FDA official tells hemp producers not to expect an exception for CBD. Doctors are baffled by dozens of young people hospitalized after vaping marijuana or nicotine. How a law-and-order Republican lawmaker became a key marijuana lobbyist. Also: Mexico’s top court told lawmakers to hurry up with medical marijuana regulations. 🌳
Don’t expect an exception for CBD, says FDA official.
U.S. Food and Drug Administration policy commissioner Lowell Schiller told CBD producers that the agency is unlikely to approve CBD for over-the-counter use due to a lack of data. “We don’t hold a grudge against (cannabinoids), but we also don’t hold them to a lower standard of safety or absolve them of other requirements,” said Schiller during a speech at a hemp business summit. Hemp Industry Daily Five financial regulatory agencies responded to a letter from senator Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) on how they’re handling hemp banking. Marijuana Moment Related: Crop insurance for hemp farmers is limited and expensive. Hemp farmers in Oregon are facing millions in losses due to a hailstorm. Hemp Industry Daily
Health harms of vaping.
Nearly three dozen young people around the U.S. have been hospitalized in recent weeks after experiencing difficulty breathing after vaping nicotine or marijuana. Public health officials are looking into emergency room admissions where patients were experiencing respiratory problems, chest pain, and vomiting. “Each of the patients reported using e-cigarettes or other vaping devices in the weeks leading up to the emergency. But officials are not yet clear whether vaping caused the injuries, and if so, what ingredient in the e-cigarette or vaping systems was responsible.” Doctors are baffled and still unsure exactly what is causing the patients’ problems. The New York Times
The rare Republican in the marijuana movement.
Don Murphy, the federal policy director of the Marijuana Policy Project, has been advocating for marijuana reform for the past two decades. One Republican senator described him like “gum on one shoe” thanks to his persistent presence on Capitol Hill as the “friendly conservative face on marijuana policy.” “If we had ten Don’s, cannabis would be legal by now,” said another Republican cannabis lobbyist. Here’s a look at how the former Maryland lawmaker went from “Mr. Law-and-Order” to “the pot guy.” For Murphy, seeing formerly anti-marijuana politicians come around to the cause has been satisfying. Bloomberg Tax
Maryland court rules that pot smell can’t justify a search.
Like recent rulings in Massachusetts and Pennsylvania, Maryland’s Court of Appeals ruled that police did not have probable cause to arrest and search a man after smelling marijuana and discovering a joint in his car. While the state’s top court has previously ruled that the smell of marijuana can be used to justify a vehicle search, it doesn’t “provide probable cause to frisk an individual.” “This is based on the heightened expectation of privacy one enjoys in his or her person as compared to the diminished expectation of privacy one has in an automobile,” said the court. ABA Journal
What could delay Illinois’ marijuana rollout.
Illinois lawmakers hoped to avoid delays by ironing out the regulatory details in the 600-plus page marijuana legalization bill. But a certain provision to allow existing medical marijuana businesses serve the recreational market could create its own problems: “Any medical cannabis dispensing location in operation on the effective date of this act” can sell recreational marijuana, according to the bill. One MMJ dispensary in Wrigleyville is in the process of moving and hasn’t yet asked for a recreational license in its new location. Another dispensary is located in Naperville, where officials want to bar retail adult-use sales. State senator Heather Steans says it’s possible that the legislature will tackle such problems in a “trailer bill.” Crain’s Chicago Business Related: Companies are introducing products to help Illinois medical marijuana grow their own cannabis. The Chicago Tribune
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Cannabis in California
California is on track to sell $3.1 billion worth of marijuana products this year — the largest market in the U.S. But its underground market far surpasses that at an estimated $8.7 billion in sales. The Los Angeles Times Indoor cannabis growers are pushing back against a cannabis appellation system that would recognize certain geographic regions of cannabis production. One trade association is calling for an appellation for indoor grows in Los Angeles. Cannabis Wire Outside Lands, the first music festival with licensed marijuana sales and consumption, sold seven figures worth of pot products. SF Gate Marijuana manufacturing and distribution is driving cannabis business development in Eureka and Arcata. Mercury News How the state’s marijuana enforcement efforts complicates legalization and the goals of social equity advocates. Filter
The problem with pot stocks.
Large, publicly traded Canadian cannabis companies are losing money and racing to acquire smaller license holders. “The six largest licensed cannabis producers in Canada have recorded more than $4 billion in goodwill — the amount allocated to certain acquisitions beyond the value of their physical assets — risking large and potentially punishing write-downs in the future.” MarketWatch Tilray reported a bigger quarterly loss as it ramped up investments. Reuters
Elsewhere in cannabis business news…
Wholesale marijuana prices are rising in mature recreational markets like Colorado, Oregon, and Washington. Marijuana Business Daily Medicine Man Technologies, a Denver-based cannabis company, announced its sixth acquisition in the past three months. It is acquiring Colorado Springs marijuana extraction company Dabble Extracts for $750,000 in cash and $3 million in stocks. Westword Ben Cook has joined Calyx Peak as its chief operating officer. He previously served in the same role at MedMen. Marijuana Business Daily
Elsewhere around the world…
The National Supreme Court of Justice in Mexico ordered the health ministry to issue medical marijuana regulations within six months. The court says that the delay in medical cannabis rules “put rights at risk for patients, including children.” Reuters The International Narcotics Control Board said it was concerned about the liberalization of cannabis laws in Thailand. The president of the INCB warned that the country must adhere to three international drug control treaties and could lose import privileges of some medicines if it were to decriminalize marijuana. Bangkok Post The vice prime minister and health minister of Luxembourg said it would take “at least two years” for marijuana to be legalized. Marijuana Business Daily
The promise of MDMA.
Researchers are now conducting Phase III clinical trials on MDMA as a treatment for PTSD. In Phase II clinical trials, 54 percent of subjects went into remission after taking MDMA. One year later, that number grew to 68 percent, surprising scientists: “Even with the best pharmaceutical regimen, you rarely ever see patients go into remission.” The Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies, which is behind the first cannabis clinical trial, is helping to fund the MDMA research and is “working to get the FDA to include the drug in its expanded access program, which can allow individual patients to be approved to use drugs that are still being studied.” NPR
🗣 Shout Outs 🗣
Weed + Grub
Weed + Grub is a podcast about cooking, cannabis, comedy, and pop culture — hosted by Mary Jane Gibson and Mike Glazer. Their SXSW panel — Art, Entertainment & Social Justice Awareness — will feature Open Mike Eagle, Ron Funches and Laganja Estranja for a discussion about the role of art in cannabis advocacy. Vote for their panel here: SXSW Panel Picker
Word on the States
- In Oklahoma, Facebook hired a Tulsa law firm after getting sued by several medical marijuana businesses in the state.
- In Washington D.C., a look at marijuana regulation efforts.
- In Massachusetts, regulators consider a body camera requirement for home marijuana deliveries. The state launched an ad campaign against stoned driving.
- In Colorado, law enforcement is still battling the underground marijuana market seven years after legalization.
- In Alaska, the Fairbanks City Council voted in favor of an on-site marijuana consumption business.
- In New Mexico, marijuana legalization would create about 11,000 jobs. The governor is intervening in a medical cannabis court case over non-residents becoming MMJ patients.
- In Ohio, an expert committee rescinded its recommendation to approve medical marijuana for autism and anxiety.
- In Nevada, a court proceeding over marijuana licensing continues to drag on.
- In Pennsylvania, the medical marijuana market is getting a boost with the addition of anxiety as a qualifying condition.
- In Utah, regulators selected Leaf Data Systems as its seed-to-sale software.
- In Maine, Poland awarded eight marijuana licenses by lottery.
- In Oregon, Ontario welcomes its second marijuana retailer.
- In California, Antioch approved its third cannabis dispensary and delivery service.
- In North Dakota, a long-awaited medical marijuana dispensary opened in Bismarck.
- In Iowa, the state’s second medical cannabis producer launches this week.
- In Michigan, Leoni Township is asking for public input on whether to allow recreational marijuana businesses.
- In Illinois, Park Ridge officials want to ban adult-use marijuana sales (for now).
- In Georgia, DeKalb County will dismiss low-level marijuana cases due to the new state hemp law. Richmond County will halt prosecutions and dismiss open cases of minor marijuana possession.
- In Arkansas, a Little Rock city board member proposes making marijuana the lowest enforcement priority for police.
Word for Word
“I think the devastation from the ’94 crime bill has now been well-documented. And there are huge parts of that that need to be swept away. It was just wrong. And it needs to be changed, needs to be rolled back, needs to be repealed. But that’s not enough. There is now a problem within our criminal justice system that runs from the front, what we declare to be illegal, through the system that is a justice system that treats blacks and whites, Latinx and whites differently through the system.” – Senator and presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), The Daily Beast
“We talk a lot about the divisions, the anger, generational problems. I think an appropriate set of regulations that make it possible for adults responsibly to use marijuana for any purpose they choose, that that will go an important way towards healing one of the major divisions we have. The fundamental inconsistency between the way marijuana is regulated and the way alcohol is regulated and cigarettes is one of the causes, I think, of the anger and distrust for the political system, so we have a chance here to kind of reconcile people in our society.” – Former U.S. rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), Cannabis Control Commission hearing via Mass Live