Congress schedules hearing on ending cannabis prohibition

August 9, 2019

McConnell takes USDA head on hemp tour; CO launches marijuana progress tracker; Study: Rec. dispensary customers use marijuana for medical benefits

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

Marijuana Moment scooped the news that the House Judiciary Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security Subcommittee plans to hold a hearing focused on ending federal cannabis prohibition next week.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) personally led U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue on a tour of a Kentucky hemp farm and processing facility so he could get an up-close look at hemp and CBD products.

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis (D) launched an online tool to track his cannabis goals, including 20% growth in the number of banks serving marijuana businesses, implementing delivery services and tripling outdoor hemp cultivation.

A study found that customers at adult-use marijuana dispensaries often use cannabis for medical reasons, with 65% using it for pain, 74% using it as a sleep aid and 82% reducing or stopping use of over-the-counter or prescription drugs like opioids.

  • “The majority reported that cannabis decreased their medication use. Adult use cannabis laws may broaden access to cannabis for the purpose of symptom relief.”

/ FEDERAL

South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg (D), a presidential candidate, said he would work to reduce incarceration by 50% by legalizing marijuana and eliminating prison as a punishment for simple drug possession.

Presidential candidate Andrew Yang tweeted, “It’s time to legalize marijuana…it’s already legal in 9 states and criminalizing it does more harm than good. I’d pardon those in prison for non-violent marijuana-related offenses.”

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), a presidential candidate, sent a letter in 2015 praising a Scientology-backed program seeking to foster a “drug-free world.”

Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA) said he is concerned about the legalization of marijuana in nearby Illinois but that he is “willing to do things in the area of medicinal marijuana” as long as it is regulated by the Food and Drug Administration.

Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) tweeted photos of himself touring a hemp processing facility, adding, “Hemp is a growth industry that can make a big difference in rural Oregon & nationwide.” He also toured a hemp field, saying, “Impressed by all that’s going on with @OregonState doing key research in this field of dreams for a product that has so much economic potential.”

Rep. Nydia Velázquez (D-NY) tweeted, “As the cannabis industry expands in our state and across the country, we need to make sure that disadvantaged entrepreneurs aren’t left behind. We need to make sure that SBA loans are available to those who want to participate in this industry.”

Rep. Lance Gooden (R-TX) said that decriminalizing border crossing “isn’t like decriminalizing marijuana. This is a serious deal.”

Rep. Andy Barr (R-KY) published an op-ed on banking access for hemp businesses and tweeted, “I am proud to fight for hardworking and innovative Kentuckians, and I will continue work to ensure that legal hemp businesses have unfettered access to the banking system and markets across the country.”

/ STATES

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) signed a bill expanding the state’s medical cannabis program. He also said he won’t rule out decriminalizing marijuana possession in the absence of broader legalization.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) signed a bill to extend provisions licenses for marijuana businesses to 2022.

The Maryland Court of Appeals upheld the manslaughter conviction of a man who sold heroin to someone who later died after using it.

An Iowa Republican senator said he is “100 percent confident” the state will pass legislation expanding its limited medical cannabis program next year.

Massachusetts regulators posted draft marijuana rules and scheduled hearings to receive public comment.

Pennsylvania regulators ordered a medical cannabis cultivation and processing business to cease operations after an inspection found numerous violations.

A Nevada regulator testified that the state’s marijuana business license award process is fair during a hearing in case seeking to overturn it.

Michigan regulators published a bulletin about the storage of secure marijuana transport vehicles.


Marijuana Moment is already
tracking more than 1,000 cannabis bills in state legislatures and Congress this year. Patreon supporters pledging at least $25/month get access to our interactive maps, charts and hearing calendar so they don’t miss any developments.


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/ LOCAL

New York City’s ban on CBD-infused foods and drinks went into effect.

The Harris County, Texas district attorney’s office said it will no longer accept misdemeanor marijuana charges without a lab test showing that the product in question is not legal hemp. Houston’s police chief said officers would continue to refer cases.

The Montgomery County, Maryland executive said the state should own and operate marijuana stores.

Erie County, New York’s district attorney will make an announcement about the dismissal of marijuana-related bench warrants on Wednesday.

/ INTERNATIONAL

The UK House of Commons Health and Social Care Committee published a report about medical cannabis access.

/ ADVOCACY

The Texas District and County Attorneys Association is concerned that crime labs won’t be able to tell legal hemp apart from illegal marijuana.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study found evidence that cannabis extracts are a “major contributor” in treating inflammation‐based skin diseases.

/ OPINION & ANALYSIS

The Colorado Springs Gazette editorial board criticized former Gov. John Hickenlooper (D) for touting the state’s marijuana legalization law during his presidential campaign, saying it “could make him the cool hipster in a party edging left of Chairman Mao.”

The Honolulu Star-Advertiser editorial board said Hawaii Gov. David Ige (D) should reverse course and not veto a hemp bill.

/ BUSINESS

The Scott Company is suing cannabis-focused marketing firm MiracleGro Marketing for alleged trademark infringement.

Politico is seeking to build a team dedicated to covering marijuana policy.

/ CULTURE

Musician Jack White issued a clarification after a “joke” he made about using heroin was reported as fact.

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