Lawyers who specialize in the cannabis industry say they’re getting inquiries from a new kind of client: psychedelics companies.
The calls started coming in around a year to a year and a half ago, as the psychedelics industry began to ramp up and garner more investor dollars, half a dozen cannabis lawyers told Business Insider. It’s accelerated in recent months as companies seeking to use psychedelic substances as medical treatments have gone public on US and Canadian stock exchanges.
Like cannabis, psychedelic substances like psilocybin and ibogaine are Schedule I drugs under the Controlled Substances Act in the US, which creates complications for businesses seeking to work with them. That helps create new clientele for cannabis lawyers, who have the expertise of helping cannabis companies navigate complicated laws and regulations over the years.
Read the full story at Business Insider
The burgeoning psychedelic sector is attracting attention from investors as more companies have gone public, and research has increased rapidly due to greater mainstream and government acceptance and decriminalization.
Decades of research have demonstrated that psychedelics, which are hallucinogenic drugs, are effective in treating mental disorders such as depression, suicidal thoughts, PTSD and anxiety. The Food and Drug Administration has approved and fast-tracked several clinical research trials.
Dozens of biopharmaceutical companies are competing against each other since the ones that develop the intellectual property to synthesize the molecules to help treat disorders will likely be profitable and attract more capital.
“There is a smaller subset of investing verticals in the psychedelic space as it is more of an intellectual property race to develop drugs,” says Michael Sobeck, managing partner at Ambria Capital, a San Juan, Puerto Rico-based asset manager.
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While vaping has falling out of favor, mushrooms are headed in the other direction in Oregon.
The state may be just a few months away from legalizing psychedelic mushrooms for therapeutic reasons, if Measure 109 passes in the November election.
Psilocybin, the psychoactive ingredient in some mushrooms, has been outlawed in the United States since 1968. But over the years, studies show the drug may have lasting benefits for mental health patients.
“I’ve just seen these incredible changes occur in people who come into a room closed-off, angry, suspicious, and just really hurting and then after one session of psilocybin therapy, come out the other side smiling,” said Chad Kuske, a former Navy Seal who’s been undergoing psilocybin therapy to cope with post traumatic stress disorder.
Four veterans groups are endorsing the measure.
Keep reading at MSN
The House is preparing to vote on the legalization of marijuana next month — a bipartisan bill whose lead sponsor in the Senate is Democratic vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris.
Under the MORE act, cannabis would be removed from the 1970 federal Controlled Substances Act.
House members were alerted to the possibility of an upcoming vote via an email from from Majority Whip Jim Clyburn, writes Politico.
Cannabis is currently a Schedule 1 substance, just like heroin, ecstasy and LSD.
Removing marijuana from the Controlled Substances Act would decriminalize it at the federal level.
The act, which stands for Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act, would also encourage the expunging of most cannabis convictions on the state level.
More at New York Post
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.
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.
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The legalization of marijuana in Illinois brought in $52 million during the first six months of 2020, the governor’s office said Tuesday.
Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker said the $52 million makes up the industry’s tax revenue for the first half of the year, and he promised to reinvest that money in local communities.
“Illinois has done more to put justice and equity at the forefront of this industry than any other state in the nation, and we’re ensuring that communities that have been hurt by the war on drugs have the opportunity to participate,” Pritzker said.
The sale and usage of marijuana in Illinois was legalized effective Jan. 1, though both remain heavily regulated.
Read more at Stl Today.
The camps of presumed 2020 Democratic Party nominee Joe Biden and former rival Sen. Bernie Sanders have come together to hammer out joint policy recommendations to unite the moderate and progressive wings of the party — but marijuana was one issue they could not agree on.
Sanders vowed to legalize marijuana via executive order on his first day in office. Biden, however, has been reluctant to call for legalizing pot.
As a compromise, the “Unity Task Force” instead calls for rescheduling the drug and decriminalizing its use, legalizing it at the federal level only for medical use.
The difference is this: Decriminalization would only relax penalties for marijuana use and possession. Full legalization would open the doors for marijuana to be regulated and taxed on the federal level.
Continue reading here…
Count legal marijuana in New York among the victims of COVID-19, along with the hundreds of millions in tax dollars and thousands of jobs legalization might have generated.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo said on the last day of March that the state’s spring legislative session was “effectively over” after several state lawmakers tested positive for the coronavirus.
They came back in June to address COVID-related issues, but didn’t address other outstanding issues.
Among the unfinished items Cuomo said would have to wait until next year was the legalization of marijuana for adult recreational use. Of the eight other states that were poised to legalize pot this year, only three appeared on track for legal weed in 2020.
A push to legalize the use of psychedelic mushrooms in therapeutic settings is one step closer to appearing on the Oregon ballot in November, The Oregonian reported.
The Oregon Psilocybin Therapy Initiative announced this week that it has received the necessary amount of signatures for the measure to appear on the ballot.
Election officials will now work to verify whether the 164,782 signatures collected are valid.
Psilocybin is currently listed as a Schedule 1 drug at the federal level, meaning the U.S. government has determined it has “a high potential for abuse” and “no currently accepted medical treatment use in the U.S.”
The Oregon campaign, known as Initiative Petition (IP) #34, would legalize the use of psychedelic mushrooms in controlled doses when administered by professionals in the state.
Read more at MSN.
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.
In a letter to FDA’s commissioner, Dr. Stephen Hahn, lawmakers from four states suggested it would be a “fool’s game” for the agency to try to keep kratom from consumers.
Four lawmakers from Arizona, Georgia, Utah and Nevada who sponsored kratom legislation in their states have requested a meeting with the top official of FDA—an agency that has long raised concerns about the safety of the botanical from Southeast Asia.
Positions held by FDA related to kratom and another botanical ingredient—CBD—were adopted long before Dr. Stephen Hahn was appointed commissioner, the lawmakers wrote to Hahn in a June 8 letter.
Read more at Natural Products Insider.
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.
A countywide ban of the herbal product kratom put in place last spring was lifted Monday morning following a 3-2 vote by the Monroe County Board of Supervisors to rescind it.
A delegation of citizens, business owners and advocates of kratom made impassioned pleas for the supervisors to overturn the countywide ban on the controversial supplement for treating chronic pain.
Supervisors met for half an hour in executive session before going back into open session to take the vote. Supervisors Joseph Richardson, B.R. Richey and Rubel West voted in favor of rescinding the ban, while Fulton Ware and Hosea Bogan voted to keep it in force.
Representatives from the Crime and Addiction Task Force of the Lowndes County Foundation requested for the previous administration of supervisors to pass the ban last March, making it the seventh county in the region to approve a kratom ban.
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.
By early 2020, marijuana had made tremendous strides toward legalization—for either medicinal or recreational purposes—in most states and even implicit federal recognition in the form of safe-harbor legislation for insurers and banks conducting business with the cannabis sector. But then COVID-19 struck, and progress predictably slowed. Nonetheless, unintended effects of the global pandemic may ultimately usher in a new wave of legalization and protection for marijuana businesses and the insurers and banks who work with them.
Jan. 1 marked the first day of adult-use marijuana sales in Illinois, the latest state to legalize marijuana for adults and the first to provide a comprehensive legal blueprint in the form of legislation that addresses everything from taxation to social justice. In all, at the beginning of 2020, medical marijuana was legal in 33 states, and another 11 had legalized recreational adult use, with several other states—most notably, New York and New Jersey—making a big push to do the same, despite marijuana’s continued illegal status at the federal level.
People who live in states that have legalized marijuana for adult use broadly feel that the policy has been a success, according to a new poll.
A majority of people from eight states that were surveyed said the programs are working well. And in Maine, which legalized cannabis in 2016 but still doesn’t have any adult-use retail shops open, people still said the law is more of a success than a failure by a greater than two-to-one plurality.
YouGov asked more than 32,000 people the following question: “In the states that have decided to allow recreational marijuana use, do you think the legislation has been a success or a failure?”
They were given five options: “Success only, more of a success than a failure, more of a failure than a success, failure only or don’t know.”
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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.
Eight years ago, U.S. regulators cautioned 1,3-dimethylamylamine was an unlawful ingredient in dietary supplement products.
Several companies received warning letters in 2012 over the then-popular ingredient known simply as DMAA, which FDA described as an “amphetamine derivative” posing health risks that may lead to such cardiovascular problems as arrhythmias, heart attack or shortness of breath.
Todd Harrison, a lawyer in Washington, D.C., who advises clients on FDA regulations, agreed the vast majority of companies that receive warning letters from FDA try to address the agency’s concerns.
“I would say 90% of them do,” he said in an interview.
One of the things I have said often in speeches and written about is that the best two-word explanation for marijuana prohibition is bad journalism. You’ll hear that again, and again.
There are so many examples of that. Don’t get me started.
I remember, for example, when I was at NORML, there was a really terrible article in The Washington Times which tends to specialize in articles about marijuana in particular. So I called up the reporter and said, “Could I send you some material that contradicts the party line?” She said, “Oh, I’d love to see it, but that, you know, there’s really no point in it. I was just given this assignment. I probably will be writing about it again.” But what I had to do was to call the drug czars office and get them to say something. And that was journalism dealing with marijuana. You know, it doesn’t matter whether it’s true or not. And this went on for decades.
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