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Washington: New Law, SB 5131, Allows Sharing Of Cannabis, Creates Organic Standards, Prohibits Advertising To Youth

Seattle Hempfest 2015

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

On May 16, Governor Jay Inslee signed Senate Bill 5131 into law. The new law, which goes into effect July 23, allows anyone 21 years or older to “deliver” to another adult up to one-half ounce of flowers, eight ounces of infused solid edible, 36 ounces of infused liquid, or three and one-half grams of concentrates, as long as they don’t charge money. Previously in Washington state, possession with the intent to pass the joint/bong/edible held a penalty of 5 years in jail and $10,000, and disqualification from federal programs.

Pennsylvania: Industrial Hemp Plot Planted In Perry County, Harvest To Be Cattle Feed

Perry County Hemp

From 1681 until around 1840 the culture of hemp was nearly universal in Pennsylvania

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

On Tuesday, an industrial hemp research plot was planted in Perry County, Pennsylvania. If successful, the seeds should germinate in about a week and mature in 100 days.

Georgia: Medical Cannabis Oil Law Expands

Gov Nathan Deal

Since the latest expansion law took effect, 185 people registered as caregivers bringing the statewide total to 2,248

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

On Tuesday, Gov. Nathan Deal signed into law a measure that expands the state’s medical cannabis program. Senate Bill 16 adds six more conditions eligible for treatment with a limited form of cannabis oil in Georgia. The conditions include: AIDS, Alzheimer’s disease, autism, epidermolysis bullosa, peripheral neuropathy and Tourette’s syndrome. Patients in hospice care are also allowed to possess the oil.

Washington: Historic Industrial Hemp Crop Planted In Moses Lake

HempLogic at Moses Lake, WA

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

Last year, the Washington Legislature voted to permit industrial hemp. Today in Moses Lake, industrial hemp seeds were planted. This historic event, which was presented by the Washington Hemp Industries Association and sponsored by HempLogic USA and Hemp Ace International, celebrated the first legal planting of the versatile, valuable industrial hemp crop in Washington State in approximately 90 years.

The commemoration featured agronomic and regulatory guidance from experts, hemp industry leaders and the Washington State Department of Agriculture.

Florida: Governor Scott Vetoes Funding Cancer Center And University For Cannabis Research

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By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

On Monday, Gov. Rick Scott vetoed a budget funding of more than $3 million to the Moffitt Cancer Center and the University of Florida. In the untimely budget veto, Gov. Scott said the university and the cancer center had plenty of money to fund the research on their own.

Cannabis is included in the Controlled Substances Act, which means research on cannabis is stifled by many politicians.

“I want to know the real effects,” State Sen. Bill Galvano, R-Bradenton said “What are the negative effects? What are the downsides?”

Pennsylvania: Industrial Hemp Sown For First Time In Decades

Penn Hemp 2017

Industrial Hemp was an important crop and a major industry in Pennsylvania, grown in the Commonwealth until the 1940’s

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

For the first time in over 80 years, researchers and farmers are allowed to cultivate hemp in Pennsylvania, with permits. The new law allows permit holders to grow up to five acres of industrial hemp.

After fifty years of growing acres of various crops at his family's farm near Milton, Abram Ziegler has turned to industrial hemp to help his farm.

Kentucky: Industrial Hemp Processing Plant Expands In Louisville

Sunstrand

The processing plant fibers are being developed to create furnace filters and filaments for 3D printing

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

Sunstrand, a Louisville-based hemp processing plant, is a biomaterials company that processes hemp, kanaf, flax, and bamboo for industrial and technical applications. In 2014, the business started in Okolona, after Kentucky allowed industrial hemp. The company's new 25,000-square-foot plant is more than four times larger than its original location. The company has contracts with several Kentucky farmers to grow hemp, and their fibers are being developed to create furnace filters and filaments for 3D printing.

United States: Trump Administration Rhetoric Against Cannabis Includes Mandatory Minimums

Sessions Trump

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

In May, the Trump Administration upped its tough-on-crime rhetoric, which would put in place policies that would take our country back into the dark era of the 1980's. A memo last month from Attorney General Jeff Sessions, which directed federal prosecutors to pursue the severest penalties possible for any crime, including drug offenses, sought mandatory minimum sentences for federal drug crimes.

Sessions, recently proclaimed, “We know that drugs and crime go hand-in-hand. Drug trafficking is an inherently violent business. If you want to collect a drug debt, you can’t file a lawsuit in court. You collect it by the barrel of a gun.”

One of the key architects of Sessions' sentencing memo was Steven Cook, a former federal criminal justice prosecutor.

Pennsylvania: NFL Hall of Fame Linebacker Jack Ham Working To Strengthen Cannabis Advocacy

Jack Ham Cannabis

One of the greatest outside linebackers in the history of the NFL has become an advocate for medical cannabis in Pennsylvania

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

Legendary Pittsburgh Steeler and 1988 Pro Football Hall of Fame Inductee, Jack Ham plans to serve as a spokesperson and consultant for AgriMed, which is one of several hundred companies vying for one of 12 licenses to grow and provide medical marijuana in Pennsylvania.

While Ham is partially advocating for the company because he wants to see jobs return to Greene County, where its operation would be located, he also believes it is time for the NFL to take a more open stance on the drug.

United States: Veterans Affairs Secretary Shulkin: "We’re Interested In Looking At Medical Marijuana For Vets"

VA 2017

"If there is compelling evidence that this is helpful, I hope that people take a look at that and come up with the right decision." Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin said Wednesday he's open to expanding the use of medical cannabis to help service members suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), but cited the VA is limited by strict federal law.

In the United States, it is estimated that 22 veterans take their lives each day. “That should be unacceptable to all of us,” Shulkin said.

Michigan: Cannabis Legalization Campaign Seeks To Gather 252,523 Valid Signatures To Qualify For November 2018 Ballot

MichiganCannaLawBlog

Personal grow limits and cultivation of hemp are included in the bill

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

On May 18, the Michigan State Board of Canvassers approved the language of a cannabis legalization initiative for the November of 2018 ballot. If passed, the progressive initiative would legalize personal possession, cultivation and use of limited amounts of cannabis for adults 21 and older. It would also tax cannabis with a 10 percent excise tax and 6 percent sales tax.

The proposal sets up three classes of cannabis growers: those who can grow up to 100 plants, 500 plants and 2,000 plants.

Study: Cannabis Component Reduces Seizures For Some Epilepsy Patients, According To Research

NYU Langone Center

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

An oil derived from the cannabis plant sharply reduces violent seizures in young people according to a study published last Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine. The study focused on patients with Dravet syndrome, a severe type of epilepsy.

"This is the first solid, rigorously obtained scientific data that a marijuana compound is safe and effective for this problem," said Dr. Orrin Devinsky, a neurologist at New York University Langone Medical Center and primary author of the study.

United States: Brooklyn District Attorney Tells Attorney General Jeff Sessions 'Brooklyn's Decriminalization Is A Success'

AG Sessions DA Gonzalez

While the Trump administration advocates for a draconian stance on drugs by pushing for harsh criminal penalties, Acting Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez's declaration advocates for a pragmatic approach to the war on drugs.

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

Earlier this month, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced a return to federal drug policies of the 1980’s, policies which end in mass incarceration.

In an opinion piece published on Sunday for City and State New York, Acting Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez as was critical of AG Jeff Sessions for his barbaric stance regarding the failed drug war.

South Dakota: Jury Acquits Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe Cannabis Consultant On All Charges

Santee Sioux Cannabis

Eric Hagen had faced a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison on both the conspiracy and possession counts and 7 1/2 years on the attempted possession count

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

Last Wednesday, a South Dakota jury cleared Eric Hagen, a 34-year-old consultant who worked with the Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe, of drug charges. The defendant helped the American Indian tribe grow cannabis for a resort that the tribe hoped would succeed.

The jury took only a couple of hours to find Hagen, of Sioux Falls, not guilty in state court.

Rhode Island: Judge Rules Company Discriminated Against Medical Cannabis Patient

Joint-Leafly

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

On Tuesday, Rhode Island Superior Court Judge Richard Licht ruled against Darlington Fabrics, a Rhode Island textile company accused of discriminating against a woman when she was denied an internship because she used medical marijuana. The initial complaint said Christine Callaghan, a former graduate student at the University of Rhode Island, negotiated a paid internship with Darlington Fabrics in 2014 but lost it after disclosing she held a medical marijuana card for migraine headaches.

Israel: Cannabis Can Help Heal Bone Fractures, According To Study

CannabisStudy

Cannabidiol, a Major Non-Psychotropic Cannabis Constituent Enhances Fracture Healing and Stimulates Lysyl Hydroxylase Activity in Osteoblasts

According to the research, the administration of the non-psychotropic component significantly helps heal bone fractures

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

Cannabis was used as a medical remedy by societies around the world for centuries. Therapeutic use of cannabis was banned in most countries in the 1930s and '40s due to reefer madness campaigns without merit. Significant medical benefits of cannabis in alleviating symptoms of such diseases as Parkinson's disease, cancer, multiple sclerosis and post-traumatic stress disorder are being discovered by researchers throughout the world.

Vermont: Gov. Phil Scott Vetoes Social Cannabis Bill, Offers ‘Path Forward’

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By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

MONTPELIER, VT. - Gov. Phil Scott announced Wednesday he is vetoing a bill that would have made marijuana legal for adults in Vermont, but offered “a path forward” for passing it later this year. He specified a handful of changes that would need to be made for him to support the measure and said he believes the legislature has time to incorporate them and enact a revised version during the summer veto session.

Oregon: Medical Marijuana Program Numbers Decrease, Patient and Grower Restrictions Increase

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Since recreational cannabis sales became legal, the number of people with medical cards dropped from 77,000 to 67,000, according to state officials

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

Thousands of patients are letting their official Oregon Medical Marijuana Program (OMMP) card lapse due to the financial cost to obtain the card. The annual fee is not worth the savings to obtain the medical card, according to several patients.

The Oregon Legislature recently passed SB 1057, which will subject medical growers to expensive seed to sale tracking. It does not allow the growers sell into the legal market.

Colorado: Governor Hickenlooper Signs Hemp Bill Protecting Water Stored In Federal Reservoirs

Hempfield-2017.jpg

Senate Bill 117, which will protect hemp farmers who use water stored in federal reservoirs, passed 99-1

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

On Sunday, Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper signed Senate Bill 117, the Recognize Industrial Hemp Agricultural Product for Agricultural Water Right, into law. The bill, which was introduced in the state Legislature by Sen. Don Coram, and sponsored by Rep. Marc Catlin, will ease complications when water from a federal project is used.

California: Legalization Allows Californians To Reduce Cannabis Convictions

CannabisJustice

Anyone who has been charged with a cannabis-related crime in California has a chance to have their record reduced or expunged

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

Thousands of cannabis convictions in California are being expunged because of state's new cannabis law. Cannabis regulation advocates, including the Drug Policy Alliance, have worked with convicts to have their records changed.

“Many DA’s offices are still in the process of working on the mechanics on how to handle these people. But in effect, the courts are receptive to making sure people get a second chance,” San Jose attorney and legal analyst Steven Clark told KCBS San Fransisco.

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