The Latest: CBD and Cannabis

This week’s CBD and cannabis updates from the United States and around the globe.

March 18, 2019

ALEXANDRIA, Va - Each week, NACS brings you a round up news and information on cannabis and CBD to help you stay updated on the fast-moving products and their legality.  Here are the topics in the news for the week of March 16 to March 22:

U.S. Federal Activity

USDA Hosts Listening Session on Hemp Regulation. USDA gave stakeholders in the nation’s hemp economy an opportunity to provide input on the agency’s future rules regulating hemp. The agency is still in the process of establishing a set of regulations covering areas such as land use, certification, product testing and disposal of hemp containing excess THC. After those federal rules are in place, USDA will begin reviewing proposed hemp plans submitted by state agriculture departments for cultivation within state lines. (Source: Marijuana Moment)

Secretary Mnuchin Declines to Comment on Conflict Among Federal and State Marijuana Laws. Secretary of the Treasury, Steve Mnuchin, told senators that clashing state and federal marijuana laws are among “many, many, many complicated issues” facing the nation’s financial system. He declined to answer whether he wants to see those issues resolved, however, citing the same conflict at the center of the confusion. (Source: Washington Times)

Commissioner Gottlieb’s Replacement Is Named. National Cancer Institute Director Ned Sharpless will become acting commissioner of the FDA. An accomplished researcher, oncologist and administrator, Sharpless has been director of the cancer institute for about 18 months, earning good reviews from cancer advocates, patient groups and academic researchers. (Source: Washington Post)

Bill Introduced to Protect Federal Lawmakers Who Use Marijuana. Representatives Charlie Crist (D-FL) and Don Young (R-AK) introduced a bipartisan bill aimed at protecting federal employees who use marijuana in accordance with state law. Federal employees and applicants can currently be fired or denied employment over marijuana use, regardless of state laws. (Source: U.S. News & World Report)

Former Speaker John Boehner Says It’s Time for Legalization. Former House Speaker John Boehner told attendees at South by Southwest that “it’s clear this market is going to expand. And as it does, lawmakers in Washington have to look up and realize that the federal government is way out of step. It’s time for the federal government to get out of the way.” (Source: CNBC)

U.S. State and Local Activity

Connecticut Lawmakers Unveil Proposals to Legalize Marijuana. Proponents of legalizing recreational marijuana have unveiled a package of legislation, including proposals to tax the drug and clear criminal records of low-level drug offenders. The group of House Democrats laid out their plans to allow marijuana to be cultivated, manufactured and sold to consumers in Connecticut. The bills will originate in several committees, but the lawmakers stressed the legislation is not finalized. (Source: AP)

Illinois Lawmakers Push to Address Banking Issues for Marijuana Businesses. As Illinois lawmakers move toward legalizing marijuana for recreational use, state Treasurer Michael Frerichs is pushing legislation to address banking prohibitions in the growing industry. Twin bills introduced in the Senate and House of Representatives would protect state-chartered banks from punishment for doing business with cannabis companies. (Source: Chicago Tribune)

New Jersey Reaches Deal on Marijuana Legalization. A bill to legalize marijuana in New Jersey will be up for discussion in legislative hearings this week, a crucial step that could lead to a legal weed vote as soon as the end of the month. The bill package was already cleared by a joint budget committee in November, but recently Governor Phil Murphy and top legislative leaders announced an agreement on new amendments, including an overhaul of the proposed tax system, regulatory control, and adding marijuana distribution as a charge eligible for expungement. (Source: Asbury Park Press)

New Mexico Recreational Marijuana Bill Stalls in Senate Committee. With less than 48 hours left in the session, a bill legalizing recreational marijuana in New Mexico appears to have been relegated to the sidelines, making its passage unlikely before adjournment. (Sources: KUNM;)

Governor Noem Vetoes Legislation Legalizing Industrial Hemp Production. South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem vetoed a bill to legalize industrial hemp production in the state, saying it would make law enforcement’s job more difficult and could be a first step to eventually legalizing recreational marijuana. Noem had previously opposed legalizing hemp this year but had not threatened a veto. She raised a host of objections to the bill as it was being drafted. (Source:Washington Post)

Texas City Seeks AG’s Legal Opinion on CBD Products. In an effort to address what some are calling a legal gray area surrounding CBD, the city attorney in Edinburg, Texas, has asked the state’s chief law enforcement officer to weigh in on the matter. (Source: The Monitor)

Miscellaneous

Facebook and Whole Foods Offer New Indicators of Welcome Cannabis Trends. Recently, the biggest movers in the cannabis space have been Facebook and Whole Foods. Facebook, for example, which has long banned ads for “drugs and drug-related products,” recently announced that changes to these rules—specifically with regard to cannabis—may be on the way. Whole Foods also recently expressed interest in selling cannabis products if full legalization comes to fruition. (Source: Forbes)

Jelly Belly Creator Debuts Line of CBD Beans. Candy-maker David Klein, who created the world-famous Jelly Belly brand in 1976, has rolled out a line of CBD candy beans, targeting what he feels is a gap in current offerings for edibles. (Source: Forbes)

Marijuana Impairment Emerges as Safety Issue for Trucking, Study Says. Despite growing concerns in the trucking industry over a rise in the legal use of marijuana, there is a general lack of research on the relationship between use of the drug and crashes, as well as a need for better law-enforcement tools and training to detect impaired-driver use of the drug, according to new research by the American Transportation Research Institute. “While increased access to marijuana has not directly impacted the trucking industry in terms of truck drivers testing positive for marijuana, the increased frequency of marijuana-positive drivers operating on the same roadways as trucks makes marijuana-impaired driving a critical safety issue for the trucking industry,” concluded the report. (Source: TTNews)

Study Says CBD Market Could Pull in $16 Billion in Revenue by 2025. New York-based investment bank Cowen & Co. released a study on the CBD market. Of the findings, one of the most fascinating was the projected estimate Cowen analysts made about the revenue of this market—$16 billion by 2025. This begs the question: Is the $16 billion projection an accurate reflection of the realities of the present market or is it aspirational? (Source: BloombergForbes)

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