP ignored the first two of three messages from rep. Wittman’s office Reason
Cannabis in California.
A licensed cannabis company is suing Santa Cruz County, alleging its ban on marijuana deliveries from out-of-county businesses violates state law. The Associated Press Sonoma County raided a large, unlicensed cannabis grow last Friday. San Francisco Chronicle It’s a new type of crackdown for unlicensed cannabis operators in the state: “County officials are doing it not with SWAT team raids, but by enforcing a laundry list of civil codes.” Leafly As Los Angeles’ first cannabis cafe prepares to open, an adjacent synagogue isn’t happy about its soon-to-be neighbor. Eater The Northern Nights Music Festival will be the first festival in the U.S. to openly allow cannabis sales and use. Merry Jane
Hemp vs. marijuana confusion continues.
After Texas legalized hemp, prosecutors across the state said they would either throw out or hold off on low-level marijuana cases since they lack the means of telling the difference between marijuana and hemp. But El Paso’s district attorney has vowed to continue pot prosecutions, creating more drug enforcement confusion in the state. Texas Tribune A former bartender at Walt Disney World says she was fired for having CBD oil that she used to treat foot pain. “Now here I am, losing my job because of something I bought at a supermarket,” she said. Security told her that the CBD oil was illegal. WESH
🌟 A Word From Our Sponsors 🌟
Word on the Tree sponsors are those who donate to help support the newsletter at higher levels. Learn more at wordonthetree.com
Sexism in the cannabis industry.
When Colorado cannabis entrepreneur Nancy Whiteman founded her company a decade ago, “it was a pretty even playing field for everybody — men, women, anybody who was interested,” she said. Since then, Wall Street banks and VC firms are increasingly getting into the industry, and bringing their biases with them. “As the industry gets more and more appealing, more money comes in and sexism comes in,” said one researcher. Meanwhile, women in the industry experience sexism regularly, “from being told to dress in heels and a skirt for a meeting with investors to being asked when they plan to have children and having questions redirected to male colleagues.” Bloomberg
Elsewhere in cannabis business news…
The University of Sciences in Philadelphia announced the launch of its cannabis-focused MBA program. The Philadelphia Inquirer Cannabis investment company The Arcview Group got $7.7 million in funding, and new owners. Cresco Capital Partners and Trivergence Investments are taking control of the firm after leading the Series A round of funding. Marijuana Business Daily Cannabis stocks were mostly up on Wednesday. MarketWatch
Canada’s stringent regulations.
Despite that the U.S. has not federally legalized marijuana, the size of the state-legal American cannabis industry is already larger than the federally legal industry in Canada. While the U.S. is home to many celebrity (and celebrity-endorsed) cannabis brands, Canada’s regulations bars celebrities from endorsing a brand or product. Many of the country’s regulations “leave Canadian cannabis companies at a disadvantage. This presents a huge challenge because they’re up against U.S. companies that are gearing up for a global fight, with big budgets and a deep bench of executives who have already established successful retail brands.” Vice
Elsewhere around the world…
“Inside the Philippines prison that sparked Duterte’s murderous drug war.” Filter The Food and Drug Administration of Thailand denied that it delayed approving a formulation of cannabis oil. Bangkok Post The Supreme Court of Sweden ruled that hemp-derived CBD oil containing any amount of THC are subject to narcotics control laws. EMCDDA The Cabinet of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines approved 34 cannabis licenses, which could generate up to $12 million for the country. Searchlight
A center for psychedelic-assisted therapy is opening its doors in the Philadelphia region this summer in hopes of offering MDMA therapy pending FDA approval. The treatment could be made available before FDA approval through the agency’s expanded access protocols, which gives patients with life-threatening illnesses the chance to try treatments that are still under investigation. Philly Voice A study found that those who microdose psychedelics most commonly saw “improved mood, increased focus and enhanced creativity… The three most common challenges were: illegality (by a wide margin), physiological discomfort and ‘other concerns’ such as the unknown risk profile of microdosing and forgetting to take a regular dose.” The Conversation
🗣 Shout Outs 🗣
Weed + Grub
Weed + Grub is a podcast about cooking, cannabis, comedy, and pop culture — hosted by Mary Jane Gibson and Mike Glazer. Word on the Tree is happy to support the podcast’s news section, The Grublet Gazette! Check it out wherever you get your podcasts or listen right here on the web: Weed +
Word on the States
- In Michigan, a new bill would automatically expunge about 235,000 marijuana misdemeanors.
- In Florida, the House wants to intervene in a lawsuit after a court ruled its medical marijuana regulations were unconstitutional.
- In Utah, state regulators scrapped a proposed residency requirement for cannabis cultivators.
- In Arkansas, Fayetteville’s City Council affirmed the city prosecutor’s discretion to dismiss misdemeanor marijuana cases.
- In Pennsylvania, a Michigan-based firm is hoping to open a medical marijuana testing lab.
- In Illinois, how employers might handle recreational marijuana legalization. Galesburg approved a resolution to begin work on drafting marijuana regulations.
Word for Word
“[Justice John Paul Stevens] was also strongly on the federal government’s side in the court’s running debate over the proper allocation of federal and state power. He wrote the court’s 2005 opinion upholding the power of Congress to prohibit the use of marijuana for medical purposes in California and other states that had chosen to permit it. Later that year, he told a bar meeting in Las Vegas that while he agreed with ‘the policy choice made by millions of California voters,’ it was nonetheless ‘pellucidly clear’ that the court was obliged to uphold congressional authority.” – Linda Greenhouse for The New York Times
“After pleading guilty to violating his parole for a small amount of marijuana, Shazaad Husein was given a choice: stop taking the medication prescribed for his heroin addiction, or stay locked up on Rikers Island for a year. He wound up staying on Rikers for around six months before a judge ordered his release… Husein was supposed to get off Rikers by spending 45 days at a drug treatment program at Edgecombe, a small state prison in Washington Heights, before being released back out on parole. Instead, Husein was told that Edgecombe does not admit inmates who are receiving medication-assisted treatment (MAT) for heroin addiction.” – JB Nicholas for Gothamist