Federal Appeals Court in San Francisco Sides with the DEA making CBD from hemp federally illegal
We had another wild week in cannabis news. We will start with some very negative news for the CBD industry and its consumers. A federal appeals court in San Francisco decided this week that the DEA is correct that since CBD is extracted from cannabis flower it falls under the federal Schedule 1 status and made clear its illegal status. Hemp-based CBD is now being sold in retail stores around the country, even in states that have not legalized cannabis since the law was not entirely clear about CBD extracted from hemp. The DEA filed the suit in 2016 to clarify the law on CBD. It is not clear whether brands like Charlotte’s Web will be pulled from shelves due to the decision.
Governor LePage of Maine Vetoes recreational marijuana bill for second time
Voters in Maine approved the use and commercial sales of marijuana in 2016, however Governor Paul LePage opposed the move by state voters. A bill was introduced last year by Maine’s legislature to implement rules for the sale of cannabis, but Governor LePage vetoed the bill citing the Schedule 1 status of cannabis as one of his reasons among others. Efforts to expand the state’s medical marijuana program was also pushed back by the governor and this week an entirely new bill for the sale of recreational cannabis was brought before him where he once again vetoed it. Referendum questions in Maine approved by voters are necessarily made law without full approval from the state government.
Jeff Sessions admits that marijuana may have medical value and researching it is appropriate
In front of a congressional panel recently, Jeff Sessions admitted that cannabis may have some medicinal properties and that researching cannabis may be appropriate. He also stated that he did not believe that cannabis could help the national opioid crisis despite the fact that the amount of overdose deaths has been on the decline in states that have legalized cannabis. The statement by the attorney general may be the most open minded statement he has made so far concerning cannabis.
Michigan gets enough signatures to add recreational marijuana question to November ballot
On a more positive note for the marijuana legalization movement, the Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol has gathered enough signatures in Michigan to have a recreational marijuana question added to the ballot for the vote coming this November. Just as the name of the coalition suggests, if approved Michigan would regulate cannabis sales just like it regulates the alcohol industry. If voters approve the measure, it would make Michigan the first Midwestern state to legalize recreational marijuana.
Seattle expunging records of 542 marijuana convictions predating 2010
Seattle has been working on clearing the criminal records of people convicted or arrested for nonviolent marijuana possession crimes and granting clemency to inmates. Washington legalized recreational cannabis in 2014 and Seattle’s Mayor Jenny Durkan and City Attorney Pete Holmes have made exonerating the people of Seattle a top priority. Their most recent move was to throw out the records for 542 people convicted of marijuana possession from before 2010.
Darmon Richter reveals cannabis sales in North Korea
On an international front, famous traveling writer, Darmon Ricther, wrote an article about his journey into a northern region of North Korea called Rason. While there he came upon a market that was selling marijuana flower. He was amazed to find the plant and even smoked some of it with the store owner. The story is of particular importance considering the news of North Korea’s Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un meeting with South Korea’s president Moon Jae-in to discuss denuclearizing. The two countries have been at war off and on since 1950 and the incredibly strict laws in North Korea made finding marijuana for sale quite surprising to Darmon Richter.
Cannabis Cup permitted to allow marijuana sales and consumption this year in California
Finally, California is allowing the sale and consumption of marijuana at the Cannabis Cup this year. The very famous event has been happening for many years but the sale and use of marijuana has been strictly prohibited. Now that California began sales of recreational cannabis on January 1st of this year, the state does not see any reason for the famous festival not to sell marijuana or to allow its attendees from using it. Some estimates suggest the state may make more than $200 thousand dollars in tax revenue from the Cannabis Cup this year.
Well that is all folks until next week. Have a great weekend!