National Safety Council hosts cannabis regulators.
Yesterday, the NSC hosted a virtual discussion moderated by Gillian Shauer, executive director of the Cannabis Regulators Association (CANNRA). Cannabis regulators that joined included Axel Bernabe, chief of staff and senior policy director for the New York State Office of Cannabis Management, Lori Dodson, senior advisor at the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission, Tyler Klimas, the director of Nevada’s Cannabis Compliance Board, and Amy Moore, the director of cannabis regulation for the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services.
Regulators from different regions gave high-level overviews on where their state stands on the spectrum of the national legal cannabis patchwork. The panelists also discussed topics like THC inflation, lab testing, hemp-derived cannabinoids, and cannabis consumption spaces.
One question at the end brought a nugget of news from Bernabe relating to hemp-derived cannabinoid products. As a refresher, New York has a Cannabinoid Hemp Program that is regulated under OCM. Emergency rules on intoxicating hemp products are expected soon, perhaps as early as next week’s Cannabis Control Board meeting.
“We’re in a bit of a bind,” Bernabe said, referencing intoxicating hemp products, despite New York being an early adopter of hemp rules and licensing.
“We’re actually taking a sort of step back as we’re looking at our regulations and saying, people have abused it so much, that we’re actually going to start regulating the total amount of THC that you can have in these products,” Bernabe said. “Tinctures may be a bit more flexible, but when it comes to any other product that’s really focusing on the THC side and just saying, ‘oh, there’s only so much THC, but it’s derived from hemp, so it’s okay.’ That’s just not okay.”
Also newsworthy: Shauer said that CANNRA plans to welcome international cannabis regulatory members later this year. (Cannabis Wire followed up to ask which, and when. “We aren’t ready to make any announcements about international members yet,” Shauer said.)
+ More: The NSC released a number of safety resources on 4/20 and has some other webinars coming up, including on May 31 called “How Can You Have Safe Cannabis without Standards and GMPs?”
Germany and Luxembourg adult use plans inch forward.
Late last week, both countries stepped toward fulfilling their ambitions of legalizing cannabis for adult use, albeit in different ways.
In Germany, Health Minister Karl Lauterbach tweeted “promise kept” and linked to a story confirming that he has begun the process of circulating a draft bill for the first phase of the adult use rollout. As Cannabis Wire reported last month, the first phase allows only for home cultivation and for non-profit clubs.
In Luxembourg, a “cannabis for non-medical purposes” working group released its report on a proposed pilot project. It contains recommendations to the government, which may then draft a bill. It suggests a phased approach, starting with home cultivation and eventually moving toward retail.
Bright Green becomes 8th DEA-approved grower.
The company has had an interesting journey to this moment.
Way back in 2021, the company was already touting its registration with the DEA, and got a shout out from New Mexico’s governor for its “$300M investment in high-tech cannabis manufacturing and research facility” in the state.
In early 2022, Cannabis Wire sought clarity from the company about its status, as the DEA did not list it as registered, and you can read that story here. (It’s also a good read if you don’t know the backstory of these federal licenses.)
The rest of 2022 proved to be filled with ups and down, with one former CEO suing the company, and another CEO stepping down. The company also decided to list on NASDAQ, and at one point last year its stock price shot up to nearly $50 before tumbling down – it is now at $1.38.
All of this to say, it came as a bit of a surprise when the company announced its official DEA approval this week, which Cannabis Wire confirmed on the DEA’s own list.
This, as Eric Berlin, Bright Green’s lead counsel at Dentons, said in a statement, makes it “the first and only US publicly traded cannabis company in full compliance with US federal and state law.”