Feds fund hemp seed bank; Nebraska A.G.: medical marijuana unconstitutional; New Mexico gov’s legalization group schedules first hearing

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

Senate Banking Committee Chairman Mike Crapo (R-ID) has endorsed efforts to let banks serve marijuana businesses without being punished by federal regulators. But instead of passing an existing bill cosponsored by nearly a third of the Senate as-is, he’s suggesting changes might be needed or even that the issue could be addressed administratively.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) announced the construction of the U.S.’s only hemp seed bank. The federally funded Industrial Hemp Germplasm Repository will “help breeders and geneticists develop new cultivars, while also helping to identify genes for pest and disease resistance.”

Nebraska’s attorney general issued a memo opining that a pending measure to legalize medical cannabis would be preempted by federal law. The move, which legal experts say is based on a misunderstanding of Supreme Court doctrine, comes as activists are collecting signatures to place medical marijuana on the state’s 2020 ballot.

The marijuana working group that New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D) formed to prepare for legalization in early 2020 scheduled its first hearing and is now accepting public comments. Among other topics of discussion is the idea of state-run cannabis stores.

/ FEDERAL

Former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper (D), a presidential candidate, said he “can’t ever imagine” going back to a system where marijuana is illegal. In a separate interview he discussed the lack of diversity in cannabis business ownership.

Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) tweeted, “Nine years ago, @BarackObama signed into law my Fair Sentencing Act, a compromise bill which dramatically lowered the sentencing disparity between crack and powder cocaine. It was the first law to counter the war on drugs by reducing unfair federal drug sentences. Last year, President Trump signed into law another step forward to criminal justice reform, my First Step Act, which made the Fair Sentencing Act retroactive and has so far led to the release of 1,100 people who were serving unjust sentences for drug offenses.”

Rep. Dwight Evans (D-PA) launched an online petition for marijuana reform to “create economic opportunities for those disproportionately impacted by our outdated laws” and tweeted, “Times have changed and so should our outdated marijuana laws! This is about racial equality, economic justice, and ensuring local neighborhoods can participate in this profitable industry.”

Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) tweeted, “Communities of color have been disproportionately impacted by cannabis prohibition. We must do more than decriminalize cannabis – we have to address the devastating effects of the failed War on Drugs to black and brown people.”

Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-CO) tweeted, “Even legitimate ancillary cannabis businesses are unable to access the banking system under current federal law. But support is growing for #SAFEBanking and I look forward to leading it to a strong vote in the House soon.”

The Senate bill to require the Department of Veterans Affairs to study medical cannabis got one new cosponsor, for a total of seven.

The House bill to deschedule marijuana and fund programs to repair the damage of the drug war got one new cosponsor, for a total of 33.

/ STATES

New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu (R) vetoed a bill to allow patients to grow their own medical cannabis.

Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy (R) cut funding for the state’s hemp pilot program.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s (D) top marijuana advisor spoke about taxes, efforts to reduce unregulated market sales, edibles and other issues related to legalization implementation.

Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands lawmakers sent a marijuana taxes and fees bill to the desk of Gov. Ralph Torres (R).

Minnesota’s House majority leader published an op-ed supporting marijuana legalization and saying he and colleagues will convene community conversations about the issue in advance of filing legislation next session. Meanwhile, the House speaker is conducting a survey on the cannabis reform.

The New Jersey Supreme Court agreed to take up the case of a funeral director fired from his job for using medical cannabis for cancer.

Missouri regulators began accepting applications for medical cannabis dispensary, cultivation, manufacturing and other licenses.

New Jersey regulators posted updated application information for medical cannabis business permits.

Iowa regulators added chronic pain as a new CBD medical cannabis qualifying condition but rejected anxiety and opioid dependence.


Marijuana Moment is already tracking more than 1,000 cannabis bills in state legislatures and Congress this year. Patreon supporters pledging at least $25/month get access to our interactive maps, charts and hearing calendar so they don’t miss any developments.

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/ LOCAL

The newly sworn-in Kansas City, Missouri mayor says he plans to pardon potentially thousands of people with marijuana possession convictions.

/ INTERNATIONAL

Ireland’s government is moving to allow people to avoid criminal convictions for their first two drug possession offenses, though it is taking pains not to describe the policy as “decriminalization.”

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said that if drugs are going to be decriminalized it will have to be done “with responsibility.”

The UK’s new home secretary said she wants police to not “turn a blind eye” to marijuana and other drugs.

A New Zealand opposition party is accusing the government of making a power grab in legislation enabling a planned 2020 marijuana legalization referendum by letting the Cabinet draft the question instead of leaving it to Parliament.

/ ADVOCACY

Americans for Safe Access released a report grading state medical cannabis programs.

Here’s a look at lobbying spending by Illinois marijuana companies in advance of the state’s vote to legalize.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study estimated that “in the third year after implementing a regulatory system for cannabis, between 40 percent and 60 percent of THC obtained by state residents was likely purchased in Washington’s state-licensed stores.”

A review concluded that “there is robust preclinical data regarding the relevance of the endocannabinoid system to many pain-relevant processes” but that “evidence to support cannabis-based medicines clinical use is still lacking.”

/ BUSINESS

Aphria Inc. is the first major Canadian marijuana company to report a net profit.

Politico announced the first two hires for its cannabis team.

Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University ousted the director of its Medical Marijuana Education and Research Initiative over “differences of opinion.”

Bloomberg looks at marijuana companies’ efforts to secure patents ahead of legalization.

/ CULTURE

Actress Fran Drescher spoke about her use of medical cannabis.

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The post Senate GOP chairman backs cannabis banking fix (Newsletter: August 5, 2019) appeared first on Marijuana Moment.