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Alabama attorney general pushes against medical cannabis effort.
As we wrote in our newsletter last month, Alabama’s Medical Cannabis Study Commission recommended legislation to establish a medical cannabis sales regime.
In their report, which you can read here, they concluded, “Based on the presentations and discussions, the Study Commission found that, although some medical study results are inconclusive and some results are mixed, there is strong scientific evidence that both hemp and marijuana contain compounds that provide significant relief for symptoms of certain specified medical conditions,” adding, “Furthermore, there is strong public interest for a medical cannabis program in Alabama.”
But Attorney General Steve Marshall disagrees. He sent a letter to lawmakers, which you can read here, detailing his opposition.
It begins, “Fully cognizant of my role as the state’s attorney and chief law enforcement officer, and not as one of its policymakers, I have waited for some time to wade into the debate regarding the legalization of marijuana for medical use. However, after months of careful consideration and study, and at the request of several members of the Legislature, I write to inform you that I oppose legalization.”
He concludes, after listing a number of reasons for his opposition, ranging from federal prohibition to the opioid crisis, “I would view it as an abdication of my duty to you, and to the public, to stay silent on this matter. … Before you proceed further in this debate, I humbly ask that you consider the foregoing information and the lasting consequences of legalizing ‘medical’ marijuana in Alabama.”
Mississippi’s governor isn’t on board with medical cannabis on the 2020 ballot.
South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem drops anti-hemp stance.
When the USDA released hemp guidelines in November, South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem said, “I remain opposed to industrial hemp in South Dakota because of the impact it will have on public safety and law enforcement’s ability to enforce drug laws.”
Now, her tune has changed.
On Thursday, Noem presented a “path forward” on hemp, after vetoing a hemp bill last year.
“Over the last year, we’ve had a long conversation about legalizing hemp. And everyone knows that I don’t think it’s a good idea,” Noem said. “Now, since that time, things have changed. Federal guidelines have been put in place, a South Dakota tribe has been given the green light on production, and other states’ actions mean that we need to address hemp transportation through our state.”
“The legislative summer study also did great work. And they included some good ideas. Today, I’m outlining for the legislature, a path forward: four guardrails, if you will, on hemp. These include, number one, reliable enforcement standards. Number two, responsible regulations regarding licensing, reporting, and inspections. Number three, an appropriate plan for safe transportation. Number four, an adequate funding plan.
Given all that we need to accomplish this session, if we can get this done in the coming weeks, it would be a good way to kick off this year’s legislative session.”
What’s the highest paid job in the cannabis industry?
According to data collected so far by the National Cannabis Industry Association, it’s a chief legal officer, with an average salary of $200,000.
Lowest paid job? A cultivation packaging clerk, which has, on average, a salary of $30,160.
While the industry is still maturing when it comes to matters of HR, among other operational norms, and these averages will change over time, the numbers are interesting to look at, and you can do so here.
Twitter bots post mistruths about cannabis.
In a recent study, published in the American Journal of Public Health, University of Southern California researchers sought to understand how people talked about cannabis on Twitter, and whether bots were joining the conversation.
Researchers identified Tweets that contained a number of cannabis-related terms from May 1, 2018, to December 31, 2018, and then distinguished genuine Tweets from bots.
They found that “social bots regularly made health claims about cannabis.” For example, tweets coming from social bots indicated that cannabis could help treat a number of ailments, from cancer and foot pain to Crohn’s disease. “These findings are cause for concern,” wrote Jon-Patrick Allem, an assistant professor of research at USC, and one of the authors.
Ex-Canopy CEO Bruce Linton invests in yeast-derived cannabinoids.
A European biotech company called Octarine Bio IVS that is raising a seed round announced last week that it has received investment from Canopy Growth founder and former CEO Bruce Linton. The company was founded in 2018 by Nethaji Gallage, a postdoc at the Center for Synthetic Biology at the University of Copenhagen, and Nicholas Milne, a postdoc at The Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Biosustainability.
Which big names won (or lost) infused product licenses in Missouri?
The state has been steadily rolling out licenses for different parts of the medical cannabis supply chain as its industry gets up and running. Cultivation licenses were announced last month, and dispensary licenses are expected by the end of January. The latest awards went to those who want to create infused medical cannabis products.
• Columbia Care MO (denied cultivation)
• Verano MO (denied cultivation)
• Harvest of Missouri (also won cultivation)
• Cresco Labs Missouri (also denied cultivation)