House panel OKs bill removing student drug penalty; Sanders: keep big companies out of marijuana market; Mexico legalization deadline extension
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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW
The House Education & Labor Committee approved a bill to repeal a federal law that has stripped college financial aid from hundreds of thousands of students with marijuana and other drug convictions.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Principal Deputy Director Anne Schuchat said that regulating and labeling THC vaping products can help to protect consumers from lung injuries, but she stopped just short of explicitly calling for a legal marijuana policy to empower federal agencies to take those steps.
- “I do think that labeling and information can help people know what they’re getting and then the systems that are there to enforce that the product is what it says it is can also help the consumer.”
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), a presidential candidate, spoke about his plan to stop big companies from controlling the legal marijuana market in a new interview.
- “I don’t want large corporations profiting. I want the people who’ve been hurt the most to be able to benefit. The folks who should be involved in the legal marijuana business will be people of color.”
Mexico’s Supreme Court granted the legislature’s request for an extension of a deadline to legalize marijuana—with lawmakers now having until April 30, 2020 to get it done, whereas the original deadline was October 31.
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), a presidential candidate, spoke during an Iowa event about ending the war on drugs, legalizing marijuana and expunging records.
Former Housing and Urban Development Sec. Julian Castro, a presidential candidate, pledged to legalize marijuana in a speech in Iowa.
Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ), a presidential candidate, tweeted about a move in Oklahoma to commute hundreds of drug sentences, saying, “I applaud Oklahoma for this historic vote that will allow hundreds of people who are in jail for low-level drug offenses to return home to their families. The War on Drugs has been a war on people, ruining lives & not making us safer.”
Rep. Joe Courtney (D-CT) tweeted, “Great news for our region’s #Hemp farmers & manufacturers with the @USDA’s announcement of a long-awaited interim final rule establishing the US Domestic Hemp Production program. This is a huge step forward for CT’s growing hemp industry.”
Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D) visited a hemp processing facility and tweeted, “Hemp production opens up a world of opportunity to bring new jobs and new business to Virginia, especially our rural communities.”
Pennsylvania’s lieutenant governor tweeted, “I too am concerned about drug cartels because under Prohibition they’re getting 💯% of the massive black market cannabis 💵 in PA and no one knows what other substances they’re growing it/ putting in.”
California’s treasurer tweeted about support for increasing military veterans’ access to medical cannabis.
PolitiFact ruled that a claim by New York’s Assembly majority leader on the absolute safety of medical cannabis vaping products is “Mostly False.”
Iowa regulators added post-traumatic stress disorder and intellectual disability with aggression as medical cannabis qualifying conditions but rejected opioid dependency and Alzheimer’s disease. They also approved replacing a THC potency cap with purchase limits.
Michigan regulators began accepting recreational marijuana business license applications and received 52 on the first day. Separately, the director of the state’s Department of Agriculture & Rural Development toured a hemp farm.
A Massachusetts court is considering an argument from medical cannabis patients that Gov. Charlie Baker (R) and the state Department of Public Health do not have legal authority to ban the sale of marijuana vaping products.
Ohio regulators are investigating two more medical cannabis businesses over potentially improper ownership changes.
The Nevada legislature scheduled meetings to study issues related to driving under the influence of marijuana.
A Kentucky representative prefiled a medical cannabis bill for next session.
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Denver, Colorado officials sent a bulletin about changes to how ownership information for marijuana businesses is collected and managed.
The mayor of London, England says it’s time to consider reforming marijuana laws as a violence prevention measure.
Italy’s minister of health announced that one of the three lots Aurora Cannabis won has been canceled due to noncompliance with European Union Good Manufacturing Practice standards.
/ SCIENCE & HEALTH
Researchers developed the “first fully annotated publicly available genome for Cannabis plants.”
The UK’s Royal College of Psychiatrists is conducting a trial of the effects of medical cannabis on up to 20,000 patients with chronic pain, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, post-traumatic stress disorder, Tourette’s syndrome, anxiety disorder or who have had a history of substance misuse.
/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS
A Colorado Democratic Party spokesperson said that Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO) “talks a big game but is short on results, and we see that repeatedly, with public lands and all sorts of issues and I think [marijuana] is another example of that, and it isn’t going to help salvage his struggling reelection bid.”
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch editorial board wants Missouri officials to regulate medical cannabis vaping additives.
Sundial Growers Inc. is facing a second class action lawsuit for allegedly failing to disclose that Zenabis Global Inc. returned 554 kilograms of its marijuana containing mold and bits of rubber gloves.
Leafly raised $2.3 million in a convertible note round.
The directors of DionyMed Brands Inc. resigned and the company has been placed under receivership.
Football player Za’Darius Smith was cited for possessing marijuana.
Dr. Phil said, “When you smoke marijuana, it’s like opening your computer up and pouring water inside. A lot of things short out, and it connects where it’s not supposed to, and really creates problems.”
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