controlled substances act

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.: Congressmen Introduce Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2017

U.S. Capitol - Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2017

Bill would legalize production of industrial and research hemp in the U.S.

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

Recent Congressional action, which would move the U.S. closer to legalizing industrial hemp, was introduced by Congressman James Comer (KY-01) today in the U.S. House of Representatives. The bipartisan Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2017, which would remove hemp from the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) and legalize its production in all 50 states, has four initial co-sponsors.

"I'm glad to file the Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2017 after getting a bipartisan consensus of Congressmen on board,” said Congressman Comer. “This will be my priority legislation."

U. S.: In Historic Lawsuit, Constitutionality of the Controlled Substances Act Questioned

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By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

Attorney General Jeff Sessions was named a defendant this week in a federal lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the Controlled Substances Act. In an 89-page Complaint, attorneys representing five plaintiffs claims classifying Cannabis as a Schedule I drug violates the U.S. Constitution.

U.S.: Federal Bill Seeking To Reschedule Marijuana To Schedule III Gains Prominent Co-Sponsor

US Capitol

Rescheduling cannabis to Schedule III in the Controlled Substances Act would uphold states rights, allow for cannabis banking and create a path for research, says bill's sponsors

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

On April 6, Florida Congressman Matt Gaetz (R) and Congressman Darren Soto (D) joined forces in a bipartisan effort to make it easier for ill-patients and scientific and medical researchers to obtain marijuana by introducing H.R. 2020, a federal bill rescheduling marijuana to Schedule III of the Controlled Substances Act. On May 24, California Representative Dana Rohrabacher (R), a member of the Congressional Cannabis Caucus, joined on to co-sponsor the bill.

Florida: Governor Scott Vetoes Funding Cancer Center And University For Cannabis Research

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By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

On Monday, Gov. Rick Scott vetoed a budget funding of more than $3 million to the Moffitt Cancer Center and the University of Florida. In the untimely budget veto, Gov. Scott said the university and the cancer center had plenty of money to fund the research on their own.

Cannabis is included in the Controlled Substances Act, which means research on cannabis is stifled by many politicians.

“I want to know the real effects,” State Sen. Bill Galvano, R-Bradenton said “What are the negative effects? What are the downsides?”

U.S.: New Federal Bill Would Reschedule Marijuana As Schedule III

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By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

A new bill introduced to Congress would reschedule marijuana as a Schedule III substance, a classification it would share with Tylenol and codeine.

Two Florida congressmen, Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz and Democratic Rep. Darren Soto, introduced legislation Thursday that would transfer marijuana from its current standing as a Schedule I substance, the strictest of the classifications, to Schedule III of the Controlled Substances Act.

In an interview with The Cannabist, Gaets said that having marijuana on a lower rung would uphold the rights of states that have legalized the medical use of cannabis, allow for banking activities and create a clearer path for research,

“I have supported cannabis reform as a state legislator, and I want to see the people that I fought for in my state have access to a legal, high-quality product that’s been well-researched,” Gaetz said.

If it passes, the yet-to-be-named House Bill 2020 would not affect recreational cannabis businesses in operation.

U.S.: Bernie Sanders Calls The DEA Decision On Marijuana 'Absurd'

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By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

Bernie Sanders and other Democrats have been unhappy with the DEA's recent decision to refuse to reschedule marijuana. The Drug Enforcement Administration had said earlier this year that they would make a decision on whether or not to reschedule marijuana. The decision was made to change nothing, and so marijuana remains grouped with the most harmful substances in America.

The DEA claims that there is “no currently accepted medical use in the United States” for marijuana and so it will remain on the list of Schedule I drugs. Bernie Sanders and many other Americans believe this is a big fat lie. A majority of Americans now believe the substance should be made legal, and the DEA is clearly ignoring the wants and needs of the American public.

Sanders tweeted after the DEA's announcement that “keeping marijuana in the same category as heroin is absurd. The time is long overdue for us to remove the federal prohibition on marijuana.”

He followed up with another tweet, saying “if we are serious about criminal justice reform, we must remove marijuana from the federal Controlled Substance Act.”

Massachusetts: Elizabeth Warren Joins Fellow Senators Asking For Update On Marijuana Classification

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By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

Sen. Elizabeth Warren has signed on to a letter asking the Drug Enforcement Agency and the U.S. Department of Justice for an update on their decision to reclassify marijuana at the federal level.

Currently, marijuana is classified as a "Schedule I" drug under the Controlled Substances Act. The classification is for "drugs with no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse."

The DEA and other agencies earlier this year said they plan to release a determination in the first half of 2016 on re-scheduling marijuana.

"While we appreciate the DEA's willingness to maintain an open dialogue with our offices, we are concerned that 'the first half of 2016' is coming to a close and no rescheduling announcement has been made," the letter from Warren, D-Mass., and others said.

"We continue to believe that the rescheduling of marijuana and the resolution of other regulatory barriers to research is a time-sensitive matter that requires immediate action," the senators added.

In addition to Warren, the senators include Ed Markey, D-Mass.; Barbara Mikulski, D-Maryland; Barbara Boxer, D-California; Ron Wyden, D-Oregon; Jeff Merkley, D-Oregon; Kirsten Gillibrand, D-New York; and Cory Booker, D-New Jersey.

U.S.: Members of Congress To Join Cannabis Business Leaders Thursday and Friday

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Members of Congress on Thursday will join cannabis industry leaders from across the country for a press conference to kick off National Cannabis Industry Association's sixth annual Lobby Days. More than 100 cannabis business professionals will travel to Washington, D.C., to take part in policy discussions and citizen lobby meetings to advocate for fair treatment of the legal cannabis industry.

On May 12, NCIA leaders, business owners, and members of Congress including Representatives Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), Denny Heck (D-WA), and Ed Perlmutter (D-CO), will hold an 11:30am press conference at the House Triangle to kick off two days of meetings across the Hill between cannabis industry leaders and congressional staffs.

Top priorities for these business owners are a solution to the banking crisis, which prevents many legitimate cannabis businesses from accessing basic financial services, and reform to Section 280E of the federal tax code, which forces cannabis business to pay double or triple the effective federal tax rates of any other industry.

NCIA members will also advocate for the descheduling of marijuana from the Controlled Substances Act, which would give states the authority to make their own decisions about how to handle cannabis legality, much as they currently do with alcohol.

D.C.: Leaders On Capitol Hill For National Cannabis Industry Association's Lobby Days

NationalCannabisIndustryAssociationLobbyDays2016.jpg

Cannabis industry leaders from across the country next week will travel to Washington, D.C., for the National Cannabis Industry Association's sixth annual Lobby Days. More than 100 cannabis business professionals will take part in policy discussions and citizen lobby meetings to advocate for fair treatment of the legal cannabis industry.

On Thursday, May 12, NCIA leaders, business owners, and members of Congress will hold an 11:30am press conference at the House Triangle to kick off two days of meetings across the Hill between cannabis industry leaders and congressional staffs.

Top priorities for these business owners are a solution to the banking crisis, which prevents many legitimate cannabis businesses from accessing basic financial services, and reform to Section 280E of the federal tax code, which forces cannabis business to pay double or triple the effective federal tax rates of any other industry.

NCIA members will also advocate for the de-scheduling of marijuana from the Controlled Substances Act, which would give states the authority to make their own decisions about how to handle cannabis legality, much as they currently do with alcohol.

D.C.: DCMJ Says White House Meeting Was Good First Step

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Legalization Group Seeks Higher Level Sit Down

DCMJ, the cannabis legalization group that successfully worked to pass the Initiative 71 ballot measure legalizing marijuana in the District of Columbia, called their meeting with the White House “a move in the right direction” toward removing marijuana from Schedule One of the Controlled Substance Act.

“This is a good first step, but we hope to continue the dialogue with the White House,” said Adam Eidinger, co-founder of DCMJ. “We thanked the White House for extending the invitation, but it is clear that our work is far from finished.

"This is only the start," Eidinger said. "What we are requesting is a higher level meeting with senior administration officials, ultimately moving toward a cannabis policy reform summit with President Obama and key stakeholders such as patients, patient advocates, business owners, grassroots advocates, the disabled community, scientists, the medical community, veterans and others.”

District Of Columbia: Obama Administration Invites DCMJ To White House For Meeting On Marijuana Scheduling Issue

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By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

The White House extended an invitation to the leadership of DCMJ, the marijuana legalization that successfully worked to pass Initiative 71, the ballot measure that legalized marijuana in the District of Columbia.

The invitation is for a meeting on Monday, April 25, to discuss marijuana law and the Controlled Substances Act. DCMJ recently held a peaceful “Reschedule 420” demonstration and non-violent civil disobedience on Pennsylvania Avenue, that featured a 51-foot inflatable joint and drew thousands of activists and supporters, some of whom lit up weed in defiance of the federal government listing marijuana as a Schedule One drug.

“DCMJ appreciates greatly the invitation by the Obama administration to begin an educated and passionate dialogue into the need to remove cannabis from the list of Schedule One drugs,” said Adam Eidinger, co-founder of DCMJ. “Thanks to Schedule One of the Controlled Substances Act, Americans, especially people of color, are needlessly incarcerated, and critical medical research into the healing properties of cannabis is placed on hold for no good reason.”

D.C.: Citizens, Activists Rally And Roll Up To The White House With 51-Foot 'Joint'

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On Saturday, April 2 at 2 p.m., DCMJ — the organization that played a critical role in passing Ballot Initiative 71, which legalized marijuana in our nation’s capital — along with leaders, activists, advocacy groups and citizens gathered along Pennsylvania Avenue directly north of the White House to demand that President Obama use his authority to reschedule cannabis now.

Why on April 2nd? "The Obama Administration has been a big ZERO on cannabis reform," according to DCMJ, so the organization is rescheduling and actively removing the “ZERO” from “4/20.”

DCMJ has officially requested that President Obama reclassify cannabis as a less harmful substance multiple times since he has taken office in January 2009. However, no action has been taken to reschedule cannabis to date.

Meanwhile, the placement of cannabis in the same category as drugs like heroin — which brutally kills thousands of Americans each each year — remains not only irresponsible, unjust and unfitting, but also makes a continued mockery of the Controlled Substances Act.

On Saturday, April 2 at 4:20 p.m. in response to the Obama Administration’s lack of action on descheduling cannabis, Americans gathered at The White House to demand immediate action is taken. Event participants also helped to carry a 51 foot “joint” at what is being called the “EmergencyNational Mobilization to Reschedule Cannabis.”

U.S.: Oregon Delegation Legislative Action - Removal of Cannabis from the Controlled Substances Act

United States

Oregon Officials,

We are in a time of great change in our country with respect to the attitudes toward and understanding about cannabis, and as citizens, we will continue to fight for the liberation of the cannabis plant. Thousands of scientific studies have shown that cannabis has therapeutic, medicinal properties, yet cannabis remains listed federally as a Schedule I drug.

In the 1980’s, DEA Administrative Law Judge Francis L Young stated, “Marijuana, in its natural form, is one of the safest therapeutically active substances known to man."

Compassionate Investigational New Drug program is a US Government-run program that allows a limited number of patients to use medical cannabis grown at the University of Mississippi. It is administered by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) but no longer allows new patients. Oregon resident, Elvy Musikka, entered the program in 1988 and relies on the program's cannabis supply to alleviate her symptoms of glaucoma.

In 1999, the United States Department of Health and Human Services filed Patent 6630507 for cannabinoids as antioxidants and neuroprotectants.

In June 2010, the Oregon Board of Pharmacy reclassified cannabis from a Schedule I drug to a Schedule II drug.

U.S.: Credit Union Fights In Court To Become World's First Marijuana Bank

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

In a high-stakes, closely watched lawsuit, the founders of the Fourth Corner Credit Union, which wants to become the world's first bank focused on the marijuana industry, is suing the U.S. Federal Reserve for the right to do so.

There's more at stake that just the fate of the credit union, reports Joel Warner at the International Business Times. The results of the case could have a ripple effect across the cannabis industry, which everyone agrees is currently lacking proper financial services.

"This transcript is going to be read around the world and your decision will have an effect around the United States in a major, major way," Mark Mason, attorney for the plaintiffs, told Judge R. Brooke Jackson on Monday.

"This isn't something that is going away," Mason said during his impassioned oral arguments for the credit union, whose founders include several members of his immediate family. “This is something that is going to be a part of the next generation and the future, and we need to get it right. And if we are not going to have banking ... and have millions and millions of dollars on the streets where bad things can happen, that is not responsible.”

U.S.: Hempseed Oil Production Hobbled By Low THC Limits; Energy Independence Beckons

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

What if I told you that every legal hemp field in the world is being artificially limited in its productivity?

According to hemp expert Paul Stanford, high-THC varieties of cannabis can substantially outproduce low-THC hemp varieties when it comes to both hempseed oil production (which can be used both as fuel, and as a food source with important proteins and essential fatty acids, EFAs) and also for hemp fiber production.

Stanford, of the Campaign for the Restoration and Regulation of Hemp (CRRH, which owns Hemp News) wants a study to quantify just how much more productive fields of high THC cannabis could be for both hempseed oil and fiber.

"I've been working to get a graduate student at Oregon State University to help us quantify high THC hemp production," Stanford told Hemp News on Friday. "I talked to the student; we went to her professor; her professor ran it up the flagpole and eventually got to the President's office at OSU.

"They said you can't do studies on industrial hemp, because it's illegal under federal law and because that OSU could be in danger of losing its land grant college status," Stanford said. "I was told there are only 10 or 11 federal land grant universities and colleges in the United States, and that they were afraid they'd lose that federal funding because hemp violates federal law.

U.S.: National Cannabis Industry Association Applauds Bernie Sanders' Legalization Move

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Sanders bill would remove marijuana from Controlled Substances Act, allow states to establish cannabis policies

The National Cannabis Industry Association on Thursday applauded new legislation to be introduced by Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) which would remove marijuana from the Controlled Substances Act and allow it to be regulated similarly to alcohol.

That approach would allow states that choose a legal, regulated approach to marijuana to move forward without federal interference and allow banking access and fair taxation to state-compliant cannabis businesses.

"Mr. President, too many Americans in this country have seen their lives destroyed because they have criminal records as a result of marijuana use," Sanders said on the Senate floor on Thursday. "That’s wrong. That has got to change."

"The time is long overdue for us to take marijuana off of the federal government’s list of outlawed drugs," Sen. Sanders said. (Read Senator Sanders’s prepared remarks here, delivered on the Senate floor on Thursday.)

“More than half of Americans now live in states where marijuana is legal in some form. And more than half of Americans now say marijuana should be fully legal,” said NCIA executive director Aaron Smith. “Federal law should respect these states, these voters, and the responsible cannabis businesses they support.

Wisconsin: Menominee Tribe's Hemp Crop Destroyed By DEA Agents

WisconsinMenomineeHempRaid[WBAY]

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Federal agents on Friday destroyed an industrial hemp crop on the lands of the Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin.

The tribe in May had legalized low THC, non-psychoactive industrial hemp by tribal licenses on its own land, reports Christie Green of CBS 58.

Congress last year passed a Farm Bill which creates an exemption to the Controlled Substances Act to allow for the cultivation and study of industrial hemp under some circumstances. The hemp crop was intended to be a legal crop allowed by the Farm Bill, according to the tribe.

"I am deeply disappointed that the Obama administration has made the decision to utilize the full force of the DEA to raid our Tribe," said Chairman Gary Besaw. "We were attempting to grow industrial hemp for research purposes in accordance with the farm bill.

"We offered to take any differences in the interpretation of the farm bill to federal court," Besaw said. "Instead, the Obama administration sent agents to destroy our crop while allowing recreational marijuana in Colorado.

"I just wish the President would explain to tribes why we can't grow industrial hemp like states, and even more importantly, why we don't deserve an opportunity to make our argument to a federal judge rather than having our community raided by the DEA?" Besaw said.

Oregon: Congressman Earl Blumenauer Calls For End To Failed Marijuana Prohibition

EarlBlumenauerPointsUp[AssociatedPress]

As Oregon’s Emerging Marijuana Industry Visits Capitol Hill, Rep. Blumenauer Calls for Federal Government to Get Out of the Way

As representatives from the Oregon Cannabis Association visited Capitol Hill on Wednesday, Representative Earl Blumenauer (OR-03) on the House floor called for an end to the federal government’s failed approach of marijuana prohibition.

“Mr. Speaker, advocates from the new emerging marijuana industry in Oregon are descending on Capitol Hill at a very critical time for this fledgling industry," Congressman Blumenauer said. "They have a report about the implementation of Oregon’s Ballot Measure 91, overwhelming approved by voters last year to legalize, tax, and regulate marijuana at the state level.

“Possession became legal July 1st," Blumenauer said. "Retail sales were authorized in existing dispensaries on the 1st of October to significant interest around the state. The first week saw an estimated $11 million in sales. They are working hard to implement the spirit and the letter of the measure, working closely with the Oregon legislature to refine it – learning from the experiences of states like Washington and Colorado that have already legalized adult use.

“Theirs is a positive story of economic opportunity, product development, tax revenues, more freedom for individuals, and eliminating the racial disparities in the enforcement of a failed policy of prohibition that comes down heavily against young men of color – especially African Americans," Rep. Blumenauer said.

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