Marijuana Politics

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Fri
15
Mar

Federal Bipartisan Bill to protect employment rights introduced

The Fairness in Federal Drug Testing Under State Laws Act (HR 1687) is bipartisan legislation introduced by Representatives Charlie Crist (D-FL) and Don Young (R-AK) to explicitly bar federal agencies from discriminating against workers solely because of their status as a cannabis consumer, or due to testing positive for marijuana use on a workplace drug test.

Fri
15
Mar

Connecticut Lawmakers unveil plan to legalize marijuana

On Thursday afternoon, top lawmakers in the Connecticut House of Representatives announced their plan to legalize cannabis for adult use. Speaking at a press conference, General law chair Rep. Michael D’Agostino, Judiciary Committee chair Rep. Steve Stafstrom and Finance, Revenue and Bonding Committee member Rep. Jason Rojas—all Democrats—discussed the details of the legislative process and what Connecticut residents should expect next. Here are the major takeaways.

Fri
15
Mar

Washington lawmakers give hemp room to grow

Nearly identical hemp bills have passed the Senate and House, giving Washington farmers the chance to catch up with growers in some other states.

The Senate voted 49-0 on Tuesday to lift restrictions on where hemp can be grown, where seeds can be obtained and how harvested plants can be used. The House last week embraced the same policies in a 95-0 vote.

“I’m excited. I’m still letting it sink in,” said lobbyist Bonny Jo Peterson of the Industrial Hemp Association of Washington. “I’ve been confident, but I’m still amazed it’s going the way it’s going.”

Fri
15
Mar

Ontario unlikely to meet promise of 25 cannabis shops by April 1, analysis shows

Ontario is unlikely to meet its target of having 25 privately owned cannabis shops open by April 1, an analysis of licence applications shows.

Four of the lottery winners who won the right to apply for the coveted first wave of licences haven’t even announced their locations yet.

For those four, from Toronto and the GTA, the deadline looks impossible. The public is allowed 15 days to comment after locations are posted. Lottery winners have five days to reply to those comments. That’s a total of 20 days, and as of Thursday there were only 17 days remaining until April 1.

For another five stores, the public comment period ends between March 19 and March 27, which is tight timing.

Fri
15
Mar

Banks don't want to work with marijuana companies. It's time for that to change

With thousands of cannabis businesses popping up in states that have legalized marijuana for medicinal or recreational use, one important problem remains: banking access.
Since cannabis remains illegal under federal law — and the federal government oversees all US banks and credit unions — banks are often skittish about granting bank accounts to these businesses. The failure to find a policy solution at the federal level has created several economic challenges and costly unintended consequences. Congress needs to pass legislation that makes clear that banks can work with marijuana companies in states that have legalized it without fear of penalty or costly red tape.
Fri
15
Mar

Analysis: How cannabis legalization became 'high priority' in Israel's 2019 vote

With Feiglin blazing trail for legalization, his other more radical policies obscured by cloud of smoke.

If the proverbial alien lands from outer space, it will certainly be impressed by the nature of a country deciding its election on the legalization of cannabis. But that is exactly what is happening now in Israel's 2019 election campaigns.

Thu
14
Mar

Minnesota Gov. rips state republicans for rejecting cannabis legalization

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz (Democratic–Farmer–Labor) said state Republicans need to actually look at cannabis legalization bills before they reject them, writes Calvin Hughes.

Thu
14
Mar

Hemp is a new opportunity for Massachusetts farmers -- but current state law is locking them out

Growing hemp is now legal in Massachusetts, and in the United States. But many Massachusetts farmers still cannot grow hemp due to a barrier posed by state law relating to the definition of agricultural land.

Lawmakers are considering whether to change that law through a provision that could emerge soon for a final vote.

“We see farmers very interested in trying to diversify their crops,” said Sen. Adam Hinds, D-Pittsfield, who introduced a bill to change the law. “This stands to be a profitable crop as well. It’s useful for the commonwealth and for farmers trying to make a living.”

Thu
14
Mar

The case for allowing interstate trade among marijuana-legal states

Although marijuana has been illegal under the Controlled Substances Act since 1970, that will inevitably change. With two-thirds of the country currently in favor of legalizing recreational use—a remarkable shift, rivaled only by polling trends on same-sex marriage—Congress is beginning to read the smoke signals. Late last month, for example, Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) reintroduced the Marijuana Justice Act, which would legalize cannabis as a matter of federal law and expunge federal marijuana convictions.

Thu
14
Mar

How the government's single licensed cannabis supplier is sabotaging research

With marijuana illegal under federal law, the red tape and bureaucratic hurdles facing American scientists who aim to study cannabis render the task nearly impossible, writes Madison Margolin. Some, however, like Dr. Sue Sisley from Scottsdale, Arizona, have persevered nonetheless, coming as far as to — almost — reschedule cannabis flower as a prescription medication for patients with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). In partnership with the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS), Sisley has secured the FDA's blessing to pursue clinical research on veteran PTSD patients, who smoke cannabis to mitigate their symptoms.

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