Virginia Subcommittee Unanimously Passes Bill to Allow Anyone to Grow and Sale Hemp Without a License

A Virginia House subcommittee passed a bill Wednesday that would allow anyone to grow and distribute hemp without being required to first receive a license from the state.

A subcommittee of the House Commerce, Agriculture, Natural Resources & Technology Committee voted 8 to 0 to pass House Bill 532, which was filed by Delegate Nicholas Freitas (D).

Under current Virginia law hemp cultivation is legal for licensed growers participating in a hemp research program. House Bill 532 removes the restriction that hemp must be grown for research, and “Eliminates the licensure requirement for growing industrial hemp and allows any person to sell industrial hemp”. In other words, hemp would be treated like any other agricultural commodity, such as tomatoes or corn.

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Study: Marijuana Crackdowns Are a Form of Structural Violence, Have Negative Effects on Health, Social and Economic Well-Being

Law enforcement crackdowns on marijuana are a form of “structural violence”, and have negative effects on health, social and economic well-being, according to a new study published by the International Journal of Drug Policy and published online by the U.S. National Institute of Health.

“There is abundant literature on the impact of law enforcement on cannabis markets, but scant literature on the effects of law enforcement on cannabis users”, begins the abstract of the study, which was conducted by researchers at the University of Uyo Post Office in Nigeria. “This study undertook a qualitative exploration of police crackdowns as a form of structural violence and examined their impact on the well-being of street cannabis users in a Nigerian city.”

The study was “qualitative and descriptive”, and was carried out in Uyo, southern Nigeria. 97 frequent cannabis users (78 males and 19 females) took part, aged between 21 and 34 years old. Data were collected through in-depth, individual interviews, conducted over six-months. Data analysis was thematic and data-driven, involving identifying themes, assigning codes, revising codes and verification by independent qualitative methodology experts.

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Washington House Approves Measure to Establish New Residency Requirements for Marijuana Business Owners

Legislation that would establish new residency requirements on marijuana business owners has been given approval by Washington’s full House of Representatives.

House Bill 1151 passed the House today by a vote of 70 to 28. Filed by Representative Sharon Wylie (D) and cosponsored by Representatives Brandon Bick (R) and Brian Blake (D), the measure must now be passed by the state’s Senate before it can be sent to Governor Jay Inslee for consideration.

The proposed law; “Requires that at least 75 percent of the interest in a licensed marijuana business owned by a business or nonprofit entity be held by one or more interest holders who have resided in Washington state for at least six months”, “Requires that all applicants residing out of state must be resident citizens of the United States”, and “Establishes that a manager or agent running a licensed marijuana business need not be a resident of Washington state.

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Fox News Poll: 59% of U.S. Voters Support Legalizing Marijuana

According to a new Fox News Poll, a large majority of voters in the United States favor legalizing marijuana.

The poll found that 59% of voters support marijuana legalization, up from 51% in 2015, and 46% in 2013. The polling shows that just 32% of voters oppose marijuana legalization, down from 49% in 2013. Millennials (72%) have the highest level of support, followed by Gen Xers (60%) and baby boomers (52%).

“This is a massive shift in opinion over a very short period. As more states legalize marijuana without the negative consequences opponents have warned about, support will likely continue to increase,” says Democratic pollster Chris Anderson, who conducts the Fox News Poll with Daron Shaw, his Republican counterpart.

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WA: Committee Approves Bill to Allow Marijuana Stores to Obtain and Sell CBD Products From Outside Sources

Washington’s House Appropriations Committee has approved a measure that would allow marijuana outlets to “use cannabidiol products (CBD products) obtained from sources other than state licensed producer/processors”.

CBD tincture.

House Bill 2334, filed by Representative David Sawyer, “Authorizes licensed marijuana producers and processors to use cannabidiol products (CBD products) obtained from sources other than state licensed producer/processors, provided such products are laboratory tested, approved by the Liquor and Cannabis Board (LCB), and meet other specified requirements.”

The measure “Requires that all CBD products used by licensed producers and processors meet legal standards for product safety and purity”, creates a legal definition of “CBD Product”, and “Provides the LCB with rule making authority regarding the use of CBD products by licensed marijuana producers and processors.”

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Study: Medical Marijuana Legalization Associated With Few Opioid Deaths, But Only in States With Dispensaries

A new study conducted by the RAND Corporation and published by the Journal of Health Economics has found that although medical marijuana legalization is associated with a decrease in opioid deaths, this is only true in states that have legalized dispensaries.

“The association between medical marijuana and lower levels of opioid overdose deaths — identified previously in several studies — is more complex than previously described and appears to be changing as both medical marijuana laws and the opioid crisis evolve”, says the Rand Corporation, whose new study is “the most-detailed examination of medical marijuana and opioid deaths conducted to date”.

The report found that “legalizing medical marijuana was associated with lower levels of opioid deaths only in states that had provisions for dispensaries that made medical marijuana easily available to patients.” Opioid death rates were not lower in states that just provided legal protections to patients and caregivers, allowing them to grow their own marijuana.

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Federal Reserve Gives Approval to Marijuana Credit Union to Service Marijuana-Related Businesses

Colorado’s Fourth Corner Credit Union has been given permission by the Federal Reserve of Kansas City to provide financial services to marijuana-related businesses.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City granted conditional approval yesterday to Fourth Corner Credit Union to work with and provide financial services to marijuana-related businesses. The credit union’s approval comes over three years after they launched in Colorado, and over two and a half years after they filed a lawsuit against the Federal Reserve for initially denying their request to service the marijuana industry.

According to the Wall Street Journal report, Fourth Corner will not provide serves to marijuana dispensaries, as they initially planned, but will “focus on individuals and companies that support legalized marijuana.” This includes marijuana accountants, security companies and landlords, among others.

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Canada Senate to Hold Televised Hearing on Marijuana Legalization

Canada’s Senate will be holding a hearing soon to discuss the nation’s effort to legalize marijuana. The hearing will be televised, a rarity for the Senate.

According to CTV, Senate leadership has announced that they will soon be holding a televised hearing where they will question Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould, Health Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale, and justice and health parliamentary secretary Bill Blair. The questions will be regaring C-45, a bill to legalize marijuana that recently passed the nation’s House of Commons. The measure would allow those 18 and older to posses and use marijuana, and would establish a system of licensed marijuana stores.

“This is an attempt to ensure that on an issue of such importance to the Senate, we hear from ministers early”, said Government Representative in the Senate, Senator Peter Harder. “It is also an opportunity for Canadians to see the Senate in action on such an important bill”.

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Oregon Garnered Over $68 Million in Marijuana Taxes in 2017

Oregon brought in over $68 million in taxes from the legal sale of marijuana and marijuana products in 2017.

oregonAccording to data released by the Oregon Department of Revenue, the state made exactly $68,646,246 from marijuana taxes in 2017. This tops the roughly $60 million in marijuana taxes the state made in 2016.

Oregon’s biggest single-month marijuana tax gain in 2017 came in November, with slightly over $7 million garnered (in 2016 the most taxes made in a single-month came in October, with $7,8 million earned). The slowest month came in March, when the state made $4.4 million in cannabis taxes.

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WA: Over $142 Million in Legal Marijuana Sold in October, New Single-Month Record

There was $142,045,630 in legal marijuana and marijuana products sold in Washington in October, according to data released by the state’s Liquor and Cannabis Board.

The $142 million in marijuana sold in October marks a single-month record, besting the previous high of $133.5 million in August. The state garnered nearly $30 million in taxes from October’s sales. Overall for fiscal year 2018 – which began on July 1st – the state has garnered $120 million in taxes from $534 million in marijuana sales. This puts the state on track to top fiscal year 2017; the state brought in $314.8 million in taxes from $1.37 billion in sales.

The $142 million in marijuana sold in October in Washington is slightly higher than the amount of marijuana sold in Colorado during the same period; $127 million according to the state’s Department of Revenue.

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