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Hemp has a bright future in Ireland, but government obstacles are reportedly standing in the way.
Sinn Féin is a republican and democratic socialist political party active in both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. Sinn Féin spokesperson on Agriculture, Matt Carthy TD, says hemp cultivation can help farmers supplement their income in a more environmentally way.
“Uses for hemp include building material for houses, paper, clothes, heating oil and as a plastic alternative,” he said. “There is also an increasing demand for CBD health products, extracted by various approved methods from Hemp, both in Ireland and internationally.”
But rather than actively supporting the sector, Mr. Carthy says the government is doing little.
In Northern Ireland, the Department of Health is responsible for issuing hemp licences. That might seem like an odd state of affairs given hemp’s myriad non-medicinal related uses, but cannabis in all its forms is treated as a controlled substance and subject to restrictive licensing laws.
The bill eliminates the possibility that being arrested for possession of small amounts of cannabis will result in prison time, which cannabis reform advocates typically demand.
Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards signed off on House Bill 652 to decriminalize small amounts of cannabis possession for personal use.
Possession of up to 14 grams will now be categorized as a misdemeanor rather than a felony. Those caught violating the law face up to a $100 fine without jail time.
Photo by Elsa Olofsson via Unsplash
“It essentially provides for the officer to write a ticket with no jail time,” Shreveport Rep. Alan Seabaugh told the Daily Advertiser about the bill, signed on Tuesday.
June 18th, 1971, President Richard Nixon declared the “war on drugs,” an initiative fueled by fear mongering and racism supposedly started to stop illegal drug use.
For cannabis, the war on drugs disproportionately targeted Black and brown communities, subjecting people to unjust prison sentences for possessing a medicinal substance.
Now, 50 years after this global campaign began, U.S. House Representatives Bonnie Watson Coleman and Cori Bush have revealed a bill to decriminalize drug possession.
For harder drugs, like heroin and opioids, addiction kills thousands of Americans every year, destroying families and ruining lives.
According to data on Dual Diagnosis, 50% of all jail inmates have drug or alcohol addiction, while fewer than 10% receive treatment.
Edibles have been a huge part of the marijuana industry since well before recreational legalization. And it seems no two states have identical regulations for edibles that define the product’s THC limits, portion delineation requirements or the allowed shapes/colors of edibles. As federal legalization edges closer, it’s important to track and understand not just the state-to-state differences in edible regulations, but also the similarities.
Edibles are often a point of contention with lawmakers and concerned citizens, as there are common fears of over-consumption, child poisoning and accidental ingestion, and the effects of edibles on individual people seem to vary widely compared to inhalation THC products.
Different state, different rules
Many states have taken a simple approach to regulating edibles, by mandating strict limits on the milligrams of THC allowed in edibles. Most states consistently mandate a maximum serving size of 5-10 milligrams of THC and a per-package limit of 50-100 milligrams THC. Alaska, California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada, Oregon, Vermont and Washington all have recreational regulations that fall within these limits. The package limits are much higher in Illinois and Montana, at 500 milligrams and 800 milligrams, respectively.
Many producers would like to see increased THC limits per serving, especially in states that have 5 milligram-per-serving THC limits. Those who wish to expand or change regulations often face an uphill battle, as public health advocates and other third parties form a more active opposition than in other marijuana regulation proposals.
And then there's Alaska
This can be seen in Alaska’s recent proposal to change the milligram limit from 5 milligrams per serving to 10 milligrams per serving with a package limit of 100 milligrams. There has been a ton of heated public comment debating this issue, as it would be a 100% increase from the current 5-milligram limit. Edibles are testing in Alaska with a 20% margin of error allowance, creating an effective limit of 120 milligrams per package.
Will Marijuana Be Legalized In Rhode Island This Year?
At the start of the week, the Senate committee of Rhode Island has passed a piece of cannabis legislation. This bill is now being championed by heads in the chamber. This new bill will be the first time that piece of legislation like this has advanced in the state. The current cannabis bill is to legalize recreational marijuana in Rhode Island.
Back in April, The Judiciary Committee conducted a hearing in regards to reform legislation. In addition to this, a competing proposition from the governor was approved by the Senate bill in substitute form in a 6-2 victorious decision. Now a 3rd cannabis bill was recently filed on the House side. Which was done by Rep. Scott Slater as well as several other cosponsors.
Curiously, the Senate panel’s effort happened just days following other political actions. Meaning House Speaker Joseph Shekarchi indicated that legalization wouldn’t be taken up until the summer or fall. Yet the Senate is showing a different strategy with the anticipation to take up its proposal for a floor vote. Which could take place as early as next week.
There were several important revisions made to the Senate bill before it passing through the committee. This included inflicting a halt on allowing additional marijuana cultivators. This is something that Rhode Island’s current medical cannabis producers have asked for. Mainly because they state that the market is already oversaturated.
More Progress For Cannabis Reform In Rhode Island
Additionally, one-third of licenses for cannabis retailers would now be saved for businesses that qualify as social equity candidates. Senate Majority Leader Michael McCaffrey and Health & Human Services Chairman Joshua Miller are the lead sponsors of the bill. Both of whom introduced this proposal back in March. Which was done just days before Gov. Dan McKee came out with his legalization proposal. That legislation was also heard by the House Finance Committee 2 months ago. The most recent House bill has still not received a hearing. Overall, the Senate bill would permit those 21 and older to purchase and possess up to 28 grams of marijuana. As well they could also grow up to six plants for personal use.
Industrial hemp growers in Tennessee are required to renew their licenses with the Tennessee Department of Agriculture (TDA) by June 30, 2021.
“Hemp continues to be an important crop in Tennessee,” Commissioner Charlie Hatcher, D.V.M. said. “The marketplace is evolving and growers are finding new ways to use and market their crop. We want to see the industry flourish, and TDA has abundant resources to make sure growers have what they need.”
New applications are accepted year-round and expire June 30. New applicants and renewing applicants must submit an application, license fees, and required documentation. If a renewal application and payment are not received by the deadline, the grower’s license will expire June 30, 2021 at 4:30 p.m. CDT.
TDA plant certification staff are a resource for new and existing hemp growers who want assistance navigating and understanding regulations and requirements. Consultants in the Business Development Division support the hemp industry by helping create or expand businesses and promoting businesses through Pick Tennessee Products.
Pick Tennessee Products is TDA’s program that connects farmers directly to consumers. Hemp producers near you can be found at www.picktnproducts.org or on the Pick TN mobile app. Tennessee hemp growers, processors, and manufacturers can apply to be included in the directory at www.picktnproducts.org/apply-pick-tennessee-products-application.html.
If you feel like you’ve been catching a lot of Delta-8 THC content in the media lately, those aren’t just your social media apps hacking your brain. Hemp-derived Delta-8 THC is having a big moment in 2021 in terms of popularity and, most recently, in terms of concerns over legality, safety, and accuracy. This hot new cannabinoid has been branded as “legal marijuana” as the main intoxicating compound in cannabis but one most commonly derived from hemp for commercial use. Social listening data reveals that conversations around Delta-8 grew by a whopping 163% from December 2020 to April 2021, but all is not rosy for this latest trend in cannabis or for companies jumping into production to respond to the surging interest.
Arizona, Colorado, Delaware, and Montana are among the states that have explicitly banned sales of Delta-8 and at least four other states have already removed it from the shelves or otherwise restricted market access. The 2018 Farm Bill categorically removed hemp from the definition of marijuana and modified the definition of tetrahydrocannabinol to exclude tetrahydrocannabinol in hemp. The Drug Enforcement Agency’s interim rule turned that segment of the Farm Bill on its head, declaring derivatives of hemp containing delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol in excess of .3% THC and all synthetic cannabinoids as controlled substances.
Delta-8, which does not occur in levels sufficient to make commercial products in a cost-effective manner and therefore must be processed from CBD, lands it in the “synthetic” category according to the DEA definition. Some argue that this categorization is flawed given that Delta-8 is a naturally existing phytocannabinoid and that converting CBD to THC occurs via isomerization (the transformation of one isomer into another)—a process that does not fall within the DEA’s definition of a synthetic process. Though solid regulatory footing remains hard to attain as the debate rages on, cannabis companies are forging ahead with new products and campaigns, with mixed results.
Delta 9 or Delta 8?
A recent study by Leafreport found that out of 38 products tested, 63% contained the wrong amount of Delta-8 and more than 50% had illegal (over .3%) levels of Delta-9, containing as much as 15.2% THC. Delta-9 THC and cannabis plants that contain it are federally illegal with the exception of hemp, which contains too little (.3% or less of dry weight) Delta-9 to cause psychoactive effects. 34% of products in the Leafreport study did not clearly list Delta-8 content on the label or online product description, and 68% contained the wrong amount Delta-8 THC. The products most vulnerable to misreported Delta-8 levels were pre-rolls and gummies. Leafreport used a rating system based on the recommendation of industry experts that Delta-8 products have anywhere from 90% to 110% of the amount stated on the label. Using this metric, a full 32% of the products tested merited an “F” (Fail) accuracy rating.
Women Are The Majority of Buyers
The Brightfield Group, a CBD and cannabis consumer data and marketing intelligence company, recently conducted a study to assess Delta-8 consumer, product, and regulatory trends and found that only six months into the Delta-8 trend, 23% of Americans were aware of it, particularly among younger, city-dwelling cannabis users. Brightfield’s numbers show that for a growing segment of the population, Delta-8 is an affordable, convenient way to experience psychoactive cannabis, particularly where Delta-9 is illegal. Women make up the majority (53%) of consumers and curiosity is still the driving factor for those who purchase Delta-8. A full 20% of Delta-8 consumers do not use Delta-9 THC, which points to something unique about Delta-8. Anecdotal evidence suggests that may be a smoother, milder high and fewer side effects like anxiety and paranoia.
The progressive language of the new bill takes an important step towards addressing the harms of the Drug War. But passing it is still a long shot. Here’s why.
Second verse, same as the first, a whole lot louder and a lot MORE woke.
The House of Representatives passed the first version of the MORE Act, which would deschedule cannabis from the Controlled Substances Act, at the end of 2020. The bill promptly died in the Republican-controlled Senate. This blog tracked the evolution of the bill’s original version:demystifyingthe bill,dispelling some myths and misunderstandings about federal legalization, andpredictingthe bill’s demise.
Photo by MmeEmil/Getty Images
The House reintroducedthe second version of the bill on May 28th, 2021. This version is the same as the first with the addition of some progressive upgrades. Most notably, drafters of the bill removed language that barred applicants with felony cannabis convictions from federal permitting. This languageproved controversial at the time of the passage of the 2020 MORE Act. Denying federal permitting to those directly impacted by prohibition seemed counterintuitive to the stated intention of the bill, “to provide for reinvestment in certain persons adversely impacted by the War on Drugs.” Removing this language shows that Congress aims for an even more progressive vision of legalization this time around.
An increasing number of states are banning Delta-8 THC as federal regulators verify its legality.
Delta-8 THC has become very popular, prompting more jurisdictions to restrict access to the commodity, which is often generated from hemp extracts.
To limit market access, outright restrictions are being implemented and measures to prohibit the products are being considered.
According to U.S. Hemp Authority President Marielle Weintraub, states will continue to restrict Delta-8 THC and other products like it because the cannabinoid is classified as a restricted narcotic under federal law.
“Do not make or sell Delta-8 products unless you have a permit to make or sell THC as a controlled substance,” said Weintraub. “A state-licensed adult recreational or medicinal marijuana operator is the correct avenue for the lawful manufacturing and sale of Delta-8 products. Hemp businesses who fail to do so risk facing FDA, FTC, USDA, and EPA sanctions, as well as possible enforcement actions from the DEA and state law enforcement and regulators.”
The Government of the Isle of Man has begun accepting applications for the production, distribution and export of medicinal cannabis products.
The Isle of Man, population 84,584, is a self-governing British Crown dependency situated in the Irish Sea between England and Ireland.
Early this year, its government introduced a regulatory framework allowing commercial operators to grow, manufacture, distribute and export cannabis products under licence. The Gambling Supervision Commission (‘GSC’) is the regulator for the sector and has completed guidance to the framework, opening the way for applications.
It’s expected the new industry will create 250 new jobs and £3 million in annual benefit in the coming years for the Island, and play a significant role in the Isle of Man’s post-COVID economic recovery.
“What we now have will ensure that all stakeholders will be competent, crime free and capable of building a sector that is safe, trusted and efficient,” said GSC Director of Policy and Legislation Mark Rutherford.
A bill to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana for personal use in Louisiana will become law after Gov. John Bel Edwards signed the legislation from Democratic Rep. Cedric Glover Tuesday.
"This is not a decision I took lightly," Edwards said. "The state of Louisiana should no longer incarcerate people for minor legal infractions, especially those that are legal in many states, that can ruin lives and destroy families, as well as cost taxpayers."
Although Edwards said the bill won't technically "decriminalize" possession of small amounts of pot, the penalty would be less than most speeding tickets.
The bill would make possession of 14 grams or less — about half an ounce — a misdemeanor in all cases and limit the fine to $100 with no jail time.
It takes effect Aug. 1.
In September 2020, Federal Government approved and granted permission for the cultivation of Industrial Hemp for medicinal, scientific, and industrial purposes to the Ministry of Science & Technology. The said permission shall be regulated in terms of Rule 2(ix), 8, 9, and 10 of the Control of Narcotics Substances Rules 2001.
Against this backdrop, an “Expression of Interest” (EOI) in the shape of a Joint Venture (JV) for Hemp Production for Medicinal, Scientific, and Industrial Purposes was made by the Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST).
In furtherance of which the President of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, while exercising his powers under Article 89 of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan 1973, was pleased to issue an Ordinance No XIII of 2020 titled “The Special Technology Zones Authority Ordinance 2020”.
The detailed policy was also drafted for PCSIR by me which shall play an integral part in regulating and licensing hemp for medicinal use in Pakistan.
Officials in Pakistan’s government, Chaudhry Fawad Hussain in particular, encouraged hemp legalization and production in efforts to relieve fiscal deficits and Pakistan’s struggling economy alongside its medicinal benefits.
Significantly more than half, 60 per cent, of people polled in the U.S. believe the War on Drugs should end, and support the decriminalization of illegal substances.
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the Drug Policy Allegiance (DPA) released the poll ahead of the 50-year anniversary of President Richard Nixon declaring that drugs were “public enemy number 1.” The U.S. police had an impact on the lives of thousands of people, resulting in many incarcerations, disproportionately affecting Black, Latino and Indigenous people.
According to the poll, 65 per cent of the people surveyed agreed that the U.S. should stop the War on Drugs, with 66 per cent of those polled reporting they believe in decriminalizing drugs altogether.
Poll results show how much views have evolved since the 1970s. Nearly two-thirds of respondents believe there should be new healthcare enforcement instead of new law enforcement. The majority of those taking part in the survey also noted they think drugs should be a problem solved by healthcare providers and not officers.
In all, 83 per cent of respondents said they believed the War on Drugs has failed.
In 2020, Nevada dispensaries sold nearly $700 million dollars worth of cannabis and derivative products. Before AB400 was signed into law last week, many who used those products also drove a motor vehicle within 48 hours of use and likely exceeded the per se blood level limit for Tetracanabidiol (THC), the psychoactive component in cannabis, when they did it.
The legal standard for judging driver impairment for alcohol is consistent and accurate, an enduring legal measuring stick used in every U.S. state. With a higher blood alcohol content comes an increased level of impairment, a near linear relationship, but intoxication is not as predictable based on a blood level limit for THC.
People react differently to cannabis use. Numerous studies show that an infrequent user may experience pronounced effects when consuming small amounts of THC, but a daily medical cannabis user, for instance, may exhibit no reduction in psychomotor ability after use, yet they would likely be convicted of DUI if their blood were tested while driving. As of August 2020, there were 13,269 medical cannabis patients in Nevada. Assemblyman Steve Yeager, primary sponsor of AB400, presented the legislation to the Assembly Committee on Judiciary on March 29 of this year.
“What this means in practice is that you have little or no ability to defend yourself against DUI charges, if your blood test comes back with results above those numbers, your only real defense is that you were not the one driving or that the blood tested was not, in fact, your blood,” Yeager said. “You are not able to make any argument that you were not impaired due to a built up tolerance or history of heavy usage, even if for medical purposes. Simply stated, if you are above those levels, you are going to be guilty of a DUI.”
A Nevada motorist can get a DUI for prescription drugs, but there are no per se blood level limits for these substances at which a person is presumed to be intoxicated. A prosecutor must prove impairment without the use of a per se limit to establish guilt. Now that AB400 is law, prosecutors need to do the same thing for cannabis intoxication prosecutions.
The California Legislature on Monday approved a $100-million plan to bolster California’s legal marijuana industry, which continues to struggle to compete with the large illicit pot market nearly five years after voters approved sales for recreational use.
Los Angeles will be the biggest beneficiary of the money, which was proposed by Gov. Gavin Newsom to be provided as grants to cities and counties to help cannabis businesses transition from provisional to regular licenses.
“California voters approved Proposition 64 five years ago and entrusted the Legislature with creating a legal, well-regulated cannabis market,” said Assemblyman Phil Ting (D-San Francisco), the chairman of the Assembly Budget Committee. “We have yet to reach that goal.”
Many cannabis growers, retailers and manufacturers have struggled to make the transition from a provisional, temporary license to a permanent one renewed on an annual basis — a process that requires a costly, complicated and time-consuming review of the negative environmental effects involved in a business and a plan for reducing those harms.
As a result, about 82% of the state’s cannabis licensees still held provisional licenses as of April, according to the governor’s office.
If you’ve recently stopped by the CBD store down the street or visited one of the many websites selling CBD online, you may have seen something odd – right alongside the CBD oils and tinctures, CBD gummies, and vape juice.
That leads to a lot of questions.First of all, what’s THC doing in a CBD store? Isn’t that only supposed to be sold in a marijuana dispensary?Second, what is Delta-8-THC? Is it just a cleverly named CBD brand? Is it synthetic weed? What’s with the “Delta-8?”And most importantly: is this really legal?
You have questions. We have answers.
Delta-8-THC: The Brief FAQ
Let’s start with the simple answers.
North Carolina state Senator Jeff Jackson is all about going green, and in a recent video posted to Twitter, clarifies it's about making marijuana legal.
Jackson, a Democrat who currently represents North Carolina's 37th District, says the Tar Heel State needs to get up to speed with the other 17 states that have made similar moves. He specifically cites neighboring state Virginia, which has opted to regulate weed like alcohol and tobacco. That approach, he says, is good for farmers, tax revenue, and the criminal justice system in the states that have chosen to greenlight legal marijuana.
"You haven't seen an increase in crime, you haven't seen an increase in the use of harder drugs," he said. "What you've seen is an increase in tax revenue and a decrease in low-level arrests."
Jackson, who served as a prosecutor in Gaston County before joining the state senate and serves as a captain in the Army Reserve's JAG Corps, says most of the arrests made revolving around marijuana dealt with possession of small amounts of it, usually less than half of an ounce. Most charges were dismissed, but he argues it makes more sense to make access to weed a regulated space.
For Jackson, regulating weed means striking it at the federal level; marijuana is currently a Schedule I controlled substance, and taking it off the schedule would allow states to decriminalize and legalize marijuana. He also called for the expungement of records for people who had prior weed-related convictions.
Connecticut lawmakers are expected to take a vote on marijuana legalization this week after years of debate, and the 297-page measure they will consider is a sweeping package that establishes the framework for the new marijuana market, creates an option to erase past criminal convictions and seeks to allow those most harmed from cannabis prohibition to profit from the new industry.
Marijuana possession would become legal July 1
One of the first provisions of the bill to take effect would be the actual legalization of cannabis on July 1 for adults 21 and up. Individuals will be allowed to have no more than 1.5 ounces of marijuana on their person and as much as 5 ounces in their home or locked in their car’s trunk or glove box. Those ages 18-20 in possession of less than 5 ounces of marijuana would face a small fine for their first offense and those younger than 18 would receive a written warning and a referral to youth services.
Past criminal convictions for marijuana would be erased
The legislation allows individuals with past convictions for marijuana offenses to have those convictions erased. According to the legislation, anyone convicted of possessing four ounces or less of cannabis from between Jan. 1, 2000, and Sept. 30, 2015, would automatically have their record wiped clean. Those convicted before Jan. 1, 2000, or from Oct. 15, 2015 through June 30, 2021, could petition a court to have their record erased. The automatic erasures would take effect Jan. 1, 2023, and petitions to have records erased could be filed beginning July 1, 2022.
Home grow is OK beginning in 2023
Any individual 21 and older can grow up to six cannabis plants in their home beginning on July 1, 2023. The bill limits the number of plants that can be grown in a single household to 12.
Police can’t stop and search a person or vehicle for cannabis odor
With possession of marijuana legalized, police could no longer use the smell of cannabis or burnt cannabis as the basis to justify a search or motor vehicle stop. But the bill does allow police to test a driver for marijuana impairment if they smell cannabis. Another provision of the bill calls for police officers to receive additional training in drug recognition techniques.
On 17 May 2021, the Ministry of Public Health (MOPH) issued several notifications to prescribe the criteria and requirements in relation to the use of cannabis and hemp in cosmetics, including the permitted parts of the cannabis and hemp plant and extracts, the permitted level of THC and the permitted CBD, and applicable labelling and warning requirements. These notifications became effective on 18 May 2021.
In essence, cosmetics containing cannabis or hemp parts as an ingredient must comply with the following key requirements:In general, parts of cannabis and hemp that are no longer considered as narcotics can be used, provided that they must be dry parts and used for the purpose of cosmetics.The notifications specify the types of cosmetics that these cannabis and hemp parts can be used to manufacture, as well as the level of permitted THC. For cosmetics containing CBD extracts from cannabis or hemp as an ingredient, the use of synthetic cannabidiol is not allowed.Importation of cannabis and hemp parts as raw materials or cosmetics containing cannabis and hemp parts for the purpose of cosmetics is not allowed.Manufacturers (including contract manufacturers) of the above cosmetics must provide cosmetics labels and warnings, including those relating to potential health risks and the substances used in the cosmetics as specified in relevant notifications, as well as the level of CBD by weight, as applicable.
For more information, please contact our team at Baker McKenzie.
In this article, Rick Brar, CEO of Brains Bioceutical, explores the emerging UK CBD industry.
The last two years have seen the UK CBD market grow exponentially. Sales of CBD are not just being driven by trendy millennials looking for the next big thing, they are also cutting across a range of demographics and therapeutic applications from chronic pain, anxiety, sport recovery, and general wellness.
Following such a sustained period of growth, the rise of CBD is clearly not a passing fad. In fact, it remains one of the few industries that has managed to be resilient during the pandemic and continues to see strong demand.
With astronomical growth figures continuing to be reported, the potential of the CBD industry has prompted many to explore its viability as a business. With the increased focus on wellness and health that has stemmed from the pandemic and the growing awareness and evidence of CBD benefits, new businesses who want to make a difference are now entering the CBD market.
Setting up a CBD business is not as simple as just registering a website and selling products. Think long and hard about your motives for getting involved in the CBD and cannabis business and ask yourself a set of questions before you begin to craft a business plan: is this something you are passionate about? Will you buy your CBD wholesale, or are you looking to harvest and produce your own product? What kind of product interests you?
Getting from idea to product launch and beyond into profitability, is a challenge for any startup – however, for those wanting to create a thriving UK CBD business, there are several additional challenges due to the nature and origin of CBD itself. Destigmatising CBD, demonstrating compliance, and obtaining the necessary licenses and authorisations while maintaining a strong brand presence in what many people still see as a confused market requires agility, innovation, and perseverance.