ALEXANDRIA, Va.—Each week, NACS brings you a roundup of news and information on cannabis and CBD to help update you on the fast-moving products and their legality. Here are the topics in the news for the week of September 9–13:
U.S. Federal Activity
State and Local Activity
- FDA Blames Marijuana Vaping Products for Lung Illness. Investigators at the Food and Drug Administration found vitamin E acetate, a chemical derived from vitamin E, in cannabis products collected from patients who have recently become ill across the country. (Source: Washington Post)
- President Trump Reiterates His Administration Will Let States Legalize Marijuana. President Donald Trump again said that his administration is allowing states to set their own marijuana policies. “We’re going to see what’s going on. It’s a very big subject and right now we are allowing states to make that decision,” Trump said. “A lot of states are making that decision, but we’re allowing states to make that decision.” (Source: Boston Globe)
- Hemp Crop Insurance Coverage Available for 2020. Certain industrial hemp growers will be able to obtain insurance coverage under the Whole-Farm Revenue Protection (WFRP) program for crop year 2020. USDA’s Risk Management Agency (RMA) today announced coverage for hemp grown for fiber, flower or seeds, which will be available to producers who are in areas covered by USDA-approved hemp plans or who are part of approved state or university research pilot programs. (Source: USDA)
- NCUA Issues Guidance on Serving Hemp Businesses. The National Credit Union Administration issued interim guidance to federally insured credit unions clarifying that they can provide services to lawfully operating hemp businesses. (Source: NCUA)
- Illinois Awards Its First Five Recreational Marijuana Licenses. On August 29, Illinois awarded its first licenses to sell recreational marijuana. The five businesses that have received a license from the state are all medical marijuana dispensaries. (Source: Chicago Tribune)
- Minnesota Governor Tells Agencies to Prepare for Marijuana Legalization. Minnesota’s Democratic governor has directed state agencies to prepare for marijuana legalization, though the prospect faces an uphill battle in the state's Republican-controlled Senate. (Source: US News).
- Local Bans Limit Options for Michigan Marijuana Businesses. About 39% of Michigan communities that approved a recreational marijuana ballot measure last year have since introduced local bans that prohibit businesses selling pot. Michigan’s Marijuana Regulatory Agency issued emergency rules in July giving local authorities six months to introduce bans before it starts to accept applications for business licenses Nov. 1. (Source: Detroit News)
- Omaha Division of the DEA Won’t Prosecute CBD, Hemp Sellers or Dealers. Representatives from the Omaha division of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) say they won't take anyone to court who sells or uses hemp products, like cannabidiol (CBD) as long as those products contain less than 0.3% tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). (Source: KETV7 Omaha)
- Driver Arrested in South Dakota for Transporting Hemp. A truck driver transporting hundreds of pounds of hemp to Minnesota from Colorado has been arrested in South Dakota and charged with marijuana possession. A State Highway Patrol Spokesman points out that transporting hemp, that happens to be legal in other states, through South Dakota is still illegal. (Source: KELO.com)
- Surgeon General Warns Pregnant Women and Teenagers Not to Smoke or Vape Marijuana. The United States surgeon general on Thursday issued a public warning that smoking or vaping marijuana is dangerous for pregnant women and their developing babies. During the announcement, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar added, “This is a dangerous drug. No amount of marijuana use during pregnancy or adolescence is safe.” (Source: NYT)
- Federal Data Shows Youth Marijuana Use Isn’t Increasing Under Legalization. Reports of past-month cannabis use among those ages 12-17 remained stable from 2017 to 2018—and they’re significantly lower than in the years prior to when the first states began legalizing for adult use. (Source: Marijuana Moment)
- Report Warns State Governments that Marijuana Revenue Forecasts Uncertain. The Pew Charitable Trusts released a report on August 19 that indicates state governments should be cautious when planning state budgets based on tax revenue from marijuana. Forecasting revenue from a product that was illegal just a few years ago, and remains so under federal law and in most states, presents a unique challenge for state budget planning. (Source: The Pew Charitable Trusts)
NACS has prepared a fact sheet (for members only) to help you navigate what’s legal and what’s not for CBD retailing. Don’t miss the Federal Cannabis Legislation Tracker covering bills that have been introduced in Congress in 2019 pertaining to marijuana legalization that may affect retailers.
NACS has designed two specialized education sessions for this year’s NACS Show in Atlanta October 1–4 to help convenience retailers better understand CBD product offerings: “Cannabis, Marijuana, CBD: The Practical and Legal Outlook” and “CBD, Hemp, Edibles: What Retailers Need to Know About this New Category.” In addition, the Expo will include a new pavilion in Hall C featuring CBD products.