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Florida: Universities Set to Begin Researching Industrial Hemp

Industrial Hemp

The University of Florida and Florida A&M University both qualified to spearhead the state's pilot hemp project

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

Florida farmers are looking for an alternative cash crop, with citrus production down. A new law, SB 1726, signed by Gov. Rick Scott on Friday gives universities in the state with a college of agriculture permission to research hemp.

The bill, sponsored by Sen. Bill Montford, D-Tallahassee, with a companion bill sponsored by Rep. Dr. Ralph Massullo, R-Beverly Hills, allows for universities to develop pilot projects to cultivate, process, test, research, create and market safe commercial applications for industrial hemp.

Latin America: Mexico Legalizes Medical Marijuana

Mexico Cannabis 2017

Under the new law, cannabis cultivation for medical and scientific purposes are not punishable

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

In 1920, Mexico banned the production, sale, and recreational use of cannabis. Yesterday, Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto published an official decree that makes medical marijuana legal in Mexico. The historic change in policy, which passed Mexico’s lower house in parliament with a 374-7 vote on April 28, opens the door for medicinal cannabis as an option to treat ailments.

U.S.: Attorney General Jeff Sessions War On Cannabis Needs To End, Says ALCU

Attorney General Sessions, Prohibitionist

Our top law enforcement official is a criminal justice dinosaur who has a history of endorsing ineffective policies and racist political rhetoric, says American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

Forty-six years ago, when President Richard Nixon declared drug abuse to be “America’s public enemy number one”, decades of harmful and misguided rhetoric began. In an op-ed last Friday, Attorney General Jeff Sessions touted misleading statistics and called for tougher sentencing. The propaganda is AG Sessions latest effort to escalate the War on Drugs and undo medical and recreational cannabis laws.

Alabama: City of Mobile Cannabis Decriminalization Proposal Withdrawn by Mayor

Mobile, Alabama

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

Mobile, Alabama Mayor Sandy Stimpson, the sponsor of a City Ordinance that would have decriminalized several minor cannabis offenses in the City of Mobile, withdrew his proposal yesterday. The ordinance, which would have lessened penalties for possession of small amounts of cannabis by issuing a citation instead of an arrest, appears to have stalled in the City of Mobile.

Several cities across the country have passed similar ordinances to bypass the arrest process for cannabis including Detroit, Chicago, and Columbia, MO.

New York: Senate Passes Bill Allowing Patients With PTSD Access to Medical Cannabis

New York Cannabis

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

A bipartisan proposal to add post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as a qualifying condition for New York’s medical cannabis program has received final approval from state lawmakers and is headed to the desk of Gov. Andrew Cuomo. The Senate passed S 5629 on Tuesday (50-13), and the Assembly version, A 7006, received overwhelming approval in May (131-8).

S 5629 was introduced by Sen. Diane Savino (D-Staten Island) with a bipartisan coalition of seven co-sponsors, including Sen. Martin Golden (R-Brooklyn), who previously opposed medical marijuana legislation. A second bill, A 7006, was introduced by Assembly Health Committee Chair Richard N. Gottfried (D-Manhattan) with bipartisan support.

North Carolina: Industrial Hemp May Replace Tobacco As Cash Crop

NC Hemp

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

In North Carolina this summer, farmers are experimenting with industrial hemp as a potential cash crop as an option to replace tobacco.

On Monday, Jay Foushee, a fourth-generation farmer, planted more than 6,000 industrial hemp plants. In 2014, a change in the law made the agricultural production of industrial hemp a reality.

"We call it Carolina Gold," Foushee said. "The potential income we can make on this crop is more than we can make on grain right now."

Ohio: Former NFL Linebacker, Reggie Williams, Says Cannabis Saved Leg

Reggie Willams, Cincinnati Bengals

Former NFL linebacker Reggie Williams has joined the growing list of former pro-athletes advocating for cannabis

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

Reggie Williams, who played 14 seasons from '76 to '89 with the Cincinnati Bengals, has been using a cannabis Cannabidiol (CBD) patch to fight chronic leg pain. Williams decided against treating the pain with opioids that could lead to a lifetime of drug addiction while undergoing treatment for the leg injury. Williams stated, "I didn't want to go from all those surgeries to being an addict for the rest of my life in order to stay sane" while dealing with chronic pain.

Iowa: Medical Cannabis Program Expands, Accepting Applications

Iowa Cannabis

Thousands of Iowans one step closer to medicinal cannabis as an option

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

On Monday, registration cards for Iowa's new medicinal cannabis oil became available from the Iowa Department of Public Health. In a historic first, Iowans who suffer from a multitude of diseases, including Parkinson's disease, Cancer, Multiple Sclerosis, seizures, AIDS or HIV, Crohn's disease, or Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, as well as most terminal illnesses that involve a life expectancy of less than one year, will have the chance the to enroll in the state's new medical cannabis program. The new law, formerly House File 524, was signed by Gov. Terry Branstad in May.

Michigan: Effort to End Marijuana Prohibition Gathering Signatures, Seeking Volunteers

Michigan Cannabis

If passed, Michigan would tax cannabis at retail levels with a 10 percent excise tax and six percent sales tax, which would support K-12 public schools, roads, and local governments

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

Last month, the Michigan Board of Canvassers approved a petition for a state ballot initiative that would regulate marijuana. 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.

U.S.: PA Governor Vows to Protect Medical Marijuana Patients From AG Sessions

Gov Wolf Letter To Jeff Sessions

"If you [Attorney General Sessions] seek to further disrupt our ability to establish a legal way to deliver relief of medical marijuana to our citizens, I will ask the Attorney General of Pennsylvania to take legal action to protect our residents and state sovereignty." Governor Tom Wolf

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

In a letter to U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf said the federal government should not get in the way of Pennsylvania delivering relief via medical marijuana to suffering children, families and veterans. The letter comes after reports that Attorney General Sessions had personally asked Congress to repeal an amendment that protected state-approved medical marijuana programs from disruption by the federal government.

Colorado: Cannabis Tax-Funded Program Awards Scholarships Totaling $420,000

Cannabis Tax-Funded Program

Each of the recipients will be getting $2,000 for the 2017-18 school year

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

The Pueblo Hispanic Education Foundation (PHEF) and Pueblo County Commissioners have awarded scholarships totaling $420,000 for the 2017-18 school year. The program, believed to be the world’s first cannabis tax-funded scholarship program, will award approximately $2,000 of it to 210 students on June 20.

The scholarship, which was made possible through cannabis revenue, raised an additional $50,000 by utilizing grant-matching from the Colorado Opportunity Scholarship Initiative.

United States: Prosecution of Cannabis Attorney May Impact Industry

Cannabis Law

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

In May, California attorney Jessica McElfresh was charged with multiple felonies, including conspiracy to commit a crime, obstructing justice, and manufacturing a controlled substance, by the San Diego County district attorney.

The 15-page felony complaint, filed by District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis, accuses James Slatic, two of his executives, and McElfresh (Slatic's attorney) of conspiracy and manufacturing a controlled substance, alleging the attorney helped Slatic cover up a cannabis concentrate manufacturing operation.

Illinois: Industrial Hemp May Become State's Newest Cash Crop

Hemp Field, 2009

Illinois farmers may soon be able to add hemp to their rotation

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

SB 1294, an industrial hemp bill sponsored by Sen. Toi Hutchinson, D-Olympia Fields, which passed unanimously in the Illinois Senate, would allow the Illinois Department of Agriculture to license farmers to grow industrial hemp.

United States: Congress Revives Federal Medical Cannabis Legislation with CARERS Act

US Capitol

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

A new federal bill, the Compassionate Access, Research Expansion, and Respect States Act (CARERS), sponsored by Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ), Senator Mike Lee (R-UT), Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Senator Rand Paul (R-KY), Senator Al Franken (D-MN), and Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), would take four major actions to protect state medical marijuana programs. The bill would prohibit the Department of Justice from interfering with state medical cannabis laws, allow Veterans Administration doctors to recommend cannabis in legal states, expand research on cannabis, and remove cannabidiol (CBD) from the Controlled Substances Act.

Survey: 87 Percent of NFL Players Support Medical Cannabis Use

NFL Cannabis

The majority of NFL players use opiate-based painkillers, and most would rather try medical cannabis for pain relief, according to survey

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

A recent survey sent to current and former National Football League (NFL) players shows 87 percent of players think the league should change its stance on cannabis and allow players to utilize the herb for medical purposes.

The 38-page survey, which includes answers from 152 respondents, reveals 89 percent of players think medical cannabis could be used to effectively treat pain if the league allowed it. Approximately 45 percent of players surveyed said they felt pressured into using chemical painkillers by team doctors, staff, and teammates.

North Dakota: Industrial Hemp Production Expands, Farmers Excited For Future

National Hemp Association

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

Over the past few years, North Dakota's hemp production has grown into the third-largest in the nation behind Kentucky and Colorado. This year, there were 3,124 acres accepted for North Dakota’s 2017 industrial hemp program. In 2016, 70 acres of hemp were planted. The boom brought interest from processing plants, with several scheduled to open by harvest.

At the moment, Healthy Oilseeds, located in Carrington, is the only processing plant certified to handle hemp in the state. The processing plant offers milling, roasting and cold press. "There’s a possibility the new plant could be built yet this year in an effort to get in on part of this season’s production", according to Healthy Oilseeds President Roger Gussiaas.

Global: Uruguay and Canada Moving Forward on Cannabis Legalization

International Cannabis

Canada and Uruguay currently honor the 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, the 1971 Convention on Psychotropic Substances and the 1988 Convention against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

Uruguay‘s Ambassador to Ottawa, Martin Vidal, is working with Canada on the implementation of global cannabis regulations. To do so, Canada and Uruguay must comply with three United Nations drug control treaties, since they honor those treaties.

In April, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau introduced legislation with a goal of legalizing and regulating the use of recreational cannabis by July 2018.

Europe: Czech Republic and France Have More Cannabis Users Than Anywhere Else in Europe, Study Suggests

Cannabis In Europe

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

Most people think of Amsterdam’s coffee shops when it comes European cannabis, but new data from the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) says Paris and Prague have higher rates of cannabis consumers with 11% of respondents in each country admitting to cannabis use in the past year.

United States: Four NFL Players Ask Jeff Sessions To Fix The Justice System

Justice

The war on drugs is a war most of the country, unlike Attorney General Jeff Sessions, would like to end

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

Current National Football League (NFL) players, Johnson Bademosi (Detroit), Anquan Boldin (Detroit), Malcolm Jenkins (Philadelphia) and Glover Quin (Detroit), have written a column that advocates against what could be a renewed war on drugs. The op-ed piece, posted at CNN.com, is a response to Attorney General Jeff Sessions request for prosecutors to seek the strongest possible sentences in all situations, including non-violent drug offenses.

California: Legal Cannabis Potentially a $5-Billion Boon to Economy, Study Finds

Cannabis Boon

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

With the passage of Proposition 64, California’s looming legal recreational cannabis market could total more than $5 billion in annual sales, according to a study by the University of California Agricultural Issues Center.

The university’s study, which was contracted by the the state’s Bureau of Marijuana Control, forecast that legal recreational sales will make up 61.5% of California’s total cannabis market and legal medical cannabis about 9%. About 29% of all cannabis consumers may stay in the illegal market.

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