Alabama Commission Considers Medical Marijuana Proposal

A 15-person panel in Alabama convened for the first time Tuesday to consider whether medical marijuana is right for the state.

The panel, known as the Medical Cannabis Study Commission, was born out of a bill to legalize medical cannabis that was introduced in the Alabama state legislature earlier this year. As lawmakers called for more information, the legislation was shifted from a proposal to legalize medical marijuana to instead appoint a commission to study the issue. Continue reading “Alabama Commission Considers Medical Marijuana Proposal”

Kamala Harris Just Introduced a Bill to Decriminalize Marijuana

More than half of all states have taken some action to legalize or decriminalize marijuana, but using the drug is still a crime under federal law. Senators, including 2020 contenders Cory Booker (D-NJ), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), and Bernie Sanders (I-VT), have proposed legislation to tackle this disconnect, and on Tuesday, Kamala Harris (D-CA) joined the fray. Continue reading “Kamala Harris Just Introduced a Bill to Decriminalize Marijuana”

Medical Marijuana: Florida Law Creates ‘Oligopoly’ for Pot Businesses, Court Decides

Florida’s law requiring to grow, process and distribute cannabis and related products created an “oligopoly” and runs afoul of a constitutional amendment that broadly legalized medical marijuana in the Sunshine State, an appellate court has ruled. Continue reading “Medical Marijuana: Florida Law Creates ‘Oligopoly’ for Pot Businesses, Court Decides”

North Carolina Proposes Smokable Hemp Ban as Demand Grows

North Carolina is the latest state considering a ban on smokable hemp, a product that’s exploding along with the health craze surrounding a compound in the plant known as CBD.

Besides federal regulations laid out in the Hemp Farming Act of 2018, the Food and Drug Administration has no additional regulations on smokable hemp, leaving states to figure out how to govern it themselves.

This year, Indiana, Louisiana and Texas banned smokable hemp entirely, while Kansas banned products including hemp cigarettes and cigars. Tennessee prohibited smokable hemp sales to minors. Continue reading “North Carolina Proposes Smokable Hemp Ban as Demand Grows”

Lawmaker Introduces Bill to Help Small Businesses Navigate Cannabis Industry

A bill introduced in Congress last week aims to help small business owners navigate the ins and outs of cannabis licensing.

The legislation, the Homegrown Act of 2019, would set up a so-called Small Business Association grant program to “provide state and local governments with funding to help small businesses navigate cannabis licensing and employment with a focus on communities most impacted by the War on Drugs,” according to the bill’s sponsor, Rep. Dwight Evans, a Pennsylvania Democrat. Continue reading “Lawmaker Introduces Bill to Help Small Businesses Navigate Cannabis Industry”

Minnesota Alzheimer’s Patients Can Now Register for Medical Marijuana

Starting July 1, people with Alzheimer’s disease can register for medical marijuana in Minnesota. And once registered, they’ll be able to obtain medical cannabis from the state’s two manufacturers beginning August 1. The Minnesota Department of Health first announced plans to add Alzheimer’s disease as a qualifying condition in December 2018. Alzheimer’s disease is the only qualifying condition Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm approved after a citizen’s review panel proposed adding seven new conditions, including opioid use disorder and traumatic brain injury. Continue reading “Minnesota Alzheimer’s Patients Can Now Register for Medical Marijuana”

Maine Lawmakers Approve Bill to Regulate Recreational Marijuana Retail

Nearly three years after voters in the state approved legalized marijuana, Maine is finally inching closer to fully regulated pot sales.

Janet Mills, Maine’s Democratic governor, said Friday that she intended to sign a law that establishes rules over the sale of recreational marijuana. A day earlier, the state’s legislature passed the bill at the 11th, approving the measure just before the summer recess.

A spokesperson for Mills told the Associated Press that the governor would sign the bill in the next few days, and Maine officials have indicated that stores selling marijuana could open their doors by 2020. Continue reading “Maine Lawmakers Approve Bill to Regulate Recreational Marijuana Retail”

Minorities Find Themselves Almost Shut out of Michigan’s Marijuana Business

When Margeaux Bruner looked into the possibility of getting a license to enter the blossoming marijuana industry, she realized she would face some barriers that might be impossible to overcome.

The Novi resident has bachelor’s and master’s degrees and worked in the logistics industry, which would be handy skills if she was able to get a secure transporter license. But she also had gone through a divorce, which led to a bankruptcy that could be a disqualifying factor if she applied for a medical marijuana business license from the state. Continue reading “Minorities Find Themselves Almost Shut out of Michigan’s Marijuana Business”

Beijing Says Us Legalization of Marijuana Is a ‘Threat to China’

Beijing’s leading drug enforcement body has blamed the legalization of marijuana in Canada and parts of the United States for a spike in the amount of drugs smuggled into the country, describing it as a “new threat to China.”

At a press conference in Beijing Monday, Liu Yuejin, deputy director of the China National Narcotics Control Commission, said that the number of cannabis users in China had grown by more than 25% in 2018, rising to about 24,000 people. Continue reading “Beijing Says Us Legalization of Marijuana Is a ‘Threat to China’”