CCMA Political greenBrief
Wednesday, January 16, 2019
Attorney General Nominee William Barr Stated He Will Not Go After Marijuana Companies Operating Legally According To State Laws But Says Congress Needs To Make A Decision As To Whether Federal Law Would Be Changed
“I’m not going to go after companies that have relied on Cole memorandum. However, we either should have a federal law that prohibits marijuana everywhere, which I would support myself because I think it’s a mistake to back off marijuana. However, if we want a federal approach — if we want states to have their own laws — then let’s get there and get there in the right way.”Attorney General Nominee William Barr At His Confirmation Hearing
“What I think you see across the country is a consideration about the science and what states should do, whether for instance, they should look at medical marijuana or fully legalizing it.”Presidential Contender Julián Castro On Cannabis Policy
U.S. Attorney General Nominee Will Not Target Law-Abiding Marijuana Businesses (USA – Federal Regulations)
Reuters (January 15, 2019) President Donald Trump’s nominee to lead the U.S. Justice Department said on Tuesday he disagreed with a decision by former Attorney General Jeff Sessions to reverse a policy that eased federal enforcement of marijuana laws, saying it sowed confusion in the marketplace and harmed businesses that had invested money. Barr’s comments are likely to bring some relief to burgeoning marijuana economies in states like California, which were thrown for a loop last year when Sessions abruptly withdrew guidance written in 2013 by then-Deputy Attorney General James Cole.
Trump Attorney General Nominee Won’t Go After Legal Marijuana Businesses And Urges Congress To Act (USA – Cannabis Politics)
The Boston Globe (January 15, 2019) At his confirmation hearing on Tuesday, attorney general nominee William Barr said he would not go after marijuana companies that have operated in compliance with earlier Justice Department guidance that was rescinded last year by his predecessor, Jeff Sessions. He also encouraged Congress to address the conflict between federal and state cannabis policies. US Senator Cory Booker, of New Jersey, asked Barr what he would do to address the issue and whether he felt it was “appropriate to use federal resources to target marijuana businesses that are in compliance with state law.”
Cannabis Stocks Fall After Attorney General Nominee’s Comments About Marijuana (USA – Cannabis Investments)
Market Watch (January 15, 2019) At a confirmation hearing Tuesday, attorney general nominee William Barr said that the current system around marijuana laws is ‘untenable’ and he personally supports prohibiting marijuana across the U.S. But, Barr said that under the current set of laws he would not go after cannabis businesses that comply with state regulations and a rescinded Justice Department memo.
Could California Succeed Where Wall Street Fails? (CA – Cannabis Banking)
Sacramento News & Review (January 16, 2019) Once an idea batted around mostly in Occupy Wall Street circles, public banking is attracting a surge of interest among policymakers in several states, including California. If California had a bank controlled by the government rather than profit-hungry shareholders, public banking advocates argue, the state could fund social goods that often get the cold shoulder from commercial institutions: infrastructure projects, low-interest student loans and affordable housing. California’s treasurer and attorney general just published two studies that look at whether a state bank could help the newly legal weed industry by providing a safe repository for cash that major banks won’t accept. Both reports gave the idea a hard “no”.
California Jury Awards $4.3M In L.A. Marijuana Business Dispute (CA – Cannabis Lawsuits)
Marijuana Business Daily (January 15, 2019) A Los Angeles jury recently awarded what could be a record amount of damages to date in a legal business dispute over a marijuana grow and retail business. The case, which was first filed in November 2016 in California Superior Court in L.A. County, came to a close on Dec. 17 when a jury found for the plaintiffs and awarded $4.3 million in damages after finding that defendant James Shaw was guilty of fraud, breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty and more.
‘Cannabis Conversation’: Lompoc Stakeholders To Participate In Forum, As City’s First Dispensary Readies To Open (CA – Local Ordinances)
Santa Maria Times (January 15, 2019) Just days after an operator was given the go-ahead to open up Lompoc’s first legal commercial cannabis storefront, community stakeholders are set to gather Thursday for a forum aimed at addressing the city’s newest industry. “The Cannabis Conversation,” which is being put on by the Lompoc Chamber of Commerce, is scheduled to begin at 11:30 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 17, at the Hilton Garden Inn, 1201 North H St. Because it is a Chamber luncheon, preregistration was required, but organizers and participants say they are hopeful that the event will serve to inform and educate as the city enters a new frontier with the legal marijuana market.
OPINION: How Long Can Congress Keep Pretending Marijuana Legalization Isn’t Becoming The Norm? (USA – Cannabis Legalization)
Los Angeles Times (January 16, 2019) It’s only January, but 2019 could be the year that a Green Wave of marijuana legalization sweeps across the country. Will it finally hit Washington, D.C., and force Congress to reform the nation’s woefully outdated marijuana laws? The first states to legalize marijuana, including Colorado, Washington and California, did it through ballot initiatives. Now, governors and legislatures are making the decision. The politics of marijuana have changed, and lawmakers are increasingly framing legalization as a progressive, good-government policy.
Where Presidential Candidate Julián Castro Stands On Marijuana (USA – Cannabis Politics)
Marijuana Moment (January 14, 2019) Julián Castro, a former U.S. Housing and Urban Development secretary and San Antonio mayor, announced on Saturday that he is running for president. Castro has a relatively thin record on marijuana, but there are a few clues about how he would handle cannabis policy if elected to the White House. Under his leadership, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) published a 2014 memo clarifying that owners of federally assisted housing facilities are required to deny entry to people who use marijuana, even for medical purposes in accordance with state law.
Four Governors Talk Marijuana Reform During Major Speeches In A Single Day (USA – Cannabis Legislation)
Marijuana Moment (January 15, 2019) Governors in at least four states talked about their goals for marijuana reform during separate speeches on Tuesday. The day kicked off with New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) offering details on planned cannabis legalization legislation in a State of the State speech outlining his annual budget proposal. Across the border, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) dedicated a significant portion of his State of the State address to marijuana policy.
OPINION: It’s Time To Unshackle Cannabis Research Efforts (USA – Cannabis Research)
Forbes (January 16, 2019) Cannabis legalization runs the gamut in the U.S., from states where it is fully legal to those that allow only medical use of limited-THC products. But after last fall’s elections, Idaho, Nebraska and South Dakota are left as the sole holdouts to allowing some form of legal cannabis use – and even Nebraska has decriminalized the plant. This sea change means more than just giving consumers access to cannabis. It allows scientists, in states where cannabis is legal, to conduct important and badly needed research on its medical benefits.
Beer Sales Are Lukewarm And Pot Could Be Part Of The Problem (USA – Cannabis Sales)
Yahoo! Finance (January 15, 2019) The widespread legalization of adult use cannabis is giving consumers a new vice to consider – and that could dent sales of some alcoholic beverages. Based on a Cowen survey, beer was the most popular alcoholic beverage among current and former cannabis users, and 60% of current consumers cited a reduction in alcohol consumption when mixing the two products. And 70% of lapsed cannabis users – or those who had used cannabis in their lifetimes but were not current users – said they believed they would reduce their alcohol consumption if they returned to use.
Scientists And Experts Say Anti-Cannabis Book Misunderstood Their Research (USA – Cannabis Industry)
The GrowthOp (January 16, 2019) If you have any burgeoning interest in cannabis and drug policy, you probably have heard of Alex Berneson’s new anti-marijuana book Tell Your Children: The Truth About Marijuana, Mental Illness, and Violence this past week. He’s experienced the kind of book coverage an author dreams of in 2019, with a very notable piece of publicity in the New Yorker by Malcolm Gladwell. Berenson’s main position is that he’s anti-legalization, but pro-decriminalization. This contention is informed by the following sentences in his book, first highlighted by Vox: “Marijuana causes psychosis. Psychosis causes violence. The obvious implication is that marijuana causes violence.”
Why Are So Many Marijuana Stocks Making This Key Move? (USA – Cannabis Investments)
The Motley Fool (January 16, 2019) After seeing struggles in 2018, marijuana stocks are back in the limelight. With new legalization efforts taking place and the evolution of the recreational cannabis market in Canada starting to become clearer, interest in top stocks in the industry has returned. So far in 2019, many cannabis stocks have posted big gains that in some cases have been enough to wipe out their losses last year. Many of the companies that have pioneered the marijuana market are in Canada, and that led them to list their shares on the Toronto Stock Exchange and other exchanges that primarily serve Canadian companies. Yet as they’ve grown in popularity — and in some cases sought to make initial forays into the budding U.S. cannabis market — many marijuana companies have decided to make their shares more readily available to U.S. investors.
The United Nations Continues To Classify Cannabis Among The World’s Most Dangerous Drugs (World – Cannabis Classification)
Civilized (January 15, 2019) While numerous countries have reformed their marijuana laws, the United Nations nevertheless continues to cling to an archaic classification of cannabis that considers it as dangerous as substances like heroin and cocaine. And that classification isn’t going to change anytime soon. Last month, The World Health Organization (WHO) postponed their recommendation for reclassification of cannabis, which they were supposed to deliver to the UN’s Commission on Narcotic Drugs before the end of the year.