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United States: LSU, Ole Miss, Southern University, Cultivating Cannabis

Ole Miss Federal Cannabis Plot

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

The Louisiana State University (LSU) Ag Center and Southern University Ag Center will soon be joining the University of Mississippi as an official medical cannabis producers.

Recently, the Louisiana Legislature passed a law allowing LSU and Southern University to cultivate and produce medical cannabis. The research will include extensive studies on cannabis to treat HIV, AIDS, cancer and seizure disorders.

“The medical research on this, in terms of marijuana, is lacking in general. We have a lot of antidotal information, but not a lot of real clinical studies of if you do this, you get this outcome,” said vice president of LSU agriculture, Dr. Bill Richardson.

U.S.: Congressman Reintroduces Legislation to Give Students a Second Chance

Illinois Cannabis Arrests

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

On July 14, Illinois Congressman Bill Foster (D) reintroduced legislation to change penalties students face when convicted of minor marijuana offenses. The Second Chance for Students Act would allow students convicted of an offense involving the possession of marijuana to retain financial aid eligibility for six months while they complete a drug rehabilitation program.

Under current U. S. Federal policy, students convicted of drug offenses lose eligibility for federal financial aid for a period of time.

"One mistake should not ruin a student’s future,” Representative Foster said.

Massachusetts: Legislature Compromises on Legalization Implementation Bill

Massachusetts: Legislature Compromises on Legalization Implementation Bill

The House had previously voted for far-reaching changes to the law passed by voters in November 2016; compromise bill more closely reflects ballot initiative

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

After weeks of talks and missed deadlines, legislators in Massachusetts have reached an agreement on legislation that will make changes to Question 4, the law to regulate marijuana for adults that was approved by voters in November 2016.

Delaware: Governor and Lawmakers Expand Access to Medical Cannabis for PTSD Patients

Delaware Cannabis

Senate Bill 24, signed last week, will improve access to treatment for Delaware veterans

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

On July 12, Delaware Governor John Carney signed into law Senate Bill 24, which will expand access to medical marijuana treatment for Delaware veterans, and other Delawareans, suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

United States: Senators Stand Up To Protect Veterans, States' Rights

Cannabis

Amendment Would Provide Veterans the Opportunity to Discuss Medical Marijuana with their Doctor

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

U.S. Senators Steve Daines (MT-R) and Jeff Merkley (OR-D) successfully included an amendment, which passed committee 24-7 vote, in the FY 2018 Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act that protects veterans’ ability to discuss with VA physicians the use of medical marijuana in states where it is legal.

North Carolina: Farmers Think Hemp Offers Great Potential for State's Economy

Hemp

Hemp farmers believe the crop has great potential for North Carolina's economy

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

The North Carolina General Assembly passed industrial hemp legislation in 2015, which was signed into law by former Gov. Pat McCrory. After two years of establishing bureaucratic rules, which include licenses to import hemp seed, a license to plant the hemp seed and consent to THC testing and GPS tracking from the Department of Agriculture, farmers are growing the crop in 2017.

Mann Mullen, a Franklin County farmer, is turning to industrial hemp. Mullen's business, Mullen View Farms, one of 75 farms in North Carolina that recently earned state approval to test the crop's viability, is looking forward to the new crop's potential.

Florida: Attorney Sues State Regarding Anti-Cannabis Smoking Legislation

Florida Medical Marijuana

House Majority Leader Ray Rodrigues, the legislator who sponsored the troublesome legislation and insisted on the smoking ban, defends lawmakers’ actions

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

Last Thursday, Orlando attorney John Morgan sued the state of Florida stating the new SB 8A law banning smoking medical cannabis is in violation of Amendment 2, the voter-initiated constitutional amendment that passed last November with 71 percent of the vote.

Utah: Poll of Likely Voters Shows 73% Support for a Medical Cannabis Ballot Initiative

Utah Medical Marijuana Poll - February 2017

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

A February poll of 402 Utahns found that 73% of voters support a medical cannabis ballot initiative, with only 20% opposed and 7% undecided.

“The poll results show overwhelming and broad support for medical cannabis in Utah,” said DJ Schanz, director of Utah Patients Coalition, a political campaign committee formed to support a 2018 ballot initiative to establish a medical cannabis program in Utah. “Voters believe that patients should be able to safely and legally access the medicine they need.”

U.S.: Senators to Attorney General Sessions: Reassure Hemp Industry You Will Uphold the Law

Jeff Sessions Uphold Law

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

Recently, U.S. Senators Rand Paul (R-KY), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Al Franken (D-MN), and Michael Bennet (D-CO) urged Attorney General Jeff Sessions to address their constituents’ concerns regarding the hemp industry’s access to financial services by confirming the Department of Justice will respect Congress’ recent actions on industrial hemp pilot programs.

U.S.: Congressman Disputes Anti-Cannabis Organization’s ‘Lie’

Representative Earl Blumenauer

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

In June, the loudest prohibitionist cheerleader committed to continuing the failed War on Drugs sent out a press statement showing they are continuing to try and roll back progress on cannabis reform.

Kevin Sabet and his organization, SAM (Smart Approaches to Marijuana) falsely claimed that the Rohrabacher-Blumenauer provision prohibiting the Department of Justice from enforcing federal laws against state-legal medical marijuana programs was removed from the Congressional spending bill.

U.S.: Nevada Representative Kihuen Asks U.S. Attorney General Sessions To Honor Will of Voters

Representative Kihuen / U.S. Attorney General Sessions

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

WASHINGTON, D.C. – On June 30, Nevada Representative Ruben J. Kihuen (D - 4th District) sent a letter to U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions asking that the Department of Justice continue to not prosecute cannabis-related cases where the alleged crime is legal under state law.

Science: Cannabidiol Administration Reduces Blood Pressure, Study Says

Cannabidiol

A single dose of cannabidiol reduces blood pressure in healthy volunteers in a randomized crossover study

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

According to clinical trial data published online in the Journal of Clinical Investigation, Oral CBD administration is associated with reduced blood pressure in healthy volunteers.

Michigan: Cannabis Legalization Campaign Hits 100,000 Signature Milestone

Michigan Signature Gathering

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

LANSING, MI — Marijuana legalization supporters announced Monday afternoon that the signature collection effort is running ahead of schedule with more than 100,000 signatures collected to-date. The Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol, which must collect 252,523 valid signatures over the summer to place the question on Michigan’s Nov. 2018 ballot, plans to submit signatures sometime this fall.

If approved by voters, Michigan would legalize personal possession, cultivation, and use of cannabis for adults 21 and older, legalize the cultivation of industrial hemp, license cannabis businesses that cultivate, process, test, transport, and sell marijuana, and protect consumers with proper testing and safety regulations for retail cannabis.

New York: Industrial Hemp Farmer Promotes Crop As Sustainable Option

Hemp Chart

New York hemp farmer believes industrial hemp could be crop that puts the North Country on the map

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

An Ellisburg company, one of six around the state to be awarded a permit to grow industrial hemp for research, believes hemp will flourish in New York.

Mark Privitera, an industrial hemp farmer, believes hemp can be used as house insulation and the wood core can be carbonized to store energy. Privitera's ultimate goal would be an industrial hemp processing plant in Watertown within 3-5 years, which would produce industrial hemp products for commercial sale.

Oregon: Beaver State Celebrates Second Anniversary of Legal Cannabis

Oregon

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

On July 1, 2015, Oregon joined Colorado, Washington, Washington D.C. and Alaska in regulating recreational cannabis for adults over the age of 21. The Oregon law, which allows an individual the ability to carry one ounce of cannabis, possess up to 8 ounces and cultivate four (4) cannabis plants at their residence, was passed in November 2014 as Measure 91.

Mark Pettinger, the spokesperson for the Recreational Marijuana Program with Oregon Liquor Control Commission (OLCC), said in a statement, “From January 2016 to now, I’d say we have made pretty good progress with the tools we have and the support we have.”

“Now we’re close to 1,300 licenses that have been issued and close to 3,000 applicants,” Pettinger added.

Wisconsin: Bills to Decriminalize Possession of 10 Grams of Cannabis Introduced

Wisconsin

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

On June 27, Rep. Adam Jarchow (R-Balsam Lake), Rep. Evan Goyke (D-Milwaukee), Rep. Jonathan Brostoff (D-Milwaukee) and Sen. Fred Risser (D-Madison), unveiled Assembly Bill 409, a bill that would decriminalize possessing small amounts of cannabis, but acknowledged the bill's potentially grim fate in a conservative controlled Wisconsin Legislature.

On June 23, Senate Bill 318, a similar cannabis decriminalization bill introduced into the Wisconsin Senate, was referred to Committee on Judiciary and Public Safety.

U.S.: Federal Bills Seek To Reclassify Drug Possession Felonies as Misdemeanors

U.S. Capitol

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

On June 27, Minnesota Congressman Keith Ellison (D) reintroduced the Reclassification to Ensure Smarter and Equal Treatment Act of 2017, known as the RESET Act. The bipartisan legislation would reclassify specific low-level, non-violent drug possession felonies as misdemeanors. On May 27, Senators Rand Paul (R-KY) and Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) introduced the original bill, S. 1252 in the United States Senate.

New York: State Department of Health Announces Enhancements to Medical Marijuana Program

New York Cannabis

Certified Patients Increase By More Than 7,500 Since Addition of Chronic Pain

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

On June 22, the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) announced several new enhancements to the state's Medical Marijuana Program as the number of certified patients continues to rise since the late March addition of chronic pain as a qualifying condition. Enhancements will streamline and simplify the registration process for practitioners, making it easier to certify patients for the medical marijuana program.

California: Godmother of Marijuana, Lynette Shaw, Back in Business

Lynette Shaw

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

Fairfax, California, a small Marin County town, has a unique business which has been on the forefront of the nascent cannabis industry, Lynette Shaw’s Marin Alliance for Medical Marijuana (MAMM) — one of the first medical-marijuana dispensaries in the United States. MAMM, hosted its grand reopening this week, after winning a federal court case that began in the late 1990s. Shaw, “godmother to all the dispensaries”, is cherishing the long-awaited homecoming.

“I never married, I never had children. I birthed this, instead,” Shaw said. “This is my family. And they’re coming back.”

Utah: Medical Cannabis Initiative Moves Forward Towards 2018 Ballot

Utah Medical Cannabis

The ballot initiative would set up state-regulated cannabis growing and dispensing operations and allow the drug to be consumed in edible forms, in topical forms or as an oil, however, smoking cannabis would not be allowed, but vaping would

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

Medical cannabis activists in Utah have filed the necessary paperwork to get the issue before voters in 2018. The Utah Lt. Governor's Office will review the language for legality and fiscal impact to taxpayers. Before qualifying for the November 2018 ballot, the Utah Patients Coalition must hold seven public hearings throughout Utah and collect 113,143 signatures from registered voters around the state.

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