Cannabis Technology



The Cannabis Equity Con

The Cannabis Equity Con

On June 25, Illinois became the 11th state to legalize marijuana. Governor J.B. Pritzker claims what really sets Illinois’s law apart is that it is the “most equity-centric” legalization law yet. According to Democratic state Representative Jehan Gordon-Booth, this means that “the communities that have suffered through the war on drugs will now have an opportunity to enter a new market and be successful.” This vision of equity, though, is based on a deeply flawed understanding of what a mature legal marijuana market will look like.
Bipartisan Senators Introduce Marijuana And CBD Research Bill

Bipartisan Senators Introduce Marijuana And CBD Research Bill

A bipartisan group of lawmakers introduced a bill on Thursday that’s meant to promote federally authorized research into marijuana and its derivatives like CBD. It was one of several pieces of new congressional cannabis legislation to be filed on the same day. Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Brian Schatz (D-HI) and Chuck Grassley (R-IA) are leading the bill, which would streamline the application process for researchers interested in studying the plant, encourage the development of Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved drugs derived from marijuana and clarify that doctors can discuss the benefits of cannabis with patients.
FDA Begins Evaluating Cannabis Scientifically

FDA Begins Evaluating Cannabis Scientifically

The Food and Drug Administration says it knows there’s demand for cannabis products, but says it's taking a “science-based” approach to determine their safety and efficacy as it considers how to handle their legality. The FDA recently opened a public docket on cannabis and cannabis-infused products and held its first-ever hearings as it starts the process of figuring out if, and what, it will regulate in the cannabis space. In a message posted on the FDA website, the agency signaled an open-mindedness to the potentially beneficial effects of cannabis and cannabis-derived substances. Cannabidiol, or CBD, is the principal ingredient in one FDA-approved drug, seizure drug Epidiolex, already. But the agency urged the public to understand its interest in analyzing evidence.
Maine’s Cannabis Stores Will (Finally!) Open in 2020

Maine’s Cannabis Stores Will (Finally!) Open in 2020

Cannabis sales are coming to Maine—nearly three years after state voters passed a legalization law back in 2016. Legislators in Augusta on Thursday finally approved a legal framework that will allow the state’s long-delayed retail cannabis stores to open. Gov. Janet Mills is expected to sign the measure, which would allow the first stores to come online in early spring 2020. Since 2016, cannabis has been legal to possess but not to purchase in Maine. The yearslong holdup has been largely thanks to former Gov. Paul LePage, an ardent legalization opponent who did all he could to slow-walk the implementation of the voter initiative. Mills, LePage’s successor who took office earlier this year, has vowed to move ahead with a legal, regulated, taxed cannabis market.
US House OKs Plan to Block Federal Cannabis Interference

US House OKs Plan to Block Federal Cannabis Interference

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Democratic-controlled U.S. House of Representatives has voted to block the Justice Department from interfering with states that have legalized marijuana for adult use. The bipartisan 267-165 vote represents a breakthrough for advocates of legalizing cannabis, who have unsuccessfully pressed the idea in the past under GOP control of the House. Although 11 states have legalized marijuana for personal use, possessing and selling the drug remains a federal offense. Lawmakers have already enacted protections for the 47 states where medical marijuana is legal in some form or another.
Congressional Committee Advances Psychedelics Amendment But Blocks Marijuana Proposal

Congressional Committee Advances Psychedelics Amendment But Blocks Marijuana Proposal

A powerful House Committee cleared a drug policy reform amendment for consideration on the House floor on Monday. But at the same time, it blocked a separate marijuana reform proposal from advancing. The measure moving to a full House vote, introduced by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), would eliminate a long-standing rider on a spending bill that prohibits federal agencies from using funds for “any activity that promotes the legalization of any drug or other substance in Schedule I” of the Controlled Substances Act. The congresswoman argued in a summary of her proposal that the current provision impedes valuable research into substances that have therapeutic potential such as psilocybin and MDMA. Cannabis is also listed among those substances as a Schedule I drug.
Gillibrand unveils marijuana legalization plan

Gillibrand unveils marijuana legalization plan

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) on Wednesday unveiled her plan to legalize marijuana, saying that ending the federal prohibition on the drug would be “a top priority of my presidency.”  Gillibrand said the “unfair” enforcement of federal marijuana laws has had disproportionate impacts on communities of color and prevents medical patients access to the drug to treat chronic pain or other conditions. “These are real injustices that affect millions of Americans and multiple areas of our society, and it’s past time to get to work making them right,” Gillibrand said in a Medium post.
Federal Court Orders DEA To ‘Promptly’ Consider Marijuana Rescheduling…Or Else

Federal Court Orders DEA To ‘Promptly’ Consider Marijuana Rescheduling…Or Else

 federal appeals court gave medical cannabis patients and reform advocates a small but significant procedural victory on Thursday, ruling that it would hold open a case challenging the scheduling status of marijuana under federal law. In essence, the court is putting the federal government on notice that it must “promptly” make a decision on marijuana rescheduling so that those who rely on its medical benefits don’t unduly suffer. A group of patients and advocates filed a lawsuit against the Justice Department in a U.S. District Court in 2017, alleging that the Schedule I status of cannabis under the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) poses serious health risks and unfair economic disadvantages. The court dismissed the case last year, siding with the government in its scheduling determination and shooting down each of the plaintiffs’ claims.
Environmental groups sue over 12,000-acre Centennial development in northern LA County

Environmental groups sue over 12,000-acre Centennial development in northern LA County

Earlier this year, after years of debate, Los Angeles County’s Board of Supervisors signed off on a contentious development project set to bring nearly 20,000 new homes to the northern edge of the county. Now, environmental groups are suing over the development, which they argue will worsen pollution, traffic, and urban sprawl in the region. In a lawsuit filed this morning, the Center for Biological Diversity and the California Native Plant Society accuse county officials of mishandling environmental review of the Centennial project at Tejon Ranch, a planned community set to be constructed on 12,000 acres of land in the Antelope Valley.
Racial Arrest Disparities Got Worse After Legalization, Study Finds

Racial Arrest Disparities Got Worse After Legalization, Study Finds

Cannabis legalization has dramatically reduced the number of marijuana arrests in Washington, Colorado, and other adult-use states. But as the overall number of arrests plummeted, the racial disparities within those numbers remained stubbornly intact. In fact, the disparity has gotten worse. That’s the finding of a new report published this week in the journal Substance Use & Misuse, which found that cannabis arrest rates in Washington, post-legalization, were five times higher for African-Americans than for whites. Prior to legalization, black people were getting arrested for cannabis at a rate 2.5 times that of whites.
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