Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf and Lt. Gov. John Fetterman are once again urging lawmakers to legalize the recreational use of marijuana.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has caused enormous disruptions to the economy and with the additional federal aid stagnating in Congress, we need to do everything we can right here in Harrisburg right now to help ourselves to recover from this pandemic,” Wolf said.
“Legalizing cannabis is serious policy for serious times. I put this challenge out against to the legislature,” Fetterman said. “We’re talking about generating billions in long-term revenue for Pennsylvania, we’re talking about generating tens of thousands of jobs.”
Pennsylvania’s Republican-led Assembly has previously opposed the legalization. They said a bill would need to work its way through the Senate Committee Process to be vetted.
Read more at CBS
State Rep. Jim Struzzi, R-Indiana, announced Wednesday that the House Health Committee has passed two resolutions he authored. House Resolution 459 would request guidelines for the commercial sale of CBD products from the Food and Drug Administration. House Resolution 460 would request guidance and appropriate protocol from the FDA for the safe use of Kratom.
“The affects of these products are still relatively unknown. Without oversight from the FDA, there is a lack of consistency in the market. This leads to retailers not being fully knowledgeable about the products they sell, and consumers not being fully knowledgeable about the products they purchase,” Struzzi said in a news release. “My resolutions would go a long way in providing clear guidelines for the sale and use of these products so retailers and consumers know they are being safe and responsible.”
Read more here
These days, it is pretty clear that Americans are finally ready to end federal cannabis prohibition. Eleven states and Washington, D.C., have already legalized the plant for recreational use, and more than half of the country lives in a state with some form of medical marijuana law on the books. In the latest national opinion polls released by both Pew and Gallup, more than two-thirds of Americans said they were ready to see cannabis legalized across the country. In Congress, a bill to fully legalize weed has more than 70 co-sponsors and could see a full House vote before the year is up.
But with the 2020 presidential election just months away, the future of marijuana legalization will likely rest on the shoulders of whoever is sitting in the Oval Office come January. So how do Donald Trump and Joe Biden feel about legalizing weed?
Find out at Complex
Psychedelics are the next billion dollar industry, according to market analysts, and investors and donors are taking note.
Over the past six months, $30 million in donations has gone to the nonprofit funding research into MDMA-assisted therapy, the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS), according to the group’s announcement on Aug. 20. Major donors, who each donated at least $1 million, include GoDaddy founder Bob Parsons, hedge fund billionaire Steven Cohen, and Joby Pritzker, co-founder of Tao Capital Management and part of the family behind Hyatt Hotels.
MDMA isn’t the only psychedelic gaining support. Earlier this month, the Canadian government ruled that four citizens could legally use psilocybin (the psychedelic compound in magic mushrooms), to treat end-of-life anxiety. Meanwhile, clinical studies on psilocybin are racing towards the final stages of trials at a similar pace to MDMA, and the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) just approved its second ketamine-based treatment for depression.
Read more at MSN
Arizona voters will have a chance this year to make their state the latest to end pot prohibition.
A petition spearheaded by a pro-legalization group had its signatures officially certified by Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs on Monday, clearing the way for the proposal to qualify for the state’s ballot this November.
Hobbs, a Democrat, said on Twitter that the “the petition exceeded the minimum requirement with approximately 255,080 valid signatures,” and that the measure will appear on the ballot as Prop. 207.
The petition was circulated by Smart and Safe Arizona, a group that has centered its pitch for legalization around economic opportunity for the state, saying that a marijuana industry would create jobs and opportunities, with revenue providing “additional resources for police training, enforcement and task forces,” as well as more funding for the state’s community colleges. The group said it had submitted more than 420,000 signatures.
A petition that will go before the House of Commons and calls for the legalization of natural psychoactive drugs has gained over 13,000 signatures.
After it was posted on Apr.18, Trevor Millar, Chair of Board for the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies, says the petition gained a whopping 500 signatures in a mere 12 hours.
So far, Ontario has the lion’s share of signatures, with 4,746. B.C. follows in second with 3,698 and Alberta comes third with 1,918.
MP Paul Manly of the Nanaimo—Ladysmith Green Party Caucus is sponsoring the petition, which will close for signatures on Aug. 14. As such, Millar tells Vancouver Is Awesome in a phone call that he hopes people will take time to understand what the petition is about.
“It is only about legalizing natural substances right now,” says Millar. “Things that grow from the ground.”
Read more at Tricity News
Opponents of legalizing adult-use marijuana have long held that legalization would lead to higher crime rates in and around the areas where pot shops were commonplace. While various studies have fallen on either end of this argument for years, a new study of crime data in areas within and surrounding Washington and Colorado suggests legalization may not lead to higher crime after all, though the study is limited. Washington and Colorado were chosen for the study as they were the first two states to legalize marijuana, in 2012.
The study, conducted by Guangzhen Wu of the University of Utah, Francis D. Boateng of the University of Mississippi and Thomas Roney, an economic consultant, was published in the Journal of Drug Issues in late May, and has since gained national attention…
Read more at the Colorado Springs Indy
Magic mushrooms should be rescheduled in Britain to treat depression, top doctors have said.
Leading experts have called for a change in the law to allow ‘shrooms’ to be used in a similar way as medicinal cannabis.
But they said recreational use would remain illegal, with Brits caught in possession of the Class A drug facing a jail-term of up to seven years.
Scientific studies have repeatedly shown psilocybin — the psychoactive chemical in magic mushrooms — has promise in boosting mental health, fighting off depression and helping PTSD sufferers.
Experts from Oxford, Manchester and King’s College London universities have called for magic mushrooms to be rescheduled.
Psilocybin is currently listed as a Schedule 1 substance, meaning it’s thought to have no medicinal value and therefore cannot be legally possessed or prescribed.
Keep reading here
Opponents of a voter initiative that would legalize the recreational use of cannabis in Arizona have filed a lawsuit seeking to block the measure. Supporters of the initiative, known as the Smart and Safe Arizona Act, submitted more than 420,000 signatures earlier this month, far more than the 238,000 needed to qualify the measure for the ballot in the November general election.
If passed, the measure would legalize cannabis for use by adults and create a legal framework to regulate and tax commercial marijuana production and sales. The office of the Arizona Secretary of State is currently verifying the signatures to ensure that enough registered voters have signed to have the initiative included on this fall’s ballot.
Read more here…
If you think the U.S. will soon legalize marijuana at the federal level, you’re not alone. Canopy Growth CEO and former Constellation Brands CFO David Klein expects that it will happen in 2022. I’ve speculated that marijuana could be legalized nationwide as early as next year.
But could presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden be putting the brakes on the pot legalization train? Some might think so after reviewing recommendations from a task force that the former vice president formed along with Sen. Bernie Sanders. However, there’s more to the story.
The Biden-Sanders “unity task force” created a 110-page document chock-full of policy recommendations across a wide array of issues. Among the issues that the task force considered was marijuana legalization. Anyone hoping that the team would recommend full legalization of pot in the U.S. probably came away a little disappointed after reading the task force’s document.
Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. John Fetterman is urging state lawmakers to legalize the adult use of cannabis as a way to reduce the impact of a looming budget deficit. The state faces a budget shortfall of $3.2 billion, largely as a result of the continuing COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on the economy.
Fetterman took to Twitter last week, calling for the legalization of marijuana as a path to new tax revenue for the state and reform of the state’s penal system as a way to realize budget cost savings.
“I don’t know who needs to hear this jk I know who—but earnestly reforming our state prison system + legalization of marijuana could generate half of this COVID-19 deficit,” Fetterman tweeted on July 2. “It would, however, could have other unintended consequences like justice and personal freedom.”
Read more at High Times
The coronavirus pandemic has slowed a number of states’ efforts to legalize recreational cannabis, at least in the near term. However, it could have the opposite effect in 2021.
In an article on Barrons.com, Barron’s report Connor Smith says as many as 16 states had initially planned to include cannabis legalization issues on their ballots for the fall 2020 election. COVID-19 may have slowed that down this year, but with many states facing budget shortfalls thanks to major shutdowns in the spring, the potential tax revenues from legal cannabis could make it a major focus in 2021.
Several workers employed by a company hired to collect signatures for ballot initiatives that seek to increase taxes, legalize recreational cannabis and permit the early release of prisoners convicted of non-violent offenses donned MAGA hats and worked the crowds at President Donald Trump’s campaign rally Tuesday in Phoenix.
The workers, employed by Phoenix-based Petition Partners, were spread about the crowd outside of the Dream City Church, where Trump spoke to about 3,000 young conservatives.
Petition Partners and the Arizona Education Association, supporters of the tax hike initiative, were not immediately available to comment about the petition gatherers working the rally.
One signature gatherer, Sabrina Johnson, showed her petitions for the Second Chances, Rehabilitation and Public Safety Act; the Smart and Safe Arizona Act; and the Invest in Education Act.
When asked about the education initiative, she said it was simply “to help teachers in Arizona.”
Keep reading at the Washington Examiner.
Federal regulators looking into pain management options at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have received hundreds of comments related to medical marijuana and more than 1,000 about kratom.
The federal agency’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control is looking for input on “individual stakeholder’s values and preferences related to pain and pain management options,” it said in an e-mail last week.
“Through this opportunity, CDC is seeking stakeholders’ perspectives on and experiences with pain and pain management, including, but not limited to, the benefits and harms of opioid use,” it said. “CDC invites input specifically on topics focused on using or prescribing opioid pain medications, non-opioid medications, or non-pharmacological treatments (e.g., exercise therapy or cognitive behavioral therapy).”
Read more at MSN.
What is CBD Oil?
CBD is shorthand for Cannabidiol, an extract from hemp (and sometimes marijuana) plants that boasts a variety of healing properties and has been rapidly popularized across the United States in recent years. It is a powerful anti-inflammatory and can be used for a variety of conditions and ailments, including epilepsy, anxiety, and chronic pain.
While CBD oil will usually have a minor trace of THC present, it will not produce the same psychoactive effects produced by marijuana extracts. Currently, only CBD extracted from hemp plants is permitted for cultivation and purchase by the federal government.
Is CBD Legal In Missouri? Find out at The Weed Blog…
Leaders of ballot measures to legalize marijuana for medical and recreational uses in South Dakota rolled out for reporters a list of 50 people endorsing their efforts Wednesday.
Brendan Johnson, a past U.S. attorney for South Dakota, is sponsor of Constitutional Amendment A. It would allow people who were at least age 21 to use South Dakota-grown marijuana, or to grow, transport or distribute it in South Dakota to people who are at least 21.
A 15 percent excise tax on sales would be levied to pay for regulation by the state Department of Revenue, with any excess revenue to be split between state aid to public schools and state government’s general fund. The Legislature could adjust the rate after November 3, 2024.
Marijuana remains illegal under federal law.
Our nation is in the midst of the greatest crisis in generations, with the Covid-19 pandemic impacting Americans’ physical and emotional well-being, while plummeting the nation’s economy into the worst economic downturn in our lifetimes. As the country begins what is likely to be a slow climb out of economic morass, federal, state, and local governments will be looking for new sources of revenue to replenish dwindling budgets and provide jobs to millions of Americans who find themselves out of work.
The situation is reminiscent of what the country faced during the Great Depression nearly 100 years ago. At that time, one of the government’s solutions was to end its 13-year experiment with alcohol prohibition. Today, the very same factors that caused the government to pull the plug on alcohol prohibition should result in the final nail in the coffin of the country’s much longer standing but equally unjust policy of marijuana prohibition.
With the growing popularity of hemp-derived cannabidiol (hemp CBD) products in e-commerce, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has seen a significant influx of trademark applications used in association with CBD goods. However, many of these applications have been denied by the USPTO. This article briefly addresses the reasons for these denials and discusses the trademark protections currently available to the industry.
To secure federal trademark registration, a mark’s use in commerce must be lawful under federal law.
Although the Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018 (the 2018 Farm Bill) legalized the production of hemp and hemp derivatives, including hemp CBD, by removing hemp from the Controlled Substances Act’s definition of marijuana, the new law did not legalize the production of hemp CBD products. Instead, the 2018 Farm Bill expressly preserved the FDA’s authority to regulate these products under the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act (FDCA).
The Oregon CBD company that beat back felony marijuana charges last year in Linn County is in court again, alleging that a botched extraction job got it into that legal mess and cost it a ton of money.
Key Compounds LLC is suing Phasex Corp. and its president, claiming the Massachusetts company was negligent and in breach of contract when it allegedly shipped Key Compounds a batch of hemp oil that far exceeded the legal limit for the intoxicating compound THC.
The shipment — its odor, specifically — caught the attention of a UPS employee in Albany. That set off a chain of events that included a law enforcement raid on Key Compounds’ own local extraction facility and felony marijuana charges against CEO Alex Reyter and another employee.
Read the full story at Portland Business Journal.
At the start of 2020, more than a dozen states seemed very likely to legalize marijuana for recreational or medical purposes by the end of the year. Now that a coronavirus pandemic has overwhelmed just about every aspect of American life, it seems only a handful of states will be able to enact marijuana reform.
The pandemic has hit legalization efforts on two fronts: First, at a time of social distancing, advocates in some states just can’t gather the signatures they need to get the issue on the ballot. Second, state lawmakers who might have passed marijuana legalization before quickly shifted to other priorities once the coronavirus crisis began.
Vox has the full story.