WeedLife News Network

Hot off the press cannabis, marijuana, cbd and hemp news from around the world on the WeedLife News Network.

Major GOP players battle for and against cannabis In 2022

With the current state of uncertainty in the country and in the GOP, November elections may provide some answers as to which direction cannabis legalization is headed in this country.

The 2022 midterm elections are in full swing, and there is nothing that causes friction and clashes on issues quite like an election season. This year, the pile of political issues seems to grow by the day, and each new issue has conservatives and liberals more and more at odds.

There are even a few issues that are creating a fork in the road among conservatives this election season. As major GOP players emerge in 2022, politicians both seasoned and new are taking vastly different stances on cannabis legalization. These differing stances also seem to represent two different futures of the GOP. The midterm elections may help shed light on which type of Republican party voters are looking for moving forward, and also how the conservative base really feels about cannabis legalization. 

One of the most notable GOP candidates when it comes to the future of cannabis and the GOP is Rep. Nancy Mace. Mace has made headlines for many reasons, but most notably for being a conservative who is sponsoring cannabis legalization legislation. The States Reform Act is a bill that would decriminalize cannabis. 

Mace faces Katie Arrington in this Tuesday’s primary. Cannabis policy is not the only thing these two clash on. Arrington is backed by former President Trump, while Mace “blamed Trump for the deadly Jan. 6 Capitol riot, ” according to Politico. In fact, Trump has gone so far as to call Mace “nasty, disloyal, and bad for the Republican Party,” according to the article.

While Arrington has Trump’s backing, Mace and her cannabis bill have their own backing.

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West Virginia advocates collecting signatures for decriminalization ballot measures

Cannabis decriminalization in two cities in West Virginia is being pushed for this year’s November ballot.

A West Virginia cannabis advocacy group called Charleston Can’t Wait has recently been collecting signatures to put a decriminalization measure on the ballot this November in Fairmount and Charleston.

The organization is connected to West Virginia Can’t Wait, which is led by former 2020 governor candidate Stephen Smith. Described as “a movement to win a people’s government in the Mountain State,” it strives to support political candidates who represent the people of West Virginia and aren’t accepting donations from corporations or the fossil fuel industry.

Charleston Can’t Wait is on track to collect the required 2,000 signatures for its decriminalization effort by July 14. As of May 27, the organization’s Facebook page reported an update on the overwhelming support from local residents.

“We’re a whole heap of signatures closer tonight! Why? Because nearly every single person we ask says YES,” the organization said on its social media.

If voted into law, those caught in possession of cannabis would be charged a fine similar to that of a speeding ticket.

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Oregon will become first US state to ban synthetic cannabis

 

Oregon will soon become the first-ever state to ban synthetic weed sales, which includes products containing lab-grown cannabinoids like delta-8.

Starting on July 1, weed shoppers won't find certain weed gummies and other products at their go-to stores, even if they're THC-free, The Oregonian reported. That's because Oregon Liquor and Cannabis Commission officials say they're concerned about the unregulated nature of these products, many of which exist in a federal legal loophole.

"We have testing for pesticides. We have testing for residual solvents from the extraction process. We don't have any testing for any of the whole universe of chemical reagents that you could use to synthetically turn one cannabinoid into something else, or for any of the byproducts of that reaction," Steven Crowley, the hemp and processing compliance specialist with the Oregon Liquor and Cannabis Commission (OLCC), told The Oregonian.

The federal government has banned or temporarily banned certain synthetic cannabinoids like K2 or "spice," but there are hundreds that remain unregulated at the state level.

Scientists are lab-engineering naturally-occurring cannabinoids 

All cannabinoids, the chemical compounds in weed, start as CBG (short for cannabigerol), or the "mother" cannabinoid, as researchers often call it.

When exposed to environmental factors like light or heat, CBG reacts and turns into other cannabinoids, like THC, CBD, THCV, and CBN. THC, the cannabinoid best known for getting a person "high," but isn't legal everywhere, is also the most commonly occurring one in the cannabis plant.

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California drought prompts legislation to increase fines for water pollution for illegal grows

San Bernardino County in California is sponsoring state legislation aimed at increasing fines for illegal cannabis grows and targeting illegal cultivation operations that are polluting groundwater.

Two bills were recently introduced to prevent illegal cannabis cultivation efforts, which are using more water than ever in the wake of a historic California drought.

“Illegal cannabis farming is devastating the desert communities of San Bernardino County,” said San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors Chairman Curt Hagman in a press release.

“The County is determined to stop this terrible damage to the environment and to protect the lives and property of our residents from lawless criminals.”

The county is sponsoring Assembly Bill 2728, introduced by Assemblymember Thurston Smith, and Senate Bill 1426, introduced by Senator Anna Caballero, to tackle these concerns.

AB-2728 would increase the fines for illegal cultivation to $1,000 for each day of violation, and $2,500 for each acre-foot of water diverted (and if that measurement isn’t specified, $500 per plant). These stipulations would only take place in a “critically dry year immediately preceded by two or more consecutive below normal, dry, or critical dry years” in the event that the California state governor has issued a state of emergency.

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Russian war might be push Ukraine needs to legalize marijuana

While recreational cannabis remains illegal in Ukraine, the country is slowly moving towards legalizing the plant’s medicinal use.

The Russian war has affected the mental health of many Ukrainians, something that might push the country to legalize medical marijuana.

On Tuesday, Ukraine’s Minister of Healthcare, Viktor Liashko, wrote on Facebook that the cabinet had approved a bill to legalize medical cannabis, allowing the drug to treat a variety of conditions, among them, the trauma enacted by the war.

“We understand the negative effects of war on mental health. We understand the number of people who will need medical treatment due to this exposure. And we understand that there is no time to wait,” reads the post.

Per NPR, the bill will regulate “the circulation of cannabis plants for medical, industrial purposes, scientific and scientific-technical activities to create the conditions for expanding the access of patients to the necessary treatment of cancer and post-traumatic stress disorder resulting from war.”

Liashko’s post explains some of the benefits of cannabis use, including that it can help treat and prevent a variety of conditions, among them, PTSD, sleep disorders and neurological diseases.

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Why does cannabis dominate drug seizures along US border? Checkpoint oversight needs improvement

Three-quarters of U.S. Border Patrol drug seizures were exclusively for marijuana, according to a new report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) published in early June.

The analysis of Border Patrol data, from 2016 through 2020, showed that officers pulled in roughly 35,700 potentially removable people as part of 17,500 events at checkpoints. (Benzinga)

“GAO found that most drug seizure events involved only U.S. citizens (91 percent), of which 75 percent involved the seizure of marijuana and no other drugs,” the report says.

Interestingly, half of all marijuana seizures or 8,098 of 16,315 included “personal use quantity of marijuana and no other drugs.”

In the meantime, the analysis also showed inconsistency in the documentation of seizing trace amounts of marijuana, including marijuana residue found on paraphernalia.

The agency guidance suggested that marijuana should be put in a different category from paraphernalia containing small bits of cannabis. However, the GAO found that “1,973 seized items containing trace amounts of marijuana” were “incorrectly documented.”

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Thailand just decriminalized cannabis. But you still can't smoke joints, minister says

 

Thailand on Thursday became the first country in Asia to decriminalize cannabis -- but tough penalties will still apply to those who use the drug to get high, according to the minister who spearheaded the change.

Speaking to CNN in an interview ahead of the move, Thai Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul said he expected legal cannabis production to boost the economy but cautioned that recreational use of the drug remains illegal.
 
"It's a no," said Anutin, who is also a deputy prime minister.
 
"We still have regulations under the law that control the consumption, smoking or use of cannabis products in non-productive ways."
Under decriminalization, it is no longer a crime to grow and trade marijuana and hemp products, or use parts of the plant to treat illnesses. Cafes and restaurants can also serve cannabis-infused food and drinks -- but only if the products contain less than 0.2% tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the plant's main psychoactive compound.
Harsh penalties remain in place under the Public Health Act, including up to three months in jail and an $800 fine for smoking cannabis in public.
 
"We [have always] emphasized using cannabis extractions and raw materials for medical purposes and for health," Anutin said.
 
"There has never once been a moment that we would think about advocating people to use cannabis in terms of recreation -- or use it in a way that it could irritate others."
 
In particular, the minister had a stern warning for foreign tourists thinking of lighting up a joint in public.
 
"Thailand will promote cannabis policies for medical purposes. If [tourists] come for medical treatment or come for health-related products then it's not an issue but if you think that you want to come to Thailand just because you heard that cannabis or marijuana is legal ... [or] come to Thailand to smoke joints freely, that's wrong.
 
"Don't come. We won't welcome you if you just come to this country for that purpose."
 
Anutin, a former tycoon, also said he hopes the Thai cannabis industry will generate billions of dollars in income by boosting agriculture.
 
"We expect the value of [the cannabis] industry to easily exceed $2 billion dollars," he said, highlighting recent incentives such as collaborating with the Agriculture Ministry to distribute 1 million free cannabis plants to households across the country.
 
"Thailand, from what I was told, is one of the best places to grow cannabis plants," Anutin said.
 
"I think Thai people are excited and eager to be players -- either as investors or product makers as well as consumers. With today's technology and marketing strategies, Thailand will be second to none in being able to promote [cannabis] products in the global market."

 

Conflicting messages

Thursday is a historic day in the relaxation of Thailand's cannabis laws, and follows the country's landmark decision in 2018 to allow the use of medical marijuana.
 
Since then, under Anutin's direction, the laws around cannabis have been further loosened, with the removal of cannabis buds and flowers from the country's list of banned narcotics.
 
People drink tea containing cannabis leaves at the "Ganja and Thai Traditional Medicine in the City" trade fair in Bangkok in 2021.
 
More than 3,000 inmates serving prison terms for cannabis and hemp-related drug offenses will be released on Thursday following announcements from Anutin's Public Health Ministry.
 
And huge festivities are planned this weekend. One event organized by Highland Legalization, a Thai marijuana advocacy group, will see two days of musical performances, panel discussions and cannabis food sales.
 
Still, even with the liberalized law, a touch of paranoia may remain for some. Activists have long complained that loopholes in the law send conflicting messages.
 
Just weeks ago, a 56-year-old woman was arrested at her home in eastern Chonburi province after plainclothes police officers spotted a potted cannabis plant in her bedroom.
 
Her husband later clarified that she had high blood pressure and diabetes and they had been cultivating the plant to add to their food.
 
Commenting on the case, Anutin said the four officers involved had been disciplined.
 
"They were given warnings and suspended. They did not obey the law we have just established," Anutin said.
 
"However, we need to [educate] ordinary people and the law enforcers and let them know how far they can go in terms of using cannabis content ... within the legal framework. This is what we have been trying to do, to give as much information as we can to educate people."
 
Kitty Chopaka, a Bangkok-based cannabis entrepreneur who has pushed for legalization for years, welcomed the relaxation.
 
"The key point of advocating for cannabis legalization is to promote safe and responsible use. [The fact is] cannabis will now be as legal as garlic, there's no rule or laws imposed to control it," Chopaka said.
Even so, noting the recent arrests, she advocates a cautious approach.
 
"[Going forward], it's probably best to use cannabis in a private space away from people," Chopaka said.
 
"We don't want to see people [still going] to jail."
 
 
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Delaware lawmakers fail to override veto of weed legalization bill

The Delaware House of Representatives failed to override Governor John’s Carney’s veto of a bill to legalize possession of small amounts of cannabis, likely dooming hopes of reform in the state for the foreseeable future.

The Delaware House of Representatives failed on Tuesday to override a veto of a bill to legalize possession of small amounts of pot, likely dashing hopes for meaningful cannabis reform in the state for the rest of the year. Members of the House voted 20-20 in the bid to override the veto, failing to reach the three-fifths majority required for success.

House Bill 371 from Democratic Representative Ed Osienski would have legalized possession of up to one ounce of weed by adults. Osienski introduced the bill and another measure to establish a regulated cannabis industry in April after a more comprehensive proposal to legalize cannabis possession and commerce failed earlier this year.

Osienski has said that the bill to regulate recreational production and sales, House Bill 372, would create good jobs “while striking a blow against the criminal element which profits from the thriving illegal market for marijuana in our state.” But the measure failed in the House last month despite being favored in the vote 24-14, but failing to reach the 60% supermajority required because the bill includes a 15% tax on cannabis sales.

HB 371 fared better, passing in the House by a vote of 26-14 on May 5. A week later, the Delaware Senate approved the measure by a vote of 13-7, sending the bill to Democratic Governor John Carney for his consideration. But on May 24, Carney vetoed the bill, citing concerns about safety and the economic impact of legalizing recreational cannabis.

“That said, I do not believe that promoting or expanding the use of recreational marijuana is in the best interests of the state of Delaware, especially our young people,” Carney said in his message vetoing HB 371.

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Clear majorities of Black Americans favor marijuana legalization, easing of criminal penalties

A growing number of states have legalized marijuana for medical or recreational use, and at the federal level, Congress is considering decriminalizing the drug and expunging past convictions for marijuana-related offenses.

These policies align with the views of most Black Americans, according to an October 2021 Pew Research Center survey. Wide majorities of Black adults support legalizing marijuana at least for medical use (85%) and favor reforms to the criminal justice system such as releasing people from prison who are being held only for marijuana-related charges and expunging marijuana-related offenses from the criminal records of individuals convicted of such offenses (74% each).

Opinions vary more on whether marijuana should be legal for medical and recreational use or for medical use only. About six-in-ten Black adults (57%) say marijuana should be legal for medical and recreational use by adults, while 28% say marijuana should be legal for medical use only. Notably few Black adults (11%) say marijuana use should not be legal.

The views of Black Americans on this question are similar to those of the public overall. About six-in-ten U.S. adults overall (57%) say marijuana should be legal for medical and recreational use, while 31% say it should be legal for medical purposes only and 11% say it should not be legal at all.

The survey comes as Black adults are disproportionately likely to be arrested for marijuana-related offenses, according to FBI data. Though non-Hispanic, single-race Black and White Americans used marijuana at roughly comparable rates in 2020, Black people accounted for 39% of all marijuana possession arrests in the U.S. despite being only 12% of the U.S. population.

Black Americans’ views on legalization differ notably by party identification and ideology. Similar shares of Black Democrats and Black Republicans say marijuana use should be legal (88% and 85%, respectively), though views differ somewhat on the type of legalization. Roughly six-in-ten Black Democrats and those who lean toward the Democratic Party (61%) say medical and recreational marijuana use should be legal, compared with roughly half of Black Republicans and Republican leaners (48%). By contrast, a greater share of Black Republicans than Black Democrats say marijuana should be legal for medical use only (37% vs. 27%).

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Fact check: Fox News’ Laura Ingraham claims that marijuana causes mass shootings

Here are just some reasons why Laura Ingraham’s statement is absolutely absurd, and none of them have to do with marijuana legalization.

We’re only halfway through the year, and there has been over 200 mass shootings all around the United States already.

The deadliest of these, the Uvalde school shooting targeting a fourth grade elementary class, was considered the worst since Sandy Hook. This is clearly a systemic problem within the United States, but Fox News host Laura Ingraham doesn’t think so: she made it clear that she’s anti-marijuana legalization by blaming the mass shootings on cannabis laws.

During her talk at The Ingraham Angle last week on Fox News, she said:

“This is something that the medical community is well aware of. Yet, you get the sense that billions of dollars on the line are more important than our kids,” she said.

“And what’s happening especially to young men in the United States, who are frequent users of the high-potency THC that’s now in marijuana products sold legally in dispensaries across the United States. I mean, this at the very least needs a serious national conversation.”

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Cannabis bills show conflict in industry, growing acceptance among Arizona lawmakers

And then there were two.

That's how many marijuana bills have survived the 2022 legislative session.

One bill would allocate funds from the Smart and Safe Arizona Fund to tribal police and fire departments, university police and the Arizona Department of Public Safety. The other, a strike-everything amendment mirroring a failed senate bill, poses major changes to Arizona’s marijuana licensing process.

All marijuana bills introduced in 2022 bring the legislatures’ developing relationship with the cannabis business into focus. But continuing debate on changes to licensing show the legislative moves in Arizona’s marijuana market continue to remain internal and hotly contested.

Bills looking to heighten regulation and decrease sentencing largely failed early in the process, with many failing to grab a committee assignment or see a vote. The bills that did gain traction often saw mixed opinion from those within the broader cannabis industry.

Living legislation

Senate Bill 1324

Prime Sponsor: State Senator Thomas Shope, R-Coolidge

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Portugal group demands freedom to vote for personal use of cannabis

In Portugal, the left-wing group Left Bloc is pressing for legalization based on both local drug reform history, as well as current events across Europe.

For those watching the swing of European states into the pro cannabis column, the developments in Portugal have been a source of both optimism and frustration for the past several years.

The production of cannabis for medical export purposes was initiated by Tilray as they looked for a country more open to cannabis cultivation than Germany in 2017. Since then, commercial cultivation and extraction has blossomed domestically. Indeed Portugal is now seen as one of the most important feeder countries for the German medical cannabis market.

As a result of this as well as the general tolerance of cannabis in the country, the legislature was widely expected to introduce and pass formal recreational reform legislation late in 2021 or at the latest, by early this year. However, the issue stalled when the sitting government failed to pass the 2022 budget and a snap election was called for the end of January. The swearing in of the new Parliament was also delayed by a month and a half due to controversies that arose from the counting of overseas ballots.

In such an environment, cannabis reform is not going to be the priority.

European cannabis reform is a zeitgeist topic

However, those advocating for reform have not just gone away. Further, it appears that as of this summer, the prioritization of legalization has re-entered the political room.

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Legal weed has states improvising role as consumers’ safety cop

What’s safe in pot? Depends on where you are

The spread of legal marijuana across the US is bringing with it a unique challenge: Absent federal guidelines, states are cobbling together hodgepodge rules that leave users without a uniform safety net. 

Take New Jersey, which on April 21 became the latest state with legalized pot. Regulators there are re-examining their own rules on issues as varied as mold limits and batch size for contaminants testing. As with all the 19 states that allow recreational marijuana use for adults, it’s up to local officials to decide what’s best.

This isn’t how the US treats aspirin, lipstick, food, tobacco, carpet, tires — just about everything that’s for sale is subject to uniform health and safety regulations. But marijuana is in odd territory: Federally illegal, yet tried by half the adult population, it’s a fledgling multibillion-dollar market steered by fast-evolving rules. 

Attempts at regulation mark a departure from a black market that flourished bureaucracy-free for decades. But with a US retail market projected to hit $43 billion by 2025, according to researcher New Frontier Data, many in the industry are asking for some government intervention.

“Standardization across product forms, product naming, labeling and testing would simplify our business,” said Dennis Curran, chief operating officer of Acreage Holdings, with 27 dispensaries in eight states.

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NYC Mayor Adams says he won't crack down on illicit weed sales, tells Big Apple to light up & enjoy

New York, New York, so nice they named it twice, got a message from its mayor who told Big Apple residents they should feel free to buy, sell and consume weed where ever they wish.

Mayor Eric Adams promised not to take a “heavy-handed” approach toward those illicitly selling marijuana in the city. Now that recreational cannabis is legal, though sales won't launch until later in the year, the mayor said he sees no need to crack down on sales in the interim. (Benzinga)

“There needs to be a system of not heavy-handedness, but going in and explaining to that store that, ‘Listen, you can’t do this,’ give them a warning,” Adams told reporters at a cannabis industry expo at the Javits Center in Manhattan.

Instead of fining or arresting weed sellers, Adams wants the city to encourage illicit, AKA legacy, sellers to join the legal market. 

If someone refuses to get with the program after a warning, “some form” of enforcement may be warranted, the mayor said.

“If they refuse to adhere to the rules, then you have to come back and take some form of enforcement actions, such as a summons, such as, you know, talking about their ability to sell alcohol,” said Adams, a former police officer who has said he’d reinstate NYC’s controversial stop-and-frisk policy though it has been declared unconstitutional. 

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Bill Maher thinks Republicans will ‘steal’ pot legalization

Time is ticking, and political commentators are starting to wonder about the president’s inaction on cannabis reform—an issue with high support among Democrats. And since Democrats are currently in control of the White House and Congress, it’s on them to push a bill to the finish line.

During a June 3 “Overtime” segment on YouTube, the Real Time with Bill Maher host read an audience-submitted  question to his guest, former Attorney General Eric Holder, about why President Joe Biden hasn’t pushed for the federal legalization of pot. After all, decriminalization of cannabis at the federal level was one of President Biden’s promises on the election trail.

Maher—who denies alignment with any party—said that dealing with the issue would be “dealing with reality,” and it would also bring political benefit. But if Democrats continue to fail to legalize cannabis at the federal level, Maher thinks Republicans will take up the slack.

“Republicans are gonna steal the issue. I think eventually,” Maher told Holder. “I mean, someone like John Boehner works for a marijuana company now. I mean, it could be one of those freedom issues. And, of course, Republicans smoke lots of pot too.”

“Not enough,” Holder said to instant laughter in the audience.

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Why I think federal prohibition fails young people

As leaders in this space, we need to consider the current approach to cannabis and its impact on the people we want to protect.

The United States has been painstakingly slow to embrace federal cannabis reform. Despite 18 states now having legal, non-medical cannabis access, there are still Americans in jail on cannabis-related charges. According to findings from Pew Charitable Trusts, one in three of the possession-related arrests made in 2019 were for marijuana.

Preliminary data and research from outside jurisdictions are demonstrating that cannabis legalization could be shaping up to be a more sensible and controlled approach than prohibition, particularly in protecting a key segment of the population — young people.

Through my graduate studies, I began as a student interested in drug policy with Canadian Students for Sensible Drug Policy and have spent the better part of eight years mentoring youth interested in cannabis policy and education. I currently support a government-funded, peer-led cannabis education campaign run by CSSDP, Get Sensible, which started as an educational toolkit I spearheaded to help support the critical need for realistic, evidence-based cannabis education. I was also invited to the Senate of Canada as an expert witness to talk about cannabis legalization and youth in 2017. Through these experiences, I’ve seen that we still have so far to go in protecting our young people.

When it comes to young people and what it means to “protect” them, opponents of legalization have long argued that outright prohibition is the only way to keep youth safe. Meanwhile, we continue to provide little comprehensive support and education in key places, like schools, to help youth truly develop their health literacy around substance use.

Instead, what young people, especially in the U.S., have access to is usually almost entirely focused on risk and abstinence. This narrow focus on potential individual health harms misses a broader lens that captures all potential harms, including the impact of criminalization, especially for young people from justice-impacted communities. As leaders in this space, we need to consider the current approach to cannabis and its impact on the people we want to protect. We need to ask ourselves if the approach we have relied on for decades — prohibition, a patchwork of regulations and a lack of access to evidence-informed education about cannabis — is causing more harm than good. I believe the short answer is yes.

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Dr. Oz faces John Fetterman in unprecedented Senate race — and cannabis is on the table

In addition to his lucrative evidence-free advice, Dr. Oz recently said that legalizing recreational cannabis in PA would make people lose their motivation to go to work.

Celebrity Doctor Mehmet Oz officially became Pennsylvania's Republican Senate candidate when his opponent Dave McCormick conceded on Friday despite Oz's razor-thin lead of less than a thousand votes. (Benzinga)

Oz will now face Democrat Lt. Gov. John Fetterman in what’s expected to be one of the most-watched and most expensive Senate races in U.S. history.

Why it matters 

Oz, endorsed by Trump, and Fetterman a progressive giant are seeking to fill the open Senate seat being vacated by Sen. Pat Toomey (R) and by doing so gain control of the 50-50 U.S. Senate.

What one magazine is saying about the unlikely candidate

Scientific American, the oldest continuously published magazine in the U.S., says that Dr. Oz should not be a senator nor a doctor, that his brand of misinformation has already tarnished medicine and will do much worse in the halls of Congress. 

“Dr. Oz has long pushed misleading, science-free and unproven alternative therapies such as homeopathy, as well as fad diets, detoxes and cleanses. Some of these things have been potentially harmful, including hydroxychloroquine, which he once touted would be beneficial in the treatment or prevention of COVID. This assertion has been thoroughly debunked.”

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Morocco to set up agency to regulate legal cannabis

Morocco's national regulatory agency overseeing the use of cannabis for medical use met for the first time Thursday in one of the last steps before legalisation in the world's top cannabis-resin producer.

Morocco, the world's largest producer of cannabis resin according to the UN, adopted a law in 2021 authorising "the legal uses of medical, cosmetic and industrial cannabis".

For its first meeting, under the chairmanship of Interior Minister Abdelouafi Laftit, the board of directors of the "National Agency for the Regulation of Cannabis Activities" (ANRAC) approved its organisation chart and budget for the year 2022.

This public structure is responsible for controlling all stages of the production chain, from the importation of seeds and the certification of plants to the marketing of cannabis products.

Its action plan includes in particular the forthcoming launch of licensing procedures for national and international operators in the legal cannabis industry.

The agency will also have to set up the first processing and manufacturing cooperatives, composed exclusively of local growers.

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Is it legal to send weed or edibles through the mail?

Individuals who are caught shipping marijuana, even from one legal state to another, can be prosecuted by the federal government.

The legalities of traveling and shipping cannabis or products made from it can be overwhelmingly confusing. There are many things to consider, and these are important to know especially for medical patients who rely on cannabis for managing diseases, have trouble getting to a dispensary near you, or need to dispose of marijuana after traveling to a cannabis-friendly state.

The short answer is: no, it’s illegal to ship marijuana products and edibles within the United States. At the time of writing, marijuana is still a federally illegal substance which means that it is illegal in the eyes of the federal government. The United States Postal Service (USPS), as well as other private postage companies, are managed and controlled by the government. If there is any criminal activity that has been discovered, coursed through the mail, it can lead to federal criminal offenses, which are discussed in the United States Code 1716.

Individuals who are caught shipping marijuana even from one legal state to another can be prosecuted by the federal government. This can also lead to state charges based on the quantity of illegal drugs. However, if you are caught mailing cannabis within a state where cannabis is already legal, the best course of action would be to seek the help of a drug defense attorney.

The current law states that shipping 50 kilos of marijuana through the UPS can lead to as much as 5 years in prison with a fine of up to $250,000. Both FedEx and UPS don’t allow shipping products that are not federally legal, though the USPS has to get a search warrant while FedEx, UPS, and other private couriers don’t. That means that they can open your package if they think that it’s necessary to do so. Keep in mind that postage workers are also given a reward, sometimes to the tune of $50,000, if they are able to identify packages that contain marijuana and report the people behind it.

Edibles

Since many people have been able to get away with traveling internationally with edibles in their suitcase, you may think that it’s okay to mail it. However, the answer is still no.

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New York Senate passes gray market cannabis bill

The New York Senate has approved legislation that gives officials new authority to address the state’s unregulated cannabis market.

The New York Senate voted this week to approve a bill to crack down on the state’s cannabis gray market, giving regulators the authority to seize illicit weed and increasing fines for unlicensed operators. State Senator Liz Krueger introduced the measure on Sunday and by Wednesday, the Senate had voted to approve the bill, offering an indication of the legislature’s interest in addressing New York’s unregulated pot market before legal sales of recreational cannabis begin later this year.

Justin Flagg, a spokesperson for Krueger, said that the bill is designed to empower the New York Office of Cannabis Management (OCM) and the Department of Taxation and Finance to address unregulated cannabis retailers, which have become brazenly ubiquitous in Manhattan and other areas since state lawmakers legalized adult-use cannabis last year. The OCM is currently working to establish rules for the regulated market, which should begin licensed recreational cannabis sales by the end of 2022.

“This bill is aimed at gray market operators such as retail cannabis stores that have emerged during the period after legalization but before licensed businesses begin operating,” Flagg said in an email.

Flagg added that Krueger drafted the legislation with cooperation from OCM and the tax and finance department, noting that their action was “prompted by the difficulty of enforcement against several illegal cannabis stores that have been hard to shut down under the existing statute.”

The bill gives the OCM the authority to seize illicit cannabis and expands the authority of the Taxation and Finance Department to assess fines against unlicensed cannabis operators. The measure also doubles civil penalties for anyone who knowingly possesses illicit pot, which is defined as taxable cannabis products for which no tax has been paid. Flagg clarified that the legislation applies to any cannabis product that was not grown by or purchased from a cannabis business licensed by the state.

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