Cannabis Seeds

Political

Arkansas: Texarkana Approves Medical Carijuana Regulations

Texarkana

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

Texarkana, the first municipality in Arkansas which has granted formal approval to local rules that will govern medical cannabis businesses that operate within its borders, has approved the historic first business license fees for dispensaries and medical cannabis growers, according to MJBiz .

Growers must pony up $50,000 for a business permit, while dispensaries will have to pay an initial $7,500 and then $11,000 for yearly license renewals, reports KSLA, the Shreveport, Louisiana TV station.

U.S.: Congresswoman Challenges Trump Administration on Its Support of D.C. Marijuana Rider

Congresswoman Norton

Congresswoman Norton Stands Up to Trump Administration Regarding Harmful D.C. Cannabis Rider

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

Yesterday, Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) used an Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing on reauthorizing the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), which primarily focused on opioid policy, to challenge the Trump Administration’s support of the anti-home-rule rider that bars the District of Columbia from using its local funds to regulate and tax cannabis sales. Possession of cannabis remains legal in D.C. because Norton found a loophole in the rider, which tried to block the District’s voter-passed referendum that legalized cannabis altogether.

U.S.: Senate Committee OKs Medical Cannabis Protections In Rebuke to AG Sessions

AG Jeff Sessions

Although the common sense amendment must pass as part of the final appropriations bill, the Appropriations Committee vote is seen as a strong signal that Republican leaders are dismissing AG Sessions’ draconian request

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

Earlier today, in an effort to protect state medical cannabis patients, the Senate Appropriations approved an amendment to strengthen states rights, despite Attorney General Jeff Sessions stance on the issue.

New Hampshire: Governor Signs Cannabis Decriminalization Bill

Cannabis

HB 640 will take effect in 60 days, making New Hampshire the 22nd state in the nation — and the last of the New England states — to eliminate the possibility of jail time for simple marijuana possession

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

Last week, New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu signed a bill into law that will decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana in New Hampshire. It will officially take effect in 60 days, making New Hampshire the 22nd state in the nation — and the last of the New England states — to eliminate the possibility of jail time for simple marijuana possession.

Rhode Island: Bill to Create Cannabis Commission Passes General Assembly

Cannabis

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

Rhode Island Rep. Dennis Canario (D-Dist. 71) and Sen. Cynthia Coyne’s (D-Dist. 32) legislation (2017-H 5551A / 2017-S 277A) that would create a 19-member special legislative commission to study the effects of legalizing recreational marijuana in Rhode Island recently passed the General Assembly.

U.S.: Congressman Reintroduces Legislation to Give Students a Second Chance

Illinois Cannabis Arrests

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

On July 14, Illinois Congressman Bill Foster (D) reintroduced legislation to change penalties students face when convicted of minor marijuana offenses. The Second Chance for Students Act would allow students convicted of an offense involving the possession of marijuana to retain financial aid eligibility for six months while they complete a drug rehabilitation program.

Under current U. S. Federal policy, students convicted of drug offenses lose eligibility for federal financial aid for a period of time.

"One mistake should not ruin a student’s future,” Representative Foster said.

Massachusetts: Legislature Compromises on Legalization Implementation Bill

Massachusetts: Legislature Compromises on Legalization Implementation Bill

The House had previously voted for far-reaching changes to the law passed by voters in November 2016; compromise bill more closely reflects ballot initiative

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

After weeks of talks and missed deadlines, legislators in Massachusetts have reached an agreement on legislation that will make changes to Question 4, the law to regulate marijuana for adults that was approved by voters in November 2016.

United States: Senators Stand Up To Protect Veterans, States' Rights

Cannabis

Amendment Would Provide Veterans the Opportunity to Discuss Medical Marijuana with their Doctor

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

U.S. Senators Steve Daines (MT-R) and Jeff Merkley (OR-D) successfully included an amendment, which passed committee 24-7 vote, in the FY 2018 Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act that protects veterans’ ability to discuss with VA physicians the use of medical marijuana in states where it is legal.

Florida: Attorney Sues State Regarding Anti-Cannabis Smoking Legislation

Florida Medical Marijuana

House Majority Leader Ray Rodrigues, the legislator who sponsored the troublesome legislation and insisted on the smoking ban, defends lawmakers’ actions

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

Last Thursday, Orlando attorney John Morgan sued the state of Florida stating the new SB 8A law banning smoking medical cannabis is in violation of Amendment 2, the voter-initiated constitutional amendment that passed last November with 71 percent of the vote.

Utah: Poll of Likely Voters Shows 73% Support for a Medical Cannabis Ballot Initiative

Utah Medical Marijuana Poll - February 2017

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

A February poll of 402 Utahns found that 73% of voters support a medical cannabis ballot initiative, with only 20% opposed and 7% undecided.

“The poll results show overwhelming and broad support for medical cannabis in Utah,” said DJ Schanz, director of Utah Patients Coalition, a political campaign committee formed to support a 2018 ballot initiative to establish a medical cannabis program in Utah. “Voters believe that patients should be able to safely and legally access the medicine they need.”

U.S.: Congressman Disputes Anti-Cannabis Organization’s ‘Lie’

Representative Earl Blumenauer

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

In June, the loudest prohibitionist cheerleader committed to continuing the failed War on Drugs sent out a press statement showing they are continuing to try and roll back progress on cannabis reform.

Kevin Sabet and his organization, SAM (Smart Approaches to Marijuana) falsely claimed that the Rohrabacher-Blumenauer provision prohibiting the Department of Justice from enforcing federal laws against state-legal medical marijuana programs was removed from the Congressional spending bill.

U.S.: Nevada Representative Kihuen Asks U.S. Attorney General Sessions To Honor Will of Voters

Representative Kihuen / U.S. Attorney General Sessions

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

WASHINGTON, D.C. – On June 30, Nevada Representative Ruben J. Kihuen (D - 4th District) sent a letter to U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions asking that the Department of Justice continue to not prosecute cannabis-related cases where the alleged crime is legal under state law.

Wisconsin: Bills to Decriminalize Possession of 10 Grams of Cannabis Introduced

Wisconsin

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

On June 27, Rep. Adam Jarchow (R-Balsam Lake), Rep. Evan Goyke (D-Milwaukee), Rep. Jonathan Brostoff (D-Milwaukee) and Sen. Fred Risser (D-Madison), unveiled Assembly Bill 409, a bill that would decriminalize possessing small amounts of cannabis, but acknowledged the bill's potentially grim fate in a conservative controlled Wisconsin Legislature.

On June 23, Senate Bill 318, a similar cannabis decriminalization bill introduced into the Wisconsin Senate, was referred to Committee on Judiciary and Public Safety.

U.S.: Federal Bills Seek To Reclassify Drug Possession Felonies as Misdemeanors

U.S. Capitol

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

On June 27, Minnesota Congressman Keith Ellison (D) reintroduced the Reclassification to Ensure Smarter and Equal Treatment Act of 2017, known as the RESET Act. The bipartisan legislation would reclassify specific low-level, non-violent drug possession felonies as misdemeanors. On May 27, Senators Rand Paul (R-KY) and Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) introduced the original bill, S. 1252 in the United States Senate.

New York: State Department of Health Announces Enhancements to Medical Marijuana Program

New York Cannabis

Certified Patients Increase By More Than 7,500 Since Addition of Chronic Pain

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

On June 22, the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) announced several new enhancements to the state's Medical Marijuana Program as the number of certified patients continues to rise since the late March addition of chronic pain as a qualifying condition. Enhancements will streamline and simplify the registration process for practitioners, making it easier to certify patients for the medical marijuana program.

Rhode Island: Senate Approves Cannabis Study Commission

Rhode Island Cannabis Commission

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

On June 22, the Rhode Island Senate approved legislation sponsored by Senator Cynthia Coyne (D) to create a 19-member joint legislative commission to study the effects of legalizing recreational cannabis in Washington and Colorado. The bill, 2017-S 0277A, moves to the House, which has already approved identical legislation sponsored by Rep. Dennis M. Canario (D).

The partisan legislation, cosponsored by Sen. James A. Seveney (D), Sen. Harold M. Metts (D), Sen. Louis P. DiPalma (D) and Sen. V. Susan Sosnowski (D), seeks to educate legislators on pragmatic cannabis policy.

U.S.: Vice President Pence Ramps Up Drug War Rhetoric

Pence - Trump

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

This week at the National Summit on Crime Reduction and Public Safety, Vice President Mike Pence added fuel to the issue of recreational and medicinal of cannabis in the United States.

During his summit speech on June 21, Vice President Pence, said, "At the President’s direction, the Department of Justice will no longer let the worst offenders off easy. We’re once again pursuing the most serious readily available, provable charges for drug traffickers and violent criminals.... This is about stopping drugs from entering our schools so that our children can shape their future."

Oklahoma: Medical Marijuana Qualifies for November 2018 Ballot

Oklahoma Cannabis

Oklahoma will become next state to vote on medical marijuana

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

State Question 788, a measure which would legalize marijuana for medical purposes, will be on Oklahoma ballot in 2018.

Oklahomans for Health collected enough valid signatures in 2016 to qualify for a statewide vote, but the measure was disputed by Attorney General Scott Pruitt (R) over the wording in the ballot measure's title.

Oklahomans for Health filed litigation against AG Pruitt in the Oklahoma Supreme Court. In March 2017, the court ruled in favor of Oklahomans for Health, restoring the original ballot title. Since the dispute extended past the 2016 election date, the measure is being placed on the November 8, 2018 ballot.

United States: Prosecution of Cannabis Attorney May Impact Industry

Cannabis Law

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

In May, California attorney Jessica McElfresh was charged with multiple felonies, including conspiracy to commit a crime, obstructing justice, and manufacturing a controlled substance, by the San Diego County district attorney.

The 15-page felony complaint, filed by District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis, accuses James Slatic, two of his executives, and McElfresh (Slatic's attorney) of conspiracy and manufacturing a controlled substance, alleging the attorney helped Slatic cover up a cannabis concentrate manufacturing operation.

United States: Congress Revives Federal Medical Cannabis Legislation with CARERS Act

US Capitol

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

A new federal bill, the Compassionate Access, Research Expansion, and Respect States Act (CARERS), sponsored by Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ), Senator Mike Lee (R-UT), Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Senator Rand Paul (R-KY), Senator Al Franken (D-MN), and Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), would take four major actions to protect state medical marijuana programs. The bill would prohibit the Department of Justice from interfering with state medical cannabis laws, allow Veterans Administration doctors to recommend cannabis in legal states, expand research on cannabis, and remove cannabidiol (CBD) from the Controlled Substances Act.

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