Feds acknowledge Schedule I barriers to cannabis research (Newsletter: Jan. 11, 2019)

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Denver psilocybin ballot measure; NY bill would allow medical marijuana smoking; WIll AOC’s new hire influence cannabis policy?

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, a federal agency, set aside $1.5 million for researchers to study whether little-known cannabinoids and terpenes in marijuana—such as CBG, limonene and pinene—can relieve pain.

Will Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s (D-NY) new hire help steer her to a position in favor of noncommercial cannabis legalization? Dan Riffle left his job as the Marijuana Policy Project’s federal lobbyist after he began to perceive the industry growing too powerful.

Activists in Denver, Colorado submitted signatures for a proposed psilocybin decriminalization ballot measure.

New York senators filed legislation to allow the smoking of medical marijuana and authorizing the use of medical cannabis at schools.

/ FEDERAL

Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA) tweeted, “What is the point of legalization if Black residents continue to be disproportionately arrested for use? Legal marijuana should mean that people are no longer arrested, prior convictions are expunged, and communities of color are able to take part in the legal marijuana industry.”

It turns out that Democratic activists were behind a fake pro-alcohol-prohibition Facebook page aimed at sowing division among Alabama Republicans during 2017’s U.S. Senate race in the state.

/ STATES

Vermont’s Senate president said his chamber will fast-track legislation to legalize marijuana sales, but the House speaker said she is “really torn” on the idea.

Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser (D) said she will “soon” file legislation to tax and regulate marijuana sales. (About 36 minutes into the video.)

Colorado Gov.-elect Jared Polis (D) is anticipated to be much more open to marijuana reforms than his predecessor was. His inauguration program is printed on hemp paper.

Florida Gov.-elect Rob DeSantis (R) hinted that changes to medical cannabis policy may be coming soon.

Minnesota’s Senate majority leader said legalizing marijuana would be “counterproductive to what we’re trying to do on opioids.”

Wisconsin Republican legislative leaders are opposed to legalizing marijuana.

Utah’s outgoing House speaker spoke about how the state’s medical cannabis compromise legislation was crafted behind closed doors.

The Texas Department of Agriculture tweeted, “Hemp is among the oldest industries on the planet and is great opportunity for farmers who are looking for variety in their crop production.”

Ohio regulators are considering more than 100 petitions to add medical cannabis qualifying conditions.

Here’s a look at what Massachusetts marijuana regulators plan to work on this year.

Alaska regulators proposed rule changes on marijuana business license fees, the holding of cannabis licenses by universities, local government protests and fingerprint requirements for ownership changes.

North Dakota regulators requested no funding to support the medical cannabis program, saying it is self-sustaining.

Washington State regulators sent a clarification about effective dates for rules concerning packaging, labeling and marijuana edibles. They also spoke about their ongoing work to regulate cannabis going forward.

Here’s a look at the prospects for South Carolina medical cannabis legalization in 2019. Lawmakers have already prefiled legislation.


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/ LOCAL

The Norfolk, Virginia commonwealth’s attorney said his office will no longer prosecute misdemeanor marijuana possession cases.

A San Francisco, California Board of Supervisors committee approved legislation to give some medical cannabis businesses that missed a licensing deadline another chance.

Here’s a look at the uncertain road to implementation of a Racine, Wisconsin ordinance aimed at avoiding criminal charges for low-level first-time marijuana offenses.

Hennepin County, Minnesota’s new county attorney called for marijuana decriminalization.

/ ADVOCACY

A lobbyist with the American Farm Bureau Federation said that hemp legalization is a “big deal.”

The Republican Party of New York tweeted, “Democrats should not rush to legalize recreational marijuana–this is a health and public safety issue warranting serious debate of facts.”

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study concluded that “dwelling in a state that had legalized medical marijuana was not associated with marijuana consumption in the past month among early adolescents, late adolescents or young adults” but that “young adults living in medical marijuana states were significantly more likely to have initiated first use in the past year.”

A study of endotoxins at marijuana cultivation and processing facilities found that “no adverse health effects were reported by workers while harvesting or processing cannabis.”

/ OPINION & ANALYSIS

A poll found that Maryland voters support legalizing marijuana, 58%-38%.

A poll of Florida voters found that 77% want insurance companies to cover medical cannabis.

The Boston Globe editorial board wants Massachusetts lawmakers to address marijuana issues related driving under the influence, employment protections and local host community agreements.

/ CULTURE

Malcolm Gladwell questions marijuana’s safety in a piece for The New Yorker.

Actor Michael Keaton suggested that “the new loosening of the California cannabis laws” are “partially responsible” for Jeff Bridges’s Golden Globes speech.

Redman’s mom found a 20-year-old stash of the rapper’s marijuana at her house.

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