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Congress members “urge” the removal of cannabis from the CSA.
A group of Congress members, led by Sens. Elizabeth Warren and John Fetterman, sent a letter this week to U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland and U.S. Drug Enforcement (DEA) Administrator Anne Milgram, asking them to fully deschedule cannabis.
Interestingly, the letter gets more granular in its requests, including that the DEA and Dept. of Justice share detailed info about “steps taken to act on HHS’s rescheduling recommendation no later than February 12, 2024.”
One question asks, “What is the current status of the DEA’s review of marijuana’s scheduling, pursuant to President Biden’s 2022 directive and HHS’s 2023 recommendation?”
Another, “Specifically, how (if at all) would the criminal enforcement of marijuana by the DEA change if marijuana were moved to another schedule in the CSA? Please provide an answer for Schedule II, Schedule III, Schedule IV, and Schedule V.”
The last question asks, “To what extent does the DEA’s evaluation of marijuana’s scheduling acknowledge or address the harms of cannabis criminalization and related collateral consequences, and racial disparities associated with federal marijuana enforcement?”
In New York: A new group, and a new lawsuit
Several cannabis groups in New York announced this week the formation of The Cannabis Conference, which describes itself as an “effort to work with elected officials to implement solutions to ongoing challenges in the medical and adult-use markets.”
The Conference’s founding members are: Association of New York Cannabis Processors, Black Cannabis Industry Association, Cannabis Farmers Alliance, New York Cannabis Retail Association, and New York Medical Cannabis Industry Association.
Further, the Conference announced that it has 12 priorities for this legislative session, ranging from the elimination of the potency tax, which is already in Gov. Kathy Hochul’s budget, to “the creation of a relief fund for struggling cannabis farmers and a tax credit for processors” and “the codification of the CAURD program to protect equity licensees and applicants against further future legal challenges.”
Speaking of legal challenges…
… there is yet another lawsuit against the state’s cannabis regulators – yes, in addition to the new one on which we reported in this newsletter last week.
The new suit is focused on the licensing queue that regulators created that randomly put applicants into an order that affects when they will be licensed. Specifically, the plaintiffs take issue with the fact that, if someone lower in the queue wants to locate in the same place as someone higher in the queue, they may be out of luck.
“Logically, it would make sense to award a majority of the retail dispensary licenses to those in the First Application Period as those applicants have already invested resources in securing real estate as well as meeting other stringent criteria set forth by the CCB and the OCM and are in the best position to start operating retail locations in the shortest amount of time,” they argue.
They further argue that they “were unfairly impacted by the arbitrary and capricious decisionmaking,” and call the queue “unenforceable.”
The plaintiffs in the new suit are: Friendly Flower 1 Inc, Friendly Flower 2 Inc, Rockaway Moonshot LLC, Hop Stock & Barrel IV LLC, BK Greenery LLC, Emeraldz Inc, and Mariagiovanna LLC.
CBD exposures in young kids spiked after passage of the 2018 Farm Bill, research found.
Researchers from the University of California San Francisco conducted a study that narrowed in on the “potential shifts in reported exposures” both before and after the passage and implementation of the 2018 Farm Bill.
Researchers analyzed “exposures involving synthetic cannabinoid receptor agonists” and “derived cannabis products,” including CBD, that were reported to the California Poison Control System between the years 2010 to 2022.
Results showed that “reported CBD exposures significantly increased following the federal reclassification of hemp products. Exposure reports were most common among young children and for edibles. Exposure reports provided limited information about derived psychoactive cannabis products.”
This research was published in the International Journal of Drug Policy.