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USDA prepares for another major hemp survey.
As Cannabis Wire recently reported, the USDA just published the findings of its first major hemp survey. Now, it is planning another survey that will dig even deeper than the first.
As they put it:
“With a newly emerging industry and no existing national data collection, to respond to the breadth of identified needs coordinated data collection efforts must be undertaken. This data collection is focused on economic data (primarily production costs) from the 2020 season. Development of the hybrid (i.e. mail and online) survey instrument has been coordinated with USDA NASS.
“Risks in the hemp market are high and rapidly changing, with consistent stakeholder demands for knowledge of economics and markets on which to base decisions. There is little to no information on demand for hemp derived products and market risks are exacerbated by lack of transparency and consistency in reporting. While several private or local sources of information have emerged, quality and costs for stakeholders are variable and requests for consistent unbiased national data from USDA continue.
“Economic data is also critical for national policymaking including rulemaking, risk management, and resource management. For example, data dependent research questions to address economic viability questions asked by stakeholders include competition for acreage (production alternatives), global competitiveness, equity and rural development, risk management, and market outlook (including alternative products and production systems).”
Rhode Island lawmakers will try for legalization again.
Rep. Scott Slater and Sen. Josh Miller announced during a press conference on Tuesday that they formally introduced a legalization bill that was produced through negotiations between the two chambers.
“This is a great day,” Slater said to reporters. “Last year we had some differences on our bills, but we’ve been able to come together and work collectively.”
The bill would allow adults 21 and older to possess, buy, and grow cannabis at home.
Meanwhile, Gov. Dan McKee again introduced cannabis legalization through his budget plan in January. The governor’s plan doesn’t include home cultivation.
“The governor recommends creating a strictly regulated legal market for adult-use cannabis in the state,” McKee’s executive budget summary notes.
Coalition of justice groups send letter to Congressional leaders on MORE Act.
A group of advocates, including the ACLU, NORML, DPA, UFCW (among many others) wrote a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, calling for them to bring the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement (MORE) Act of 2021 (H.R. 3617) to the floor this month.
“Mass criminalization and over-enforcement of drug law violations have devastated the social and economic fabrics of entire communities, while also tearing apart the lives of millions of individuals and families. And while Black, Latino, and Indigenous people have carried the brunt of marijuana criminalization, they have been shut out of the regulated marijuana marketplace due to these very same criminal records in addition to financial barriers to entry,” the groups wrote.
“The MORE Act seeks to solve these problems through a comprehensive approach.”
The MORE Act first passed in the House in December 2020.