This is just a glimpse. Want to receive every issue of Cannabis Wire Daily, our newsletter that is sent to subscribers each weekday morning, and unlimited access to cannabiswire.com?
Blumenauer reflects on 50 years of pushing for cannabis law reform.
Rep. Earl Blumenauer, a longtime supporter of cannabis law reform and the co-chair of the Congressional Cannabis Caucus, released a “Cannabis Progress Memo.” It is his final year in Congress, as he announced his retirement last year.
The memo reflects on his 50 years of working toward “progress” in cannabis law reform, specifically highlighting three states that legalized cannabis — Delaware, Minnesota, and Ohio.
The memo also points toward an uptick in research, specifically on cannabis’ impacts on mental health and during pregnancy. It also notes movement at the federal level, including the review of cannabis scheduling, which remains underway.
Looking ahead, the memo emphasized the positive role that cannabis will likely play in the 2024 election cycle, and noted that President Joe Biden has young voters in Arizona, excited about legalization, to thank for contributing to his win.
“In the year ahead, we will continue to host monthly caucus briefings, including the quarterly Cannabis Working Group meetings brining staff and stakeholders across stakeholders to pave the path forward,” Blumenauer wrote.
“Despite dysfunction in Congress, we can accomplish significant reforms in cannabis in 2024. It is a commonsense issue that can bring people together rather than divide them.”
Hemp groups share Farm Bill priorities.
Several groups, including the American Herbal Products Association, the Hemp Industries Association, the National Industrial Hemp Council, and the U.S. Hemp Roundtable, have released seven core priorities for the new U.S. Farm Bill.
To refresh: the 2018 Farm Bill legalized hemp, but also opened the door to a flood of hemp-derived products that exist in a legal gray area. A wide range of cannabis and hemp stakeholders have been urging Congress to address the legality of these products, and the Farm Bill is likely to be one of the vehicles through which lawmakers do so (for example, here are CANNRA’s priorities, which we reported on in this newsletter last year).
The new Farm Bill was due in late 2023, but Congress extended the 2018 version until later this year.
The priorities of this particular group of hemp stakeholders include, for example: “regulate CBD and other ingredients derived from hemp under the existing frameworks for dietary supplement and food additives;” “permit hemp grain for animal feed;” and “maintain the current definition of ‘hemp’ while balancing appropriate consumer protections with continued market access to popular hemp products.”
New Mexico regulators revoke two more licenses.
The New Mexico Regulation and Licensing Department’s Cannabis Control Division announced this week that it revoked two licenses and imposed a total of $2 million in fines – its heftiest fines to-date.
This brings the total number of licenses revoked since last year to six, and a total of $2.3 million in fines.
The two cannabis growers, Bliss Farm and Native American Agricultural Development Company (NAADC), were reprimanded for “exceeding plant count limits, not utilizing the state’s mandatory track and trace system and unsafe conditions, among other violations,” according to regulators’ announcement.
“The illicit activity conducted at both of these farms undermines the good work that many cannabis businesses are doing across the state,” Clay Bailey, acting superintendent of the Department, said in the announcement. “The excessive amount of illegal cannabis plants and other serious violations demonstrates a blatant disregard for public health and safety, and for the law.”