Another hemp delivery driver was arrested and charged with marijuana offenses. A Canadian woman faces a lifetime ban from the U.S. for CBD oil at the border. Racial disparities are still sky high when it comes to marijuana arrests in NYC. Also: We are taking a hiatus! Wishing everyone an enjoyable end of summer.
Another hemp delivery driver arrested.
A Minnesota delivery driver who was transporting hemp has been arrested in South Dakota and charged with marijuana offenses. While the federal government legalized hemp in the 2018 Farm Bill, an effort to legalize the crop in South Dakota earlier this year failed after the governor vetoed the legalization bill. But according to the Farm Bill and memos from federal agencies, states cannot prohibit the interstate transport of legal hemp. Sioux Falls Argus Leader The Minnesota Hemp Association is protesting the driver’s arrest, accusing South Dakota of violating the 2018 Farm Bill. The Associated Press
ONDCP officials: marijuana should be left up to the states.
A senior advisor and the director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy told reporters that they believe setting marijuana policies should be left up to the states. The comments are notable, as the ONDCP has historically supported marijuana prohibition. Meanwhile, a federal law requires the director of the ONDCP to “take such actions as necessary to oppose any attempt to legalize the use of a substance.” The comments “seem to reflect an evolving understanding of the federal government’s role in imposing prohibition on the states.” Marijuana Moment
DoD reiterates military ban on CBD.
Hemp-derived CBD may have been federally legalized, but the Defense Department is warning all service members of the military against using it. The warning comes after the Air Force, Navy, and Coast Guard issued memos warning service members against using CBD. “Since the products are unregulated and untested, there’s no way to tell exactly what a person is buying or using,” a Defense Department official explained to reporters. Service members are still allowed to take FDA-approved cannabinoid medications like Epidiolex and Sativex. military.com
Canadian woman faces ban from the US over CBD oil.
Thousands of Canadians have been denied entry into the U.S. just for admitting past marijuana use. Others have received lifetime bans. Now, a Canadian woman is facing a lifetime ban after border agents discovered CBD oil in her backpack. The woman said that officers asked her if she had “leafy greens” on her. She interpreted the term as “marijuana” and told the officers “no.” “To me, ‘leafy greens’ is like marijuana, the actual bud, things that you smoke, recreational drugs. I use CBD daily and it’s not psychoactive, it can’t get me high at the dosage that I’ve been told to take it at,” she said. CBC News
Florida official flouts federal law.
Florida’s agriculture commissioner Nikki Fried has been public about her medical marijuana patient card and concealed carry permit. While federal law prevents people from buying a firearm if they use marijuana, Fried has said that she sees no conflict with Floridians having both a medical marijuana patient card and a concealed carry permit. But experts say that having both is still illegal, and lying about one’s medical marijuana use while buying a gun is a felony. Herald Tribune
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Racial disparities in marijuana arrests persist in NYC.
The number of marijuana arrests is falling in New York. But racial disparities still persist. “Black and Latinx New Yorkers accounted for 94 percent of all low-level marijuana arrests in New York City during the first six months of the year, according to NYPD arrest data.” While the district attorneys of Brooklyn and Manhattan have moved away from low-level marijuana arrests, such charges are still pursued by the Queens D.A., making that borough a leader in cannabis arrests in NYC. Queens Eagle
When transparency brings trouble.
Washington state’s marijuana program is one of the most transparent in the nation in terms of how much information it makes public about cannabis businesses. Its cannabis growers also have a burglary problem, with robbers that have an “uncanny sense of timing, striking just as the growers had amassed inventories of cut, cured, ready-to-sell product.” Growers are concerned that the seed-to-sale tracking data are somehow making it into the hands of robbers, who can also find their addresses in public records. Politico Magazine
Mr. T sues Leafly.
Mr. T is suing the cannabis website Leafly for using an “Mrt” logo for a cannabis strain called Mr. Tusk. Alleging trademark infringement, the celeb wants the company to stop using “Mrt.” “Mr. T says the logo will confuse consumers into thinking he’s in bed with the weed company.” When reached for comment, a Leafly rep said, “We pity the absurdity of this claim.” TMZ
Elsewhere around the world…
Cannabis regulators in Ontario, Canada are planning to issue dispensary permits “based on market demand,” which would open up more opportunities for entrepreneurs. Marijuana Business Daily The CannTrust scandal has reached Australia, where a licensed cannabis company has ties to CannTrust. Some of the medical cannabis products shipped to the country may have originated in the unlicensed grow rooms in Canada. When asked about the potential unlicensed cannabis making its way to the country’s medical market, Australian regulators said that the Canadian government is ultimately responsible for ensuring compliance. Business Insider
Falsely accused of smuggling drugs.
Leon Haughton often brings back honey from Jamaica when he goes to visit relatives from his home in Maryland. But his last Christmas visit to his family ended in jailtime when police accused him of smuggling liquid meth. “Haughton spent nearly three months in jail before all charges were dropped and two rounds of law enforcement lab tests showed no controlled substances in the bottles.” Despite that the charges were dropped, the false accusations had huge implications — Haughton lost both of his jobs. “An innocent man spent 82 days in jail for bringing honey into the United States,” said his attorney. The Washington Post
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Weed + Grub
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Word on the States
- In California, a look at cannabis tax revenues for the second quarter.
- In Florida, a MedMen-backed campaign filed another marijuana legalization measure.
- In Alaska, the governor is bringing back a marijuana advocate for the Marijuana Control Board.
- In Vermont, what marijuana enforcement looks like after legalization.
- In Pennsylvania, medical marijuana patients are rising, creating a product shortage in Philadelphia.
- In New Mexico, the state is adopting new limits on pot plants, which may require some producers to destroy cannabis plants.
- In Illinois, how some cities are approaching marijuana regulations. Machesney Park drafted an ordinance to tax recreational marijuana. Oswego is considering whether to allow recreational marijuana sales.
- In Oklahoma, the governor signed emergency rules updating medical marijuana regulations. A new law on medical marijuana and traffic stops is on hold as a case plays out in court.
- In Missouri, the state collected $13 million in medical marijuana business fees.
- In Idaho, a cannabis campaign is working on collecting 55,000 signatures to get medical marijuana legalization on the ballot.
- In Michigan, medical marijuana lots in Muskegon have all been sold to prospective entrepreneurs.
- In Hawaii, Waikiki’s first medical marijuana dispensary is slated to open today.
Word for Word
“As an individual who once consumed marijuana and worked in the marijuana industry for a year and a half, I believe that it is OK to use the word ‘pot.’ My corporation instructed us budtenders to use the word ‘cannabis’ when selling marijuana. When I was talking to patients in the dispensary using the word ‘cannabis,’ some of them had no idea what I was talking about. There was confusion, then they would exclaim, ‘Oh, you mean pot!'” – Anne Hassel to The Baltimore Sun
“Seattle is pioneering a bold approach to narcotics that should be a model for America. Anyone caught here with a small amount of drugs — even heroin — isn’t typically prosecuted. Instead, that person is steered toward social services to get help. This model is becoming the consensus preference among public health experts in the U.S. and abroad. Still, it shocks many Americans to see no criminal penalty for using drugs illegally, so it takes courage and vision to adopt this approach: a partial retreat in the war on drugs coupled with a stepped-up campaign against addiction.” – Nicholas Kristof for The New York Times