USDA gives funds to promote hemp exports; VA leaders: legal marijuana possible in 2021; NORML pushes Biden on AG pick
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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW
Mexican Senate committees tentatively agreed to approve a marijuana legalization bill, with a formal vote set for Wednesday and floor action expected soon thereafter.
Congressional Republicans slammed House Democratic leaders over a planned marijuana legalization vote next month.
- “It’s no surprise that the American people rejected House Democrats’ leadership on Election Day because it’s clear that they are more focused on catering to their radical base than actually taking steps to address the challenges that their constituents are facing. The fact that they plan to vote on legalizing marijuana instead of making a deal on COVID relief is just the latest example of that.”
The U.S. Department of Agriculture awarded $200,000 to the National Industrial Hemp Council to promote international exports of U.S. hemp and CBD products.
Virginia’s House majority leader said there’s a “good chance” the state will legalize marijuana in 2021, and the Senate majority leader puts the odds at “slightly better than 50-50.” Gov. Ralph Northam’s (D) “door is not closed” on legal cannabis, his chief of staff said.
NORML is asking marijuana legalization supporters to sign an open letter calling on President-elect Joe Biden to appoint an attorney general who will respect state cannabis laws and offer relief to people harmed by criminalization.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture published a report on Ecuador’s hemp industry.
Rep. Frank Pallone (D-NJ) tweeted, “New Jerseyans voted overwhelmingly to legalize marijuana and put an end to the selective prosecution of cannabis related drug crimes. Glad to see the state legislature act to respect the will of the people.”
Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) tweeted, “Legalizing cannabis is not just popular, it’s the right thing to do. Pass it on.”
Pennsylvania’s lieutenant governor tweeted, “One thing we *can* do while we await legal cannabis is forgive old offenses. Last year, as chair of the Board of Pardons, I created an expedited pardon application for minor cannabis-related offenses.”
Nevada’s attorney general tweeted, “One of the best parts of my job is serving with the Governor and our Supreme Court Justices on the Pardons Board. A few months ago, we unconditionally pardoned certain convictions related to marijuana. I just signed two of them. Blessed to be able to help give #SecondChances.”
Montana regulators are taking steps to implement the voter-approved legalization of marijuana.
The North Dakota legislature’s Judiciary Committee issued a report on its interim study of marijuana legalization but made no recommendations. Meanwhile, activists are considering plans for ballot measures on the issue while also pushing lawmakers to pass decriminalization legislation.
An Illinois judge rejected marijuana business license finalists’ request for a restraining order to block regulators from issuing additional licenses.
Ohio’s House speaker appointed a new patient advocate for the state’s medical cannabis program.
West Virginia regulators announced successful medical cannabis processing permit applicants.
New Jersey’s Senate president tweeted, “Actions taken this week to decriminalize #marijuana offenses will begin to correct the unjust arrests that have discriminated against countless residents. We will ensure that NJ moves forward & brings significant changes to our criminal justice system.” He also tweeted, “We continue to call upon @NewJerseyOAG to use his legal authority to give law enforcement at all levels clear guidelines to stop pending criminal cases for minor amounts of #marijuana. It is time to bring an end to these senseless arrests.” Separately the state’s top cannabis regulator spoke about her plans for the industry.
Michigan regulators published an advisory bulletin on applying for marijuana business licenses.
Kentucky regulators are accepting applications for hemp licenses.
Louisiana’s Industrial Hemp Advisory Committee met.
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Chicago, Illinois’s mayor cancelled layoffs for 350 city employees because legal marijuana revenues have “gone through the roof.”
Toronto, Canada’s Board of Health will consider a proposal to call on the federal government to decriminalize drugs on Monday.
Thailand’s health minister said patients are finding relief from medical cannabis.
/ SCIENCE & HEALTH
A study found that “decreased length of stay, total charges, and inpatient mortality were also observed in cirrhotics utilizing cannabis after legalization compared to cirrhotics not utilizing cannabis or utilizing cannabis prior to legalization.”
A review concluded that “concentrations of delta‐9‐tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in international cannabis markets increased from 1970 to 2017 while cannabidiol (CBD) remained stable.”
/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS
The Olympian editorial board said Washington State should follow its neighbor Oregon in decriminalizing drugs.
Ferrara Candy Co. sued Tops Cannabis for allegedly violating its trademark by selling Medicated Nerds Rope.
White Castle tweeted, “Hey @NJGov congrats on that new law! Just a friendly reminder you’ve got 29 White Castle locations to choose from – Don’t be a stranger.”
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Photo courtesy of Chris Wallis // Side Pocket Images.
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