Food companies concerned over cannabis-infused copycats (Newsletter: April 29, 2022)
NH legalization bill defeated; KS medical marijuana negotiations; Bankers groups across US want SAFE
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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW
The New Hampshire Senate defeated separate House-passed bills that would have legalized marijuana sales through state-run stores and allowed limited home cultivation.
Kansas House negotiators offered a medical cannabis compromise proposal to Senate counterparts during a conference committee meeting. Just a handful of outstanding issues remain, and advocates believe something could pass soon.
Major food companies like Pepsi, General Mills and Kellogg are asking Congress to help stop the proliferation of marijuana-infused copycat products that mimic their well-known brands.
The American Bankers Association and bankers groups representing all 50 states and one U.S. territory sent a letter urging Senate leaders to accept House-passed marijuana banking provisions into the America COMPETES Act.
The Louisiana House Health & Welfare Committee approved a bill to add medical cannabis cultivation licenses. Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Gary Chambers—who smoked a blunt in an ad—testified. Separate legislation on reciprocity for out-of-state patients also passed the full House.
The Food and Drug Administration is proposing to ban menthol-flavored cigarettes as well as all characterizing flavors other than tobacco in cigars.
Sen. Brian Schatz (D-HI) said he would like to see President Joe Biden “evolve a little further on marijuana,” which he called a “very powerful electoral issue.”
Rep. Andy Levin (D-MI) tweeted, “I’m grateful that @POTUS has begun to use his executive authority to pardon incarcerated Americans serving long sentences for non-violent marijuana offenses. It’s time to end the failed war on drugs, decriminalize marijuana and bring our loved ones home.”
Rep. Nancy Mace (R-SC) spoke about the prospects for her marijuana legalization bill and separately announced that Insurance Agents & Brokers of South Carolina endorsed the legislation.
Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-NJ) tweeted a video of Rep. Fred Keller describing substance misuse as a health issue, saying, “I’m glad some of my GOP colleagues have finally recognized that addiction needs to be treated as a health issue and not a criminal issue. I look forward to Rep. Keller cosponsoring my Drug Policy Reform Act to have the @HHSGov address addiction instead of the @TheJusticeDept.”
Rep. Mike Garcia (R-CA) tweeted, “Our border crisis is not just at the border. In #CA25, transnational criminal orgs. continue to run illegal marijuana grows. They are stealing water & land, harming the environment, & threatening residents. This problem is fueled by @SecMayorkas failing to secure the border.”
Former Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO) spoke about the parallels between cannabis and cryptocurrency.
Louisiana Democratic Senate candidate Gary Chambers posted a video of himself accepting an award at the National Cannabis Festival.
Pennsylvania Democratic Senate candidate John Fetterman, currently the lieutenant governor, tweeted, “Legal Weed: Is supported by an overwhelming majority of Americans and has caused ZERO overdose deaths like ever. GOP + Joe Manchin: BuT ReeFeR MaDneSs”
Ohio Republican congressional candidate Michael Morgenstern said he supports moving marijuana to Schedule III.
Maine Gov. Janet Mills (D) allowed bills authorizing marijuana home delivery, expanding medical cannabis caregiver protections and letting people with prior marijuana convictions work in the industry to be enacted without her signature. Separately, a law that blocks regulators from independently enacting new medical cannabis rules took effect.
Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R) suggested that lawmakers should revisit a bill to regulate cannabis products that he sought to amend by reinstituting criminal penalties for possessing more than two ounces of marijuana. Meanwhile the Senate president pro tem tweeted about the failure of the governor’s cannabis criminalization amendment, saying, “I told you marijuana was more popular than Glenn Youngkin.”
Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear (D) said his office has received more than 1,100 emails on medical cannabis since he began accepting input on the issue last week and that he plans to take some kind of executive action this summer.
Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte (R) toured a hemp processing facility.
Florida Democratic gubernatorial candidate Nikki Fried, currently the agriculture commissioner, announced that her department will host a cannabis equity summit in June.
The Missouri House Special Committee on Government Oversight approved a Senate-passed bill to allow medical cannabis businesses to deduct expenses on their taxes.
The Louisiana House Agriculture Committee approved a bill to make it easier for people with criminal records to work in the medical cannabis industry. Separately, the House Judiciary Committee rejected legislation to create a system of taxes and regulation for recreational marijuana in the event it is legalized.
The Ohio House Government Oversight Committee held another hearing on a Senate-passed bill to broadly expand medical cannabis access.
A New York assemblymember filed a bill to require local governments and county health officials be responsible for inspecting cannabis businesses.
New Jersey lawmakers are planning to file a bill to require school bus drivers to be drug tested twice a year.
California regulators published emergency CBD rules and are accepting public comments.
Pennsylvania’s Department of Agriculture tweeted, “Pa.’s first home made out of ‘hempcrete’ was unveiled last Friday in New Castle. 🌿🏠 The material is made from just three ingredients, hemp hurd (the inner woody core of the industrial hemp stalk), lime and water.”
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Colorado Springs, Colorado’s mayor said legalizing marijuana has been a “big mistake.”
Several Montana counties will vote on marijuana-related ballot items in June.
The UK Labour Party is attacking the Liberal Democrats with ads highlighting their support for drug policy reform.
An Irish senator tweeted, “Hemp-concrete is an eco-friendly and really sustainable building practice. 🔸It can reused when a building is knocked down 🔸Hemp is the only building material that can remove carbon from the air 🔸Excellent insulation and thermal mass 🔸Fireproof 🔸Water resistant 🔸Rot proof”
/ SCIENCE & HEALTH
A review of the impacts of marijuana legalization found that “no increase in the demand for treatment due to cannabis consumption has been detected.”
A study found that “within the context of observational studies, [cannabis-based medicines] had positive effects on multiple symptoms for some [chronic non-cancer pain] patients and were generally well tolerated and safe.”
/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS
The Alabama Democratic Party tweeted, “Across the country, there are about 321,000 jobs in the legal marijuana industry. Let’s bring some of that revenue to Alabama!”
The Minnesota Democratic-Farm-Labor Party posted a podcast about marijuana reform.
The Tampa Bay Times editorial board backed the Florida agriculture commissioner’s move to protect gun rights for medical cannabis patients.
Americans for Prosperity, Americans for Tax Reform, National Association of Black Law Enforcement Officers, Law Enforcement Action Partnership and other organizations sent a letter urging federal health officials not to ban menthol cigarettes.
The R Street Institute endorsed a bill from Rep. Dave Joyce (R-OH) to facilitate expungement of marijuana records.
DoorDash Technologies Canada Inc. is partnering with Superette to provide cannabis pickup in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Elon Musk tweeted, “Next I’m buying Coca-Cola to put the cocaine back in.”
Simply Better Brands Corp. is acquiring CFH Limited.
Sundial Growers Inc. reported quarterly net revenue of C$22.7 million and a net loss from continuing operations of C$54.8 million.
Leafreport.com published a study concluding that 60 percent of tested CBD products marketed for sleep contained the wrong amounts of CBD, CBN and/or melatonin.
Killer Mike said President Joe Biden should give clemency to even more people with drug convictions and that they should be given first priority for marijuana licensing.
Jimmy Fallon joked about the pros and cons of New Jersey legalizing marijuana.
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Photo courtesy of Chris Wallis // Side Pocket Images.