2017

U.S.: Federal Bill Seeking To Reschedule Marijuana To Schedule III Gains Prominent Co-Sponsor

US Capitol

Rescheduling cannabis to Schedule III in the Controlled Substances Act would uphold states rights, allow for cannabis banking and create a path for research, says bill's sponsors

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

On April 6, Florida Congressman Matt Gaetz (R) and Congressman Darren Soto (D) joined forces in a bipartisan effort to make it easier for ill-patients and scientific and medical researchers to obtain marijuana by introducing H.R. 2020, a federal bill rescheduling marijuana to Schedule III of the Controlled Substances Act. On May 24, California Representative Dana Rohrabacher (R), a member of the Congressional Cannabis Caucus, joined on to co-sponsor the bill.

U.S.: Country Artist Jason Isbell Thinks Attorney General Sessions Should Smoke Marijuana

Jason Isbell

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

Grammy Award-winning Country music artist Jason Isbell, who some consider the best talent in Nashville, thinks U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions should smoke marijuana. In a recent interview with Indy Weekly, a Raleigh-Durham publication, Isbell said, "I don’t know where to start with Sessions. I mean, his idea of marijuana, first of all. I think if maybe he would smoke some of the marijuana he would realize that people are all the same and that smoking a joint once is not going to kill you. There’s no crack rock in a joint."

Michigan: High Times Midwest Medical Cannabis Cup This Weekend In Clio

High Times Cannabis Cup 2017

Cannabis activists will be at the event gathering signatures for a recreational cannabis initiative for 2018

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

This weekend, on June 24-25, the Michigan cannabis community is coming together in Clio for the 4th Annual High Times Midwest Cannabis Cup. High Times, the organization sponsoring Cannabis Cups since 1988, has been working to unite cannabis freedom fighters since 1974.

Florida: Universities Set to Begin Researching Industrial Hemp

Industrial Hemp

The University of Florida and Florida A&M University both qualified to spearhead the state's pilot hemp project

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

Florida farmers are looking for an alternative cash crop, with citrus production down. A new law, SB 1726, signed by Gov. Rick Scott on Friday gives universities in the state with a college of agriculture permission to research hemp.

The bill, sponsored by Sen. Bill Montford, D-Tallahassee, with a companion bill sponsored by Rep. Dr. Ralph Massullo, R-Beverly Hills, allows for universities to develop pilot projects to cultivate, process, test, research, create and market safe commercial applications for industrial hemp.

Latin America: Mexico Legalizes Medical Marijuana

Mexico Cannabis 2017

Under the new law, cannabis cultivation for medical and scientific purposes are not punishable

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

In 1920, Mexico banned the production, sale, and recreational use of cannabis. Yesterday, Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto published an official decree that makes medical marijuana legal in Mexico. The historic change in policy, which passed Mexico’s lower house in parliament with a 374-7 vote on April 28, opens the door for medicinal cannabis as an option to treat ailments.

U.S.: Attorney General Jeff Sessions War On Cannabis Needs To End, Says ALCU

Attorney General Sessions, Prohibitionist

Our top law enforcement official is a criminal justice dinosaur who has a history of endorsing ineffective policies and racist political rhetoric, says American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

Forty-six years ago, when President Richard Nixon declared drug abuse to be “America’s public enemy number one”, decades of harmful and misguided rhetoric began. In an op-ed last Friday, Attorney General Jeff Sessions touted misleading statistics and called for tougher sentencing. The propaganda is AG Sessions latest effort to escalate the War on Drugs and undo medical and recreational cannabis laws.

Alabama: City of Mobile Cannabis Decriminalization Proposal Withdrawn by Mayor

Mobile, Alabama

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

Mobile, Alabama Mayor Sandy Stimpson, the sponsor of a City Ordinance that would have decriminalized several minor cannabis offenses in the City of Mobile, withdrew his proposal yesterday. The ordinance, which would have lessened penalties for possession of small amounts of cannabis by issuing a citation instead of an arrest, appears to have stalled in the City of Mobile.

Several cities across the country have passed similar ordinances to bypass the arrest process for cannabis including Detroit, Chicago, and Columbia, MO.

New York: Senate Passes Bill Allowing Patients With PTSD Access to Medical Cannabis

New York Cannabis

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

A bipartisan proposal to add post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as a qualifying condition for New York’s medical cannabis program has received final approval from state lawmakers and is headed to the desk of Gov. Andrew Cuomo. The Senate passed S 5629 on Tuesday (50-13), and the Assembly version, A 7006, received overwhelming approval in May (131-8).

S 5629 was introduced by Sen. Diane Savino (D-Staten Island) with a bipartisan coalition of seven co-sponsors, including Sen. Martin Golden (R-Brooklyn), who previously opposed medical marijuana legislation. A second bill, A 7006, was introduced by Assembly Health Committee Chair Richard N. Gottfried (D-Manhattan) with bipartisan support.

North Carolina: Industrial Hemp May Replace Tobacco As Cash Crop

NC Hemp

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

In North Carolina this summer, farmers are experimenting with industrial hemp as a potential cash crop as an option to replace tobacco.

On Monday, Jay Foushee, a fourth-generation farmer, planted more than 6,000 industrial hemp plants. In 2014, a change in the law made the agricultural production of industrial hemp a reality.

"We call it Carolina Gold," Foushee said. "The potential income we can make on this crop is more than we can make on grain right now."

Iowa: Medical Cannabis Program Expands, Accepting Applications

Iowa Cannabis

Thousands of Iowans one step closer to medicinal cannabis as an option

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

On Monday, registration cards for Iowa's new medicinal cannabis oil became available from the Iowa Department of Public Health. In a historic first, Iowans who suffer from a multitude of diseases, including Parkinson's disease, Cancer, Multiple Sclerosis, seizures, AIDS or HIV, Crohn's disease, or Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, as well as most terminal illnesses that involve a life expectancy of less than one year, will have the chance the to enroll in the state's new medical cannabis program. The new law, formerly House File 524, was signed by Gov. Terry Branstad in May.

Michigan: Effort to End Marijuana Prohibition Gathering Signatures, Seeking Volunteers

Michigan Cannabis

If passed, Michigan would tax cannabis at retail levels with a 10 percent excise tax and six percent sales tax, which would support K-12 public schools, roads, and local governments

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

Last month, the Michigan Board of Canvassers approved a petition for a state ballot initiative that would regulate marijuana. If approved by voters, Michigan would legalize personal possession, cultivation, and use of cannabis for adults 21 and older, legalize the cultivation of industrial hemp, license cannabis businesses that cultivate, process, test, transport, and sell marijuana, and protect consumers with proper testing and safety regulations for retail cannabis.

U.S.: PA Governor Vows to Protect Medical Marijuana Patients From AG Sessions

Gov Wolf Letter To Jeff Sessions

"If you [Attorney General Sessions] seek to further disrupt our ability to establish a legal way to deliver relief of medical marijuana to our citizens, I will ask the Attorney General of Pennsylvania to take legal action to protect our residents and state sovereignty." Governor Tom Wolf

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

In a letter to U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf said the federal government should not get in the way of Pennsylvania delivering relief via medical marijuana to suffering children, families and veterans. The letter comes after reports that Attorney General Sessions had personally asked Congress to repeal an amendment that protected state-approved medical marijuana programs from disruption by the federal government.

Colorado: Cannabis Tax-Funded Program Awards Scholarships Totaling $420,000

Cannabis Tax-Funded Program

Each of the recipients will be getting $2,000 for the 2017-18 school year

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

The Pueblo Hispanic Education Foundation (PHEF) and Pueblo County Commissioners have awarded scholarships totaling $420,000 for the 2017-18 school year. The program, believed to be the world’s first cannabis tax-funded scholarship program, will award approximately $2,000 of it to 210 students on June 20.

The scholarship, which was made possible through cannabis revenue, raised an additional $50,000 by utilizing grant-matching from the Colorado Opportunity Scholarship Initiative.

Global: Uruguay and Canada Moving Forward on Cannabis Legalization

International Cannabis

Canada and Uruguay currently honor the 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, the 1971 Convention on Psychotropic Substances and the 1988 Convention against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

Uruguay‘s Ambassador to Ottawa, Martin Vidal, is working with Canada on the implementation of global cannabis regulations. To do so, Canada and Uruguay must comply with three United Nations drug control treaties, since they honor those treaties.

In April, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau introduced legislation with a goal of legalizing and regulating the use of recreational cannabis by July 2018.

Europe: Czech Republic and France Have More Cannabis Users Than Anywhere Else in Europe, Study Suggests

Cannabis In Europe

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

Most people think of Amsterdam’s coffee shops when it comes European cannabis, but new data from the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) says Paris and Prague have higher rates of cannabis consumers with 11% of respondents in each country admitting to cannabis use in the past year.

California: Legal Cannabis Potentially a $5-Billion Boon to Economy, Study Finds

Cannabis Boon

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

With the passage of Proposition 64, California’s looming legal recreational cannabis market could total more than $5 billion in annual sales, according to a study by the University of California Agricultural Issues Center.

The university’s study, which was contracted by the the state’s Bureau of Marijuana Control, forecast that legal recreational sales will make up 61.5% of California’s total cannabis market and legal medical cannabis about 9%. About 29% of all cannabis consumers may stay in the illegal market.

North America: Individuals Using Cannabis To End Drug, Alcohol Addiction

Cannabis - Booze - Pills

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, an estimated 21.5 million Americans struggled with a substance abuse disorder in 2014. Nearly 80 percent of those individuals specifically battled alcohol use disorder. Interestingly, cannabis may be a way to help those who are struggling.

Connecticut: After Partisan Feud, Recreational Cannabis Bill Tabled Without a Vote

Connecticut Cannabis

In Connecticut, the legislature’s nonpartisan Office of Fiscal Analysis estimated the state could raise $61 million per year under this proposal, beginning in the 2018-19 fiscal year

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

Last Tuesday, the Connecticut House of Representatives debated the legalization of recreational cannabis use for 90 minutes without a vote. The bipartisan debate had heated dialogue as lawmakers argued the bill.

“We’re going to get left behind,” Rep. Melissa Ziobron, R-East Haddam said, noting that nine states currently have legalized marijuana and several others have debated such action in recent years.

United States: Federal Appeals Court Quashes States’ Attempt To Halt Colorado’s Recreational Cannabis Law, Allows RICO Suits

Court Quashes States’ Attempt To Halt Colorado’s Recreational Cannabis Law, Allows RICO Suits

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

Last Wednesday, a three-judge panel for 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver upheld a lower court’s dismissal of Nebraska and Oklahoma's attempt to overturn Colorado’s recreational cannabis law, according to the Denver Post.

United States: Cannabis Is Safer Than Opioids, According To Several Studies

Cannabis Vs. Opioids

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

In the midst of an opioid epidemic in the United States, research studies show that using cannabis to treat chronic pain is a safer, less addictive alternative to narcotics.

In 2014, in a study conducted by Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health researchers found that “in states where medical cannabis is legal to manage chronic pain and other conditions, the annual number of deaths from prescription drug overdose is 25 percent lower than in states where cannabis use is illegal. The study was published in the Aug. 25th issue of JAMA Internal Medicine.

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