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Lawmakers there have been summoned back to the state capital of Santa Fe for a special legislative session this week to tackle the issue, after a previous effort to end pot prohibition fell short.
New Mexico’s legislative session officially ended on March 20, but the state’s Democratic governor, Michelle Lujan Grisham, called the legislators back.
“I am grateful to those legislative leaders and members who have expressed enthusiasm about returning to the people’s work so soon after a challenging 60-day session,” Lujan Grisham said in a statement on Friday. “The unique circumstances of the session, with public health safeguards in place, in my view prevented the measures on my call from crossing the finish line. While I applaud the Legislature and staff for their incredible perseverance and productivity during the 60-day in the face of these challenges, we must and we will forge ahead and finish the job on these initiatives together for the good of the people and future of our great state.”
The special session is slated to begin on Tuesday.
Read entire article at Technical420
During the last year, the global cannabis market has recorded significant advancements as new markets in the European Union (EU) and Latin America have started to gain traction.
Mexico is a market that has been in focus and is an opportunity we are excited about. The country is working to pass recreational cannabis legislation and we expect a positive outcome to be a major catalyst for the entire sector.
Over the weekend, we read a few articles that stated that the Mexican Senate is prepared to approve a legislation to legalize cannabis after it was amended by the Chamber of Deputies earlier this month.
The comments come a few weeks after the Chamber of Deputies passed a legalization bill that had been revised since it was approved by the Senate in late 2020. We consider this to be an important development as it relates to the potential for the legislation to be passed quickly and will monitor how the Mexican market advances from here.
Marijuana convictions would be erased with the stroke of the New York governor’s pen under a pot legalization bill ready for a vote this week in the state Legislature.
The measure (S.854A /A.1248A), details of which were released late Saturday, calls for the automatic expungement of records for people with previous convictions for activities that would no longer be criminalized when marijuana is legalized for use by adults 21 and older.
“For generations, too many New Yorkers have been unfairly penalized for the use and sale of adult-use cannabis, arbitrarily arrested and jailed with harsh mandatory minimum sentences,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) said in a news release. “After years of tireless advocacy and extraordinarily hard work, that time is coming to an end in New York State.”
Legislative leaders, who negotiated the proposal with Cuomo, said they’ll act on the measure this week.
The expansive bill would allow dispensaries to open as soon as next year, and includes special cannabis taxes, permission for home growers to cultivate their own marijuana, and as well as limits on the number of licenses that can go to large corporations.
Scofflaws could be hit with penalties ranging from $200 to $2,000
Starting today, travellers who lie about carrying marijuana over the Canadian border could face fines.
Recreational cannabis has been legal in Canada since the fall of 2018, but it's illegal to bring it across the border without a permit or exemption.
The Canada Border Services Agency announced today that travellers who provide false information to an officer or fail to report imported goods containing cannabis, including CBD products, could be hit with fines ranging from $200 to $2,000.
Those caught with undeclared cannabis could also lose their membership in programs like NEXUS — which speeds up border crossings for pre-approved travellers — or the Free and Secure Trade (FAST) program, a commercial clearance program.
The agency said it may also pursue prosecution in serious cases, but it stressed that its goal is to discourage illegal activity while also avoiding criminal charges.
Legislation (S.854-A/A.1248-A) Would Establish the Office of Cannabis Management; Expand New York's Existing Medical Marijuana Program; Establish a Licensing System; and Create a Social and Economic Equity Program Encouraging Individuals Disproportionately Impacted by Cannabis Enforcement to Participate in Industry
Tax Collection Projected to Reach $350 Million Annually and Potentially Create 30,000 to 60,000 Jobs
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins and Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie today announced an agreement on legislation (S.854-A/A.1248-A) to legalize adult-use cannabis. The bill would establish the Office of Cannabis Management to implement a comprehensive regulatory framework that would cover medical, adult-use and cannabinoid hemp. The bill would also expand New York State's existing medical marijuana and cannabinoid hemp programs. The legislation provides licensing for marijuana producers, distributors, retailers, and other actors in the cannabis market, and creates a social and economic equity program to assist individuals disproportionately impacted by cannabis enforcement that want to participate in the industry.
The development of an adult-use cannabis industry in New York State under this legislation has the potential to create significant economic opportunities for New Yorkers and the State. Tax collections from the adult-use cannabis program are projected to reach $350 million annually. Additionally, there is the potential for this new industry to create 30,000 to 60,000 new jobs across the State.
"For generations, too many New Yorkers have been unfairly penalized for the use and sale of adult-use cannabis, arbitrarily arrested and jailed with harsh mandatory minimum sentences. After years of tireless advocacy and extraordinarily hard work, that time is coming to an end in New York State," Governor Cuomo said. "Legalizing adult-use cannabis isn't just about creating a new market that will provide jobs and benefit the economy -- it's also about justice for long-marginalized communities and ensuring those who've been unfairly penalized in the past will now get a chance to benefit. I look forward to signing this legislation into law."
Will New York Go Legal Next Week
The cannabis industry is one of the fastest-growing sectors across the world. Especially in the United States with more states looking to legal in 2021. Recent data reported that the total sales in the U.S. reached a record-breaking $17.5 billion between the medical and recreational market. Right now there is a great deal of anticaption in regards to cannabis legislation between state and federal. For example, more states are implementing different cannabis laws that will help to regulate things more smoothly.
In addition to this with better state-level legislation, it will also aid in the overall protection for cannabis consumers inside the state. Now on a federal level which more people are paying attention to is the bigger focus when it comes to cannabis legislation. If the new administration can somehow pass a bill that would reschedule cannabis many doors will soon be open. When cannabis becomes federally legal it will allow not only more states but outside regions to be involved in the U.S. cannabis industry without fear of breaking the law.
Back in 2020 during the presidential election, 5 new states legalized marijuana in some form. One of these states was New Jersey which has one of the largest consumer bases for a new cannabis market. With New Jersey voting to go legal it has inspired its neighboring New York to follow it in the same footsteps. Just like New Jersey, the big apple has a big market for cannabis consumers.
If New York does vote to go legal it will only add more value to the U.S. cannabis industry. So with much to be seen in 2021 New York is preparing to pass a bill that would establish legal cannabis in the state. Below we will go over the recent update with the NY cannabis bill.
Will New York Go Legal In 2021
Lawmakers and political figures have come together to work out a way to agree on a bill that would legalize cannabis. This new legislation would be to legalize the various marijuana products and the adult use of cannabis. As well this new bill would allow residents to have a small number of marijuana plants in their homes.
Two years ago, the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) established the state’s first Industrial Hemp Ag Pilot Program so farmers, processors, and colleges and universities could grow, handle, process, and research industrial hemp. The program continued into the 2020 growing season, with 631 growers and 517 processor-handlers registered and/or licensed to grow, process, and market industrial hemp. The bill, sponsored by Senator Dan Lauwers (R-Brockway Township) set a lot of parameters for hemp growers.
It might not make a lot of sense with marijuana being legal in Michigan, but the Feds hold a different view and want to make sure the industrial hemp grown won’t get anybody high. The bill two years ago required that government inspectors sample the plants for THC analysis.
Today, Governor Whitmer signed another bill sponsored by Senator Brockway, that gets the state program in line with the federal guidelines, which went into effect on Monday March 22nd.
“Updating our industrial hemp growers act was a critical step in maintaining regulatory certainty for hemp cultivation in Michigan,” said Gary McDowell, director of the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development. “This helps our hemp growers and processors ensure they’re aligned nationally and signals the importance of supporting this emerging part of our agriculture economy. I appreciate the bi-partisan support and swift movement ensuring Michigan’s legislative framework meets federal requirements.”
Key revisions and updates to the state’s Industrial Hemp Growers Act include the following:The hemp harvest window has increased from 15 to 30 days. The grower registration cycle has been changed from December 1 – November 30 to February 1 – January 31. This means grower registrations already issued for the 2021 growing season will be valid until January 31, 2022. USDA modified sampling provisions allowing states to develop performance-based sampling requirements. This added flexibility lets MDARD take into consideration variables such as seed certification, grower compliance, variety performance, etc. when developing its sampling plan. Growers can now remediate non-compliant hemp instead of disposing of it. Specific options for remediation are identified and require post remediation sampling to ensure compliance with acceptable THC levels. The negligence threshold has been raised from 0.5 percent to one percent, and the maximum number of negligent violations a grower can receive in a growing season (a calendar year) has been limited to one. Effective December 31, 2022, all laboratories testing industrial hemp, including those laboratories testing hemp throughout the growing season to monitor THC levels, must be registered with the United States Drug Enforcement Agency.
A new cannabis bill, House Bill 150, just advanced out of a Delaware House committee and is headed to a full vote on the House floor. If this bill passes, it will mean legal cannabis is on the way for Delaware.
The House Health & Human Development Committee approved the bill this week after hours of discussions, and now, it is headed to a full vote hopefully in April or May. If House Bill 150 becomes law, it will allow those 21 and up to buy one ounce of recreational cannabis at a time from licensed stores. There will also be a 15 percent sales tax.
Under this law, like many other states, using cannabis in public or in a vehicle will be against the law, and employers can prohibit cannabis use if they prefer. There will also be no home growing allowed, and individual cities and counties could opt out of allowing cannabis facilities. Cannabis would be regulated like alcohol under the Division of Alcohol and Tobacco Enforcement.
Many spoke out in front of the House in support of legal cannabis, and some spoke up about concerns regarding how it will impact the community or the already existing medical cannabis program. Many feel that this will be a much needed and welcome blow to the illicit market, as well as the war on drugs.
“Delaware doesn’t exist in a bubble, and it’s just impractical, illogical and fiscally irresponsible at this point to think that cannabis prohibition will ever eliminate cannabis from Delaware,” Zoe Patchell, president of the Delaware Cannabis Advocacy Network, said in front of the legislature.
To the surprise of many, South Dakota’s Governor Kristi Noem is considering a bill that would decriminalize cannabis in South Dakota. While Noem has been unflinchingly strict on cannabis before, she is now starting to loosen up a bit, though not enough for some advocates.
The legislation, which is being proposed by the governor’s office, would limit the number of plants medical cannabis patients could have, as well as stop the process of incarcerating people for possessing small amounts of recreational cannabis. Up to an ounce, or eight grams of concentrate, would simply get a petty offense charge, no jail time, as long as the person was 21 or older. Repeat offenses would result in a class 2 misdemeanor instead of a felony charge.
“This is one of several draft bills being circulated for discussion and Gov. Noem has not endorsed any of them,” said Tony Venhuizen, Noem’s chief of staff.
Noem is allegedly concerned about the medical statutes that will go into effect this summer, as they don’t specify a cap for how many medical plants a patient can have in their home. Under this new proposal, the limit would be three.
A competing proposal drafted by cannabis advocates South Dakotans for Better Marijuana Laws sets the limit for home-grown plants at six instead, and wants less severe charges for those under 21 found to be in possession of cannabis. The competing proposal has some backing from senators who are more pro-cannabis and feel that Noem’s bill doesn’t go far enough.
In April 1990, Jackee Winters and her 2-year-old daughter, Autumn, were driving in their new black Mitsubishi truck when they got hit by a car.
Autumn died that day. Winters was in a coma for a few days and needed to relearn how to speak and walk. Doctors reconstructed her chest after the steering wheel damaged it and bruised her heart.
Winters, who now lives in Idaho City, was eventually diagnosed with depression, and the accident left her with disabilities, pain and nightmares that she has battled since then. She takes a variety of medications for her mental health and traumatic brain injury, according to medical documents.
On a vacation to Oregon several years ago, Winters said she tried marijuana. She said she slept soundly that night. And when her teenage daughter was battling brain cancer, she took her to Oregon to let her also try cannabis. Winters said it relieved her daughter’s pain.
Winters’ daughter is now in remission. Winters said she thought about moving out of the state to access medical cannabis, but she grew up in Boise and loves the area. If her daughter’s cancer ever returned, Winters said she’d likely want to move.
While proponents of marijuana law reform in Texas are hoping bipartisan efforts this session lead to greater access to recreational and medical cannabis, that may not be likely.
A report from the news site Marijuana Moment shows that top state lawmakers do not expect "sweeping reform" on legalizing recreational use because of skepticism in the Texas Senate. The website, which reports on developments and trends affecting cannabis, is tracking more than 900 cannabis and drug policy bills in state legislatures and Congress this year.
That story also reported that Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick told a television station that if far-reaching marijuana legislation has a shot of passing his chamber in 2021, “it didn’t last time,” referring to his efforts to kill cannabis bills in the past.
Sen. Drew Springer, R-Muenster; Rep. Lynn Stucky, R-Denton; and Sen. Jane Nelson, R-Flower Mound, had not returned messages seeking comment by late Monday.
Texas continues to lag far behind other states where the use of cannabis products for medical and other purposes has been legalized, said Heather Fazio, director of Texans for Responsible Marijuana Policy, a coalition seeking to change state laws to make it easier for terminally ill patients to receive cannabis treatment and to decriminalize marijuana possession
The FDA said in a statement that the products that are the subject of the warning letters have not gone through the FDA drug approval process and are considered unapproved new drugs.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has issued warning letters to two companies for selling products labeled as containing cannabidiol (CBD) in ways that violate the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act). Specifically, the warning letters address the illegal marketing of unapproved drugs labeled as containing CBD. The companies are Honest Globe and BioLyte Laboratories.
The letter sent to Honest Globe referenced the products “ELIXICURE ORIGINAL PAIN RELIEF with CBD” (roll-on and pump versions) and “ELIXICURE LAVENDER PAIN RELIEF with CBD” (roll-on and pump versions) (hereinafter referred to as “ELIXICURE PAIN RELIEF with CBD” products). The “ELIXICURE PAIN RELIEF with CBD” products were labeled as containing cannabidiol (CBD) and require no prescription.
The letter reads, “Your “ELIXICURE PAIN RELIEF with CBD” products are unapproved new drugs introduced or delivered for introduction into interstate commerce in violation of sections 505(a) and 301(d) of the FD&C Act, 21 U.S.C. 355(a) and 331(d). Furthermore, your “ELIXICURE PAIN RELIEF” products are misbranded drugs introduced or delivered for introduction into interstate commerce in violation of sections 502(a), 502(ee), and 301(a) of the FD&C Act, 21 U.S.C. 352(a), 352(ee), and 331(a).” The FDA also said that although CBD was listed as an inactive ingredient in the labels of the “ELIXICURE PAIN RELIEF with CBD” products, the product labeling clearly represented CBD as an active ingredient, which is a component of a drug intended to furnish pharmacological activity or other direct effects in the diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of disease, or to affect the structure or function of the body. Ultimately an inactive ingredient should not exert pharmacological effects.
In addition to the marketing, Honest Globe was cited for production issues. The letter stated, “Your Quality Unit (QU) lacked control over your topical over-the-counter drug manufacturing operations and failed to ensure that you had adequate procedures. In your response, you committed to working with your contract laboratory to investigate the cited OOS results and future OOS results. Your response is inadequate because you did not address your responsibilities to investigate potential manufacturing deficiencies that may have led to the OOS results. Your response also failed to evaluate batches with OOS test results that had been distributed and were still within expiry.”
State lawmakers in Kansas are considering a bill that would legalize medical marijuana under strictly limited conditions. Kansas is one of only 14 states without a comprehensive medical marijuana program, currently allowing patients with a recommendation from a physician to only use CBD oil with a maximum of 5% THC.
In the Kansas House of Representatives, lawmakers are considering a bill that would create a medical marijuana program with strict limits on patient eligibility. Under the measure, only patients with one of about two dozen medical conditions including seizures and chronic pain would be permitted to use cannabis medicinally.
To qualify for the program, patients would need a recommendation from a physician specially certified by the state to make such recommendations. Patients would also be required to be under the care of one of the specially certified physicians for at least one year before receiving a medical marijuana recommendation.
The bill would also place strict limitations on the types of cannabis products that would be permitted under the program. Cannabis oils and edibles would be allowed, but smokable cannabis would not be legalized under the measure.
Proponents of the bill hope that its strict regulations will make the bill acceptable to law enforcement groups and conservative Republicans, who have resisted previous attempts to legalize medical marijuana in Kansas. Republican Senate President Ty Masterson told local media that he did not want the state to have a medical marijuana program that would allow almost anyone to qualify as a patient.
A bill to legalize adult use of recreational marijuana, already passed in the House, now awaits action in the North Dakota Senate.
House Bill 1420 is seen in part as a way to forestall another ballot measure seeking to open the door to recreational marijuana more widely. In 2018, Measure 3 failed, only receiving 40% of votes cast. Rep. Jason Dockter, R-Bismarck, the bill’s sponsor, said he would rather have the Legislature have control over the laws rather than possibly having recreational marijuana in the North Dakota Constitution.
With neighboring states legalizing marijuana, Dockter said he felt it was only a matter of time before a ballot measure would pass legalizing marijuana in North Dakota. “I believe it is our job of our lawmakers to have good policy, even if you don’t agree with the topic of the bill,” he said.
Dockter, who said he doesn’t use marijuana himself, testified on the bill March 15 before the Senate Human Services Committee.
“A lot of times we are reactive as government and I wanted to do something proactive,” he said.
“The final rule on hemp production is much improved over the interim final rule previously issued by USDA,” Quarles said. “The improvements were the results of work conducted by the Kentucky Department of Agriculture and other state agencies to provide feedback to the USDA. I am grateful for all of the work done by the previous administration, including that of former Under Secretary of Agriculture Greg Ibach and his team, to have an open line of communication with state leaders.”
The 2018 Farm Bill defined hemp as the plant cannabis sativa with not more than 0.3% THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, and directed the USDA to develop a regulatory framework for states to manage hemp programs. The final rule comes after state agencies, industry groups, and hemp growers across the nation provided feedback to USDA on the interim final rule. The final rule for hemp production was released Jan. 19, but the Biden Administration stopped its implementation for a temporary review. With the review complete, the final rule will take effect March 22.
Quarles sent two rounds of comments to the USDA about the interim final rule, highlighting potential sticking points with Kentucky’s current hemp program. USDA adjusted the rule to address nearly every concern he raised.
In the comments Quarles submitted last October, one of the major concerns about the previous rule was that it would have eliminated a key feature of Kentucky’s hemp program, the ability of growers to remediate elevated THC content through a post-harvest retest. The post-harvest retest gives growers an opportunity to realize a financial return on their harvests by giving them a second chance to achieve a compliant THC test result. Under the final rule, remediation and a post-harvest retest is allowed.
Other successful policy changes included on-farm disposal of non-compliant hemp material, new rules which standardize and simplify sampling procedures for the part of the plant to be tested for compliance, and an increase in the "negligent" level of THC in the plant.
In 2019, the SAFE Banking Act, a measure that would prevent federal banking regulators from sanctioning banks for working with legal cannabis businesses, passed in the House of Representatives only to languish in the then Republican-controlled Senate. Last week, the bill showed a shred of life when it was reintroduced in the House. Now that the Democrats are in control of Congress and the White House, is there hope that the SAFE Banking Act will finally pass?
The reaction among cannabis professionals has been equivocal, at best. For instance, Nathaniel Gurien, CEO of Fincann, a provider of payment solutions for the cannabis industry, feels the bill is nothing more than a superficial band aid to a larger problem, namely the federal illegality of the plant.
"If Congress passes simple cannabis de-scheduling or the similar MORE Act, [which would decriminalize marijuana] this summer as expected, then the SAFE Banking Act would be moot," he said.
Yet Gurien has his doubts. “Majority Leader Schumer (D-NY) appears inclined towards more comprehensive legalization, which will likely require a couple years of wrangling with ‘stakeholders’ pushing federal legalization into the next Congress and 2023."
Matt Hawkins, founder and managing partner of Entourage Effect Capital, is adopting a glass half-full perspective. For him, the passage of the bill would be a boon for the industry as it could pave the way for plant-touching businesses to be able to trade on the NASDAQ and the New York Stock Exchange in the future. "This could open the floodgates for institutional investors who have been hungry to invest in this space and could also allow legal businesses to finally tap into capital markets and become closer to operating like mainstream companies," he explained. "Additionally, larger operators and ancillary companies flush with cash could have the buying power to more efficiently scale their businesses throughout the country."
Regulators have approved Scotland's first medicinal cannabis clinic.
Stirling's Sapphire Medical Clinics has been authorised by Healthcare Improvement Scotland to provide safe access to medical cannabis to Scottish patients.
Business Insider reports that the private clinic is offering virtual appointments from today and will be offering face-to-face consultations when coronavirus restrictions allow it.
The central belt surgery will now be the first with it initially planned for the first clinic to be in Aberdeen.
In November 2018, medical cannabis was legalised in the UK to allow doctors to prescribe it in certain situations.
Last week, United States Senator Bob Menendez introduced a bipartisan bill that would help the cannabis industry gain much-needed access to insurance.
Menendez is a senior member of the Senate Banking Committee and chairman of a subcommittee underneath the Banking Committee that oversees insurance, so he knows specifically how important insurance can be. The Clarifying Law Around Insurance of Marijuana, or CLAIM Act of 2021, is also being backed by Senator Rand Paul, a Republican, and Senator Jeff Merkley, a Democrat.
“The voters in New Jersey spoke loud and clear this November when they overwhelmingly approved of recreational marijuana use, the governor and state legislature have acted and now, it’s time for the federal government to take the shackles off of state-authorized cannabis businesses, allowing this burgeoning industry to thrive,” said Senator Menendez. “Current, federal law prevents these small business owners from getting insurance coverage, and without it, they can’t protect their property, employees or customers. Our legislation simply levels the playing field for legal cannabis businesses, allowing them to fully operate just as any other legal, small business would by permitting insurance companies to provide coverage to these enterprises without risk of federal prosecution or other unintended consequences.”
“The principles behind the CLAIM Act are simple: respect the voices of the states and their people and stop shutting out legitimate businesses from obtaining basic protections,” said Senator Paul. “The states are making their own decisions on these issues, and it’s time for the federal government to accept that.”
“State, legal cannabis businesses should not be shut out from the kind of tools and financial services all businesses need to thrive—including insurance to protect stores, customers and workers from an unexpected emergency,” said Senator Merkley. “It’s time to pass the CLAIM Act so we can deliver on that principle and continue working together to support our local businesses.”
Federal cannabis legalization may not help residents of states that currently prohibit cannabis in some form unless those states enact their own legalization measures.
America is on the cusp of legalizing marijuana at the federal level. There appears to be enough support in Congress to amend federal law and make commercial marijuana activities legal. But a federal mandate may not mean that recreational marijuana will be accessible in all 50 states.
As we near the end of cannabis prohibition in the U.S., it is important that we look at the history of prohibition to better assess the potential outcomes that states’ rights may cause, even after cannabis is federally legal.
In 1972, the federal Controlled Substances Act (“CSA”) classified “marihuana” as a Schedule I substance. This law made it illegal to cultivate, distribute, or possess cannabis. Before the CSA was signed into law, the federal strategy for thwarting cannabis use was imposing a substantial tax on the transfer of marijuana using the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937 (“MTA”). The MTA did not expressly prohibit the cultivation, distribution, and possession of marijuana, but instead made marijuana transactions prohibitively expensive.
Before the CSA, marijuana criminal laws were largely creations of state law. Interestingly, the relatively conservative state of Utah was the last state to criminalize marijuana. It is ironic that state legislatures have subsequently reversed course and removed criminal sanctions at such a rapid pace that now federal lawmakers are using state repeal and reform efforts to inform federal legalization proposals. For those keeping score, California was the first state to legalize medical marijuana, doing so in 1996. Colorado and Washington became the first two states to legalize recreational marijuana in 2012.
In Morocco’s impoverished Rif mountains, cannabis grower Mohamed El Mourabit hopes a plan to legalise the drug for some uses will raze what he calls a “wall of fear” surrounding farmers caught between poverty, traffickers and the law.
The government last week approved a law to allow the cultivation, export and use of cannabis for medicine or industry. Parliament looks likely to ratify it, despite the issue dividing the governing coalition’s biggest party.
The change is meant to improve the lot of farmers in the often restive Rif region where it has been grown for decades, and to tap into a growing global market for legal cannabis.
But the law has divided opinion among Rif farmers, who fear it will do nothing to address a years-long slide in their income or help them escape outstanding arrest warrants.