HHS Secretary: a “few hoops” remain on rescheduling.
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra, who has been tasked with overseeing a cannabis scheduling review since President Joe Biden called for it in October, spoke to the toe tapping he’s getting on the issue.
Oklahoma lawmakers aim to do “everything” they can to “reform this industry.”
There’s been a slew of updates out of Oklahoma, where voters just rejected legalization. A handful of bills, for example, are moving to rein in the state’s chaotic medical cannabis industry.
• House Bill 2095, for example, would give regulators more enforcement authority.
• Senate Bill 806 would tighten rules around license transfers.
• Senate Bill 913 would require licensees to hold a $50,000 bond to be used in case a license is revoked or property is damaged.
• Senate Bill 808 would authorize the executive director of the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority (OMMA) to “order licensees to cease and desist operations if the director finds that an environmental emergency exists.” This bill now heads to the House, where Rep. Kyle Hilbert is the lead sponsor.
“We’re doing everything we can in the Legislature this session to reform this industry,” he said.
+ No more “straw ownership.”
Last week, a judge sided with the OMMA that the cultivator Sun Light Farm LLC had given regulators “fraudulent ownership information in its license renewal application.” So, now OMMA can deny the application, and do the same to others who might be skirting residency requirements.
“I’m pleased the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority was able to investigate and hold bad actors in our state accountable, quickly bringing this straw ownership case to a close,” said Gov. Kevin Stitt. “I look forward to many more wins like this one as we work to crack down hard on illegal operations. Drug cartels, organized crime and foreign nationals,” he continued, “have no place in Oklahoma, and we will continue to do everything we can to bring these bad actors to justice.”
OMMA executive director Adria Berry said that the state is “just getting started,” adding that there are dozens of other cases of “suspected fraudulent ownership that we’re reviewing right now.”
Researchers analyzed cannabis marketing among 150 shops. Here’s what they found.
Researchers from George Washington University conducted a study that examined just how compliant cannabis shops are when it comes to cannabis marketing.
For this study, during the summer of 2022, researchers conducted point-of-sale audits, focusing on areas like age verification and signage, the shops’ advertising and promotional strategies, various products, and pricing among 150 randomly-selected cannabis dispensaries in 5 U.S. cities. These cities include Denver, Seattle, Portland, Las Vegas, and Los Angeles.
The results showed a great deal of room for improvement. For example, about 10% of cannabis shops (especially in LA) were found within two blocks of “youth-oriented facilities” like schools or playgrounds.
“Current findings highlight concerns about regulatory compliance and marketing strategies used by cannabis retailers, particularly their impact on young people,” researchers concluded.
“We documented suboptimal age verification rates, noncompliance with required signage, marketing content targeting young people and other key populations (LGBTQ+), and promotional activities that may impact subpopulations differently. While some differences across cities reflected variations in regulations, others did not, potentially.”
This research was published in the peer-reviewed journal Addictive Behaviors.