Browsing: Feds ‘N Heads

ed-perlmutter-house-gove-2019live.house.gov

Days before Congressman Ed Perlmutter was scheduled to speak at a cannabis management conference in Denver this week, he had a defining moment in Washington, D.C. His bill that would allow banking institutions to serve legal cannabis companies became not only the first pot-related proposal to be considered by the full House of Representatives in over fifty years, it actually passed.

“Had we not passed that bill last week, I did not want to talk to you people at all,” Perlmutter jokingly told a room full of cannabis regulators and business owners during the City of Denver’s Marijuana Management Symposium on Thursday, October 3. “The banking piece really is the thing that is the icebreaker in all of this.”

incredibles_collins20180814_035_1_Jacqueline Collins

The United States House of Representatives just approved a bill that would allow banks and financial institutions to serve marijuana businesses in states where it is legal without risking federal prosecution, marking a landmark step towards marijuana reform.

Introduced by Colorado Representative Ed Perlmutter, the SAFE Banking Act needed approval from two-thirds of the House’s 435 members, or 290 yes votes. It got 321, becoming the first marijuana-centered bill to reach a Congressional floor for a vote — as well as the first to pass.

mcgettigan_photo (1)Courtesy of Tim McGettigan

Colorado State University-Pueblo professor Tim McGettigan recently published The Politics of Marijuana, a book about the past, present and future of cannabis in the political and social sphere. Specifically, he focused on the anti-cannabis crusade of the 1930s and how it influenced the way cannabis is still taboo for many today, despite more nationwide support for the plant than ever before.

We caught up with McGettigan to learn more about his book and where he thinks cannabis legalization will take the country in the future.

veritas_farm_collins20190807_005Jacqueline Collins

Colorado is on the short list of states whose farmers will soon be eligible for federal crop insurance.

Hemp had been barred from eligibility for protection through the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation because of its similarities to marijuana. With the passage of 2018’s Farm Bill, however, hemp officially became a legal crop for farmers — if their respective states chose to legalize hemp farming

420-2019-civic-center-collins (1)Jacqueline Collins

The United States surgeon general wants Americans, particularly teens, young adults and pregnant women, to put the brakes on cannabis.

At an August 29 announcement of a new health advisory about the rising popularity of pot use, Surgeon General Jerome Adams warned of the dangers of potent cannabis, overeating edibles and the plant’s effects on pregnant mothers, unborn children and the developing brains of young people.

veritas_farm_collins20190807_038 (1)Jacqueline Collins

The prospect for more federal marijuana research improved significantly today, August 26, when the Drug Enforcement Administration announced it would begin to “facilitate and expand scientific and medical research for marijuana in the United States.”

With only one marijuana cultivation designated for federally approved research purposes over the past fifty years — located at the University of Mississippi — proponents both for and against cannabis legalization have complained about the DEA’s lack of progress on significant research. Applications to grow marijuana for federal studies had been stalled for several years under Attorney General Jeff Sessions, and the agency was even sued by a researcher it had permitted to conduct cannabis research over the lack of quality marijuana to use for her studies.

sue.sisley.phoenix.new.times.largePhoenix New Times

Dr. Sue Sisley holds the rare distinction of being licensed by the Drug Enforcement Administration to study marijuana, so why is she suing the DEA over its marijuana research policies?

In a lawsuit filed in the United States Court of Appeals in June, Sisley claims that the DEA has created a monopoly around federally licensed marijuana research. By requiring that researchers only use marijuana from the University of Mississippi for their studies, she charges that federally licensed marijuana researchers are limited to low-grade cannabis without proper variety.

den_canna_20150717_colorado-harvest-register_slentz_05 (1)Scott Lentz

The push for federal cannabis banking legalization took another baby step on July 23 when the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs heard a bill that would allow financial institutions to serve companies connected with cannabis, which is still federally illegal.

Introduced by Senator Jeff Merkley of Oregon, the SAFE Banking Act would protect banks and other financial outfits from federal charges if they provide accounts, loans and other services to pot businesses as well as ancillary enterprises that work with cannabis-focused enterprises, such as real estate agencies, accountants and other business vendors.

mcba_opportunity_summit_collins20180325_010Jacqueline Collins

Over 100 cannabis businesses and organizations just sent a letter to Congressional leaders calling for federal legalization of the plant, but their request didn’t stop there. The letter also urged federal funding be used to diversify the cannabis industry, as well as administer retroactive justice for old pot convictions and help communities impacted the most by the war on drugs.

Cannabis is still far from legal in the eyes of the federal government, but Congress has been more open-minded lately. The House of Representatives has advanced legislation that would explicitly allow banks and financial institutions to serve medical and recreational cannabis businesses in states where they are legal, and the Senate just held a hearing on the same bill.

michael-bowman-willie-nelson-hemp-flag-2013-courtesy-one-time (1)Photo courtesy of Michael Bowman

It’s been six years since Colorado native Michael Bowman pulled off a monumental coup for hemp on the Fourth of July. With the help of Jared Polis — a Colorado congressman at the time — Bowman briefly raised a Denver-made American flag above the United States Capitol Building on July 4, 2013.

That flag was made from hemp fibers, which were federally illegal at the time. Six years later, hemp is now federally legal thanks to the 2018 Farm Bill, and Bowman has co-founded his own publicly held hemp venture.

1 2 3 6