Senators ask about marijuana-impaired driving; SBA urges cannabis companies to submit FDA CBD comments; DOJ enforces anti-cannabis bankruptcy rule
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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW
Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) withdrew his amendment to let military veterans get medical cannabis recommendations from Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) doctors without bringing it to a vote on the House floor. While the measure has advanced in Congress before, VA is raising new concerns it could put physicians at risk of Justice Department prosecution.
The Small Business Administration is urging cannabis firms to submit CBD regulation comments to the Food and Drug Administration.
The deputy administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration testified at a Senate hearing that “most users of marijuana who have participated in market research we have developed are saying they believe they drive safer when they’re high because they’re very focused and they’re being very cautious.”
The Department of Justice’s U.S. Trustee Program is increasingly enforcing a ban on bankruptcy protections for marijuana-related businesses and people associated with them.
Former Vice President Joe Biden (D), a presidential candidate, spoke about his plans for criminal justice reform, ending mandatory minimum sentences and private prisons, bail reform, decriminalizing marijuana and expunging records.
Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ), a presidential candidate, tweeted, “The War on Drugs is a war on people, but not all people. It has disproportionately affected Black communities, low-income people, veterans, people living with mental illness. As president, I will fight to reform the criminal justice system like I’ve been doing in the Senate.” He also tweeted that New York’s move to expunge cannabis records “is great news, we can’t talk about decriminalizing or legalizing marijuana without talking about expunging records.”
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), a presidential candidate, spoke about how he was ahead of many other politicians in endorsing legalizing marijuana.
Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI), a presidential candidate, spoke about her support for ending marijuana prohibition.
Rep. Steve Stivers (R-OH) said that four Republicans who voted against marijuana banking legislation in committee will support the bill on the floor because of an amendment.
Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) tweeted, “The failed war on drugs must end! The bipartisan vote to pass my amendment is the most significant vote on #marijuana reform policy the House has ever taken.”
Rep. Jerry McNerney (D-CA) tweeted a video of himself describing the CBD amendment he attached to a spending bill.
Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-CO) tweeted, “This week, 267 of my colleagues in the House voted to prevent DOJ from taking action against businesses and individuals in states which have legalized marijuana. We need to continue to respect states’ rights and pass #SAFEBanking.” He also tweeted, “Marijuana industry sales are estimated to reach $23 billion by 2022. We need #SAFEBanking to get cash off our streets and into the banking system.”
Former House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) predicted that “all kinds of big players” will get involved in the marijuana industry following the end of federal prohibition.
The House bill to deschedule marijuana and punish states with discriminatory enforcement got three new cosponsors, for a total of 43.
The House bill to require the Department of Veterans Affairs to study medical cannabis got one new cosponsor, for a total of one.
New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu (R) signed a bill allowing physician assistants to recommend medical cannabis.
Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D) plans to sign a marijuana legalization bill on Tuesday.
Maine Gov. Janet Mills (D) intends to sign a bill setting marijuana regulations soon.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) spoke about progress implementing marijuana legalization. Separately, regulators launched a public education campaign urging people to buy marijuana only from licensed businesses. Meanwhile, lawmakers are amending legislation to reduce an extension of the period during which cannabis businesses can operate on provisional permits through 2022 instead of 2025.
Pennsylvania’s lieutenant governor estimated that 65%-70% of the state’s residents support legalizing marijuana after he conducted a statewide listening tour on the issue.
New York lawmakers sent Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) a bill regulating hemp and CBD. The governor rejected a request from lawmakers to make a procedural move allowing a medical cannabis expansion bill to pass before the end of the session, and he criticized the legislature for failing to include legalization in the budget earlier in the session.
Virginia’s Senate majority leader spoke about his support for decriminalizing marijuana but declined to back legalization. Separately, regulators published frequently asked questions about access to CBD and THC-A medical cannabis oil.
The Rhode Island House minority leader spoke about his support for legalizing marijuana. Meanwhile, lawmakers approved budget that adds new medical cannabis dispensaries and makes other changes to the program.
A Missouri judge rejected regulators’ request to dismiss a newspaper’s lawsuit seeking to force the publication of the names of medical cannabis business license applicants.
A Montana judge said that a new law complicates a lawsuit challenging regulators’ decision to deny medical cannabis business licenses.
Nebraska regulators are accepting hemp applications.
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Brooklyn, New York’s borough president said that marijuana decriminalization is “long overdue” but that he hopes lawmakers go further by legalizing cannabis.
Canadian legislation to expedite marijuana pardons received royal assent.
An Argentinian judge revoked the authorization for eight mothers to grow medical cannabis for their children and instead ordered the government to import cannabis-based medicines from Canada.
/ SCIENCE & HEALTH
A study on an animal model of multiple sclerosis found that “cannabinoid treatment produces improvements in neurological disability scoring” and “improves behavioral assessments of neuropathic pain.”
A study concluded that “long-term administration of pharmaceutical grade CBD is overall cognitively well-tolerated in adults with” treatment-resistant epilepsy.
/ OPINION & ANALYSIS
A poll showed that U.S. adults favor legalizing marijuana, 63%-34%, that they back medical cannabis 87%-11%, that 26% are interested in purchasing marijuana and that 39% are interested in buying CBD products.
A poll found that 84% of Duval County, Florida voters support decriminalizing marijuana.
The Los Angeles Times editorial board said marijuana should be legal but advertising should be restricted.
Constellation Brands Inc. disclosed that its share of Canopy Growth Corp. quarterly losses amounted to $106 million.
Comedy Central’s Jordan Klepper took at look at marijuana social equity efforts in California.
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Photo courtesy of Chris Wallis // Side Pocket Images.