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California: Dr. Bronner's CEO, David Bronner, Discusses Cannabis Opportunities

David Bronner Industrial Hemp Freedom Fighter

"Cannabis is my daily meditation and ally, keeping me tuned to my higher, deeper self and connected with loved ones and the world around me." - David Bronner, CEO Dr. Bronner's

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

Dr. Bronner’s, a leading natural products company located in California, has been a pioneering force with a strong focus on hemp consumer awareness for decades. The company sees a socially conscious opportunity in cannabis.

In 2000, Dr. Bronner’s started using hemp seed oil in its body care products, ranking as one of the first companies to make such a move. The company now showcases soaps, lotions, balms and other personal care products under the USDA National Organic Program.

Wisconsin: Senator Invests in Canadian Cannabis Farm Creating Conflict of Interest

Sen. Frank Lasee, Profiteer

Earlier this year, when the state senator voted to expand access to medical cannabis in Wisconsin, he was doing so as an investor of a Canadian cannabis farm embroiled in turmoil

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

In 2016, Wisconsin State Senator Frank Lasee of De Pere, bought $5,000 to $50,000 in the stock of Ontario-based Canopy Growth Corp, according to public disclosures reviewed this week.

Virginia: VSU to Host Industrial Hemp Field Day on August 17

VSU Industrial Hemp Field Day

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

A first-of-its kind industrial hemp field day at Virginia State University (VSU) will provide a forum for potential growers, researchers, marketing experts and hemp product users to discuss the future of the crop in Virginia and neighboring states.

The event, which is scheduled for Thursday, Aug 17 from 8am-3pm at VSU's Randolph Farm located at 4415 River Road in Petersburg, VA, will showcase an industry overview, discuss markets for industrial hemp products, industrial hemp research at VSU, and an industrial hemp plot tour.

Vermont: First Ever Vermont Hemp Festival to be Held at Burke Mountain on Sept 9

Vermont Hemp Festival

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

The first-ever Vermont Hemp Festival is planned for Sept. 9 at Burke Mountain Resort in rural, remote Northeast Kingdom. Eli Harrington and Monica Donovan, co-founders of Heady Vermont, chose to have their inaugural hemp conference in the because Northeast Kingdom has hemp history.

Harrington said, “Heady Vermont covers everything from statehouse happenings to artists to investigative reporting and the identities of the individuals who are changing the face of Vermont’s cannabis culture.”

Kansas: 16-Year-Old Running for Governor, Plans to Legalize

Jack Bergeson on Kimmel

Jack Bergeson, 16, a Wichita high school student, is running for Kansas governor

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

Even though he won’t be able to legally cast a vote, Jack Bergeson, a 16-year-old from Wichita, is running for Governor of Kansas in 2018. His political platform includes legalizing marijuana for social use.

“Under Kansas law, there is no law governing the qualifications for governor, not one,” said Bryan Caskey, director of elections at the Kansas secretary of state’s office. “So there’s seriously nothing on the books that lays out anything, no age, no residency, no experience. Nothing.”

New York: Department of Health Proposes Expansion of Medical Marijuana Program

NewYorkMedicalMarijuana

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

This month, the New York Department of Health announced the issuance of new proposed regulations that would make changes to the state’s medical cannabis program. The department would reduce some of the burdensome security requirements for registered organizations, shorten the length of the medical cannabis course certifying practitioners must take, and allow additional types of medical cannabis products to be sold, among other things.

New York’s Medical Marijuana Program, has been criticized by patient advocate groups as unnecessarily restrictive, and initial patient registration numbers were extremely low compared to other state medical cannabis programs.

Utah: Initiative Approved to Begin Collecting Signatures for Medical Cannabis in 2018

Utah Patients Coalition 2018

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

Utah Patients Coalition has received approval from Lt., Governor Spencer Cox, to begin gathering signatures to qualify for the November 2018 ballot. After holding 10 public hearings across the state and meeting with various state departments and stakeholders, Utah Patients Coalition will now proceed to collect the more than 113,000 required signatures to place doctor-approved access to medical cannabis on the ballot for Utah voters to approve.

California: Court Blocks Federal Prosecution of Cannabis Farmers

California Cannabis

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

On Tuesday, a U.S. District Court blocked federal prosecutors from moving forward with a conspiracy case against a duo of Northern California cannabis cultivators because the pair was determined to be complying with California medical cannabis laws.

Sonny Moore and Anthony Pisarski, both Humboldt County farmers, plead guilty to federal allegations but sought an evidentiary hearing based on legislation that prohibits the U.S. Department of Justice from cracking down on cannabis suspects who are otherwise following their state laws.

The 2014 Rohrabacher-Farr amendment is a budget rider, co-authored by California Rep. Dana Rohrabacher which prevents enforcement and prosecution in medical cannabis states by halting federal funding for such projects.

Texas: Congressman Hosts Public Hearing on Reducing Penalties for Cannabis

Texas

HB 334, which was introduced in the special legislative session, would replace criminal penalties for low-level cannabis possession with a civil citation

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

On Wednesday, Texas House Criminal Jurisprudence Committee Chairman Joe Moody held a public hearing to discuss reducing state cannabis possession penalties to support HB 334, which Rep. Moody introduced in the special legislative session in July.

U.S.: Congressmen Urge AG Sessions to Reconsider DOJ Policies on Asset Forfeiture

U.S.: Congressmen Urge AG Sessions to Reconsider DOJ Policies on Asset Forfeiture

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

On August 4, Congressmen Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI) and John Conyers (D-MI) sent the following letter to United States Attorney General Jeff Sessions to express concerns and objections to his proposal to expand the Department of Justice’s civil asset forfeiture program. The letter also urges AG Sessions to reconsider his newly-announced policies.

Washington: Governor Inslee Gives Statement on AG Sessions’ Reefer Madness

jay-jeff-02.jpg

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

On July 24, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions reiterated that “Congress has determined that marijuana is a dangerous drug and that the illegal distribution and sale of marijuana is a crime.” The AG singled out Washington state and said it was not following the law and fueling a war.

Massachusetts: Governor Baker Names Five to Cannabis Advisory Board

Massachusetts Cannabis Advisory Board

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

On Monday, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker named five gubernatorial appointees to Massachusetts’ Cannabis Advisory Board, charged with studying and making recommendations to the Cannabis Control Commission on the regulation and taxation of marijuana.

Minnesota: PTSD Patients Allowed to Obtain Medicinal Cannabis

Minnesota

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

Minnesota residents who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder are permitted to buy medical cannabis from the state’s dispensaries, as of August 1st, under the state's medical marijuana program.

In 2016, Minnesota approved PTSD as a qualifying condition, but patients weren’t permitted to obtain medical cannabis to treat their disorder until August 1st.

Only 105 patients with PTSD had started or completed the registration process in the month leading up to legal sales, despite the addition of the illness to Minnesota’s list of qualifying conditions, according to state data.

Michigan: Proposal to Legalize Cannabis on Pace to Make 2018 Ballot

Michigan Cannabis 2018

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

A ballot initiative to legalize cannabis for recreational use in Michigan is gaining momentum as the group raises more money and claims to have gathered more than half of the signatures needed to put the issue before voters in 2018.

The proposed law would decriminalize the possession of 2.5 ounces of marijuana in public and allow for up 12 plants to be grown per household.

U.S.: National Conference of State Legislatures Urges De-Scheduling Cannabis

NCSL

Resolution approved by state lawmakers from around the nation expresses support for amending the Controlled Substances Act to enable financial institutions to provide banking services to state-legal marijuana businesses; would give states control of their own marijuana policies without federal interference

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

U.S.: Congresswoman Introduces Bill Allowing States to Effectively Regulate Cannabis

US House of Representatives

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

Twenty-nine states and Washington, D.C., have legalized some form of cannabis and more are expected to vote on legalization in 2018. Yet, cannabis possession or use for any purpose is still prohibited under the federal Controlled Substances Act, leaving every participant in the state markets — including cancer patients — at risk of prosecution.

On July 28, Rep. Suzan Delbene (D-WA) reintroduced the State Marijuana And Regulatory Tolerance (SMART) Enforcement Act (H.R. 3534) to protect medical patients, recreational users and small businesses in states that have legalized and regulated cannabis from being prosecuted now or in the future.

U.S.: DOJ Task Force Recommends Against Sessions Targeting Legal Marijuana Providers

doj.jpg

Recommendations would preserve current policy of not interfering with medical and adult-use businesses that comply with state law and federal guidelines

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

A Dept. of Justice task force subcommittee on marijuana policy is not recommending any policy changes that would target state-legal marijuana programs or businesses operating in compliance with state laws, according to a report by the Associated Press. The task force asked for continued study and dialogue on the issue.

Ohio: Former NFL Players, Troy Smith, Eric Metcalf, Look to Open Cannabis Dispensary

Smith - Metcalf

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

Former NFL players Troy Smith and Eric Metcalf are pursuing one of the 60 dispensary licenses that Ohio will be issuing later this year. Smith, the 2006 Heisman Trophy winner who was a fifth-round pick of the Ravens, has said that head trauma he suffered while playing football is one reason he’s involved in cannabis dispensaries.

"Sports is a great thing to watch when you're snacking on chicken wings, but it's dead serious. We need to pay more attention to it and be more delicate," Smith said, adding that he is certain medical cannabis can be helpful to people with brain injuries.

Utah: Congresswoman Love Expresses Support for Medical Cannabis Initiative

Rep. Mia Love

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

At a town hall meeting with constituents on Wednesday, Utah Congresswoman Mia Love (R-Saratoga Springs) responded to questions about her support for medical cannabis.

“I know a lot of parents out there where their children suffer from epilepsy, or they suffer from other things, and if it’s prescribed by a doctor, then I’m fine with it,” Rep. Love said.

Rep Love continued, “I mean we have an opioid epidemic here. Not just here, but all throughout the country, there are things I believe are far more harmful.”

Illinois: Cards Against Humanity Donates $70K To Legalize Cannabis

Cards Against Humanity

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

Cards Against Humanity, a popular adult-themed party card game company out of Chicago, is putting some cash behind efforts to legalize recreational cannabis use in Illinois.

To date, Cards for Humanity has donated $70,000 to the Marijuana Policy Project’s (MPP) efforts to legalize cannabis in Illinois.

Rep. Kelly Cassidy (D), Sponsor of a bill to regulate cannabis for adult use, is a fan of the card game.

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