CCMA Political greenBrief
Thursday, January 3, 2019
Presidential Contender Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) Wants To Modernize Federal Cannabis Reform, Citing That Outdated Federal Cannabis Laws Have Pushed The Broken Criminal Justice System And Has Created An Unnecessary Public Safety Issue Regarding Cannabis Banking
“Outdated federal marijuana laws have perpetuated our broken criminal justice system, created barriers to research, and hindered economic development. States like Massachusetts have put a lot of work into implementing common sense marijuana regulations – and they have the right to enforce their own marijuana policies. The federal government needs to get out of the business of outlawing marijuana.”Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) On Cannabis Reform
“The American people will have to get civically engaged and publicly participate in this upcoming session to ensure federal change in the next two years. It’s simply a once in a lifetime opportunity to get behind the politics of cannabis. The fact that Congress is proactively talking about bills to resolve banking, to keep this a states’ rights issue and to provide equity to folks from areas disproportionately harmed by prohibition is all promising.”Kamani Jefferson, A Cannabis Lobbyist For The Massachusetts Recreational Consumer Council, On Cannabis Reform
Gains, Growing Pains Mark California’s 1st Year Of Legal Pot (CA – Cannabis Milestones)
NBC Los Angeles (December 30, 2018) In a nation increasingly embracing legal cannabis, California stands out as the country’s biggest pot shop. Top-shelf marijuana, concentrates, balms and munchies are being produced and sold. Some companies are doing well, especially those with deep pockets that can handle the market’s twists and turns. At year’s end, California’s effort to transform its longstanding illegal and medicinal marijuana markets into a unified, multibillion-dollar industry remains a work in progress. It’s a mix of success stories, struggles and crashes.
How A Corrupt Marijuana Testing Lab Incident Highlights The Benefits Of Legalized Marijuana (CA – Cannabis Market)
Pasadena Star News (January 1, 2018) California’s cannabis testing procedures are coming under heavy scrutiny after falsified reports were discovered at a lab. In some respects, however, the lab mess and subsequent process should give Californians confidence in the overall marijuana legalization procedures that are in place to protect consumers and the public. While some of the cannabis that went through the lab has probably been used, the Bureau of Cannabis Control issued a recall so that consumers can return it and anything unsold can be retested or destroyed. The state’s ability to track the marijuana that passed through the troubled lab, which would be nearly impossible in most industries, highlights the sophistication of the state’s cannabis businesses.
Where Presidential Contender Elizabeth Warren Stands On Marijuana (USA – Cannabis Reform)
Marijuana Moment (December 31, 2018) Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) announced on Monday that she’s forming an exploratory committee ahead of a likely 2020 presidential run, making her the first major potential contender to take formal legal steps toward launching a bid for the Democratic nomination in what’s expected to be a crowded primary. While Warren is widely known as an advocate for consumer protections and Wall Street regulation, she’s also developed a reputation as a champion for modernizing marijuana laws.
Will A New Democratic Congress Help Make Marijuana Dreams A Reality? (USA – Cannabis Reform)
Civilized (January 2, 2018) Washington D.C. is on the heels of a major shake-up this month. As President Donald Trump nears the third year of his term, the 116th Congress will begin session on January 3 with new Democratic control of the House of Representatives (235 of 435 seats) and strengthened Republican control of the Senate (53 of 100 seats). It may also prove to be an opportunity for the marijuana reform movement, which is gaining steam among both parties, despite that Washington has devolved further into partisan bickering on almost any other issue.
Medical Marijuana Protected Under Democrats’ Spending Bill, But DC Blocked From Legalizing Sales (USA – Cannabis Laws)
Forbes (January 2, 2018) A provision to extend protections shielding state medical marijuana laws from federal interference is part of a 1,070-page bill the incoming House Democratic majority intends to pass this week as part of a plan to end an ongoing government shutdown. The cannabis protection rider, which has been enacted through appropriations bills since 2014, technically expired with the shutdown last month, leaving medical marijuana patients and providers in an uncertain situation as federal drug enforcement and prosecution efforts are exempted from furlough.
Federal Marijuana Prosecutions Are Dropping In Era Of Legalization, Chief Justice Reports (USA – Cannabis Convictions)
Marijuana Moment (January 1, 2018) As more state marijuana legalization laws come online, federal cannabis prosecutions are dropping. That’s one takeaway from an end-of-year report released Monday night by Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts. The report’s findings on marijuana cases seem to reflect a broader trend, demonstrating how legal cannabis systems can divert people from the illicit market toward regulated ones. In this case, the diversion amounted to a nearly one-fifth drop in federal marijuana prosecutions.
DEA Says It’ll Get Around To Approving Marijuana Cultivator Applications… Eventually (USA – Cannabis Manufacturing)
Marijuana Moment (December 31, 2018) The Drug Enforcement Administration is again claiming that it is actively reviewing applications for bulk marijuana manufacturers to supply cannabis for research purposes, even though it has so far approved a grand total of zero more than two years after launching a program aimed at expanding the number of legal growers. Now, in a notice published in the Federal Register on Friday, the DEA says it has received a number of comments applauding the quota increase and others expressing “concerns about approval of applications for registration to manufacture” cannabis.
Federal Cannabis Prohibition Got A Lot Weaker In 2018 (USA – Cannabis Legalization)
My San Antonio ((January 2, 2018) Any listing of cannabis legalization highlights for 2018 has to begin with the triumph of marijuana at the ballot box in the midterm elections — voter approval for adult use in Michigan and medical marijuana in states as culturally conservative as Utah and Missouri, the defeat of virulently anti-cannabis Rep. Pete Sessions of Texas and the election of pro-legalization governors and state legislators. The big shifts in cannabis in 2018 were at the state level. Progress toward the ultimate goal — federal legalization — was subtle but significant nonetheless.
How Cannabis Just Took A Step Towards Legalization In The U.S. Farm Bill (USA – Federal Legalization)
Forbes (January 3, 2018) President Trump signed a new $867 billion farm bill into law on December 20th, 2018. The Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 was passed with strong bi-partisan support in both the Senate (87-13) and the House (369-47). While the details of the bill include provisions that generally continue the current farming and nutrition policies, there was a little wrinkle that caught cannabis investors attention. This bill offers a legal new path to growth for cannabis producers in the US. By some estimates, the CBD market is already a billion-dollar industry in the US.
Opportunities & Challenges Cannabis Entrepreneurs Face In 2019 (USA – Cannabis Industry)
Marijuana Business Daily (January 2, 2018) What is the probability of federal marijuana reform in 2019 given Washington DC gridlock and the likely focus on immigration, infrastructure and investigations related to President Donald Trump? Others believe the cannabis industry, given continued resistance to broad legalization by Senate Majority Leader and hemp champion Mitch McConnell, would be better off to focus on less-controversial reform – say medical marijuana.
Oregon Marijuana Could Be Exported Across State Lines Under Proposed Bill (OR – Cannabis Exports)
Marijuana Moment (December 31, 2018) Oregon could become the first state to allow marijuana exports to other legal states under a bill that’s been drafted for consideration in 2019. Under the proposed legislation, Oregon wholesalers would be able to export cannabis products to other legal states such as Washington State and California, but it would not be legal to transport through non-legal states. The exports would only be authorized if Oregon’s governor made a deal with the receiving states.