Browsing: Feds ‘N Heads

img_0278-2Jacqueline Collins

Most hemp farmers across the country got a big boost when the United States Department of Agriculture released its first round of industrial hemp regulations earlier this week; the new rules took effect today, October 31.

“I applaud the USDA for moving forward on hemp rulemaking and recognizing hemp production as an agricultural activity,” Senator Cory Gardner said in a statement after the regulations were announced. “Legalized hemp has the potential to be a major boon to agricultural communities across Colorado, giving farmers another viable and profitable option for their fields.”

But for farmers in states like Colorado, where hemp has been an established crop for almost five years, the new rules might not seem so progressive.

natures_gift_shop_collins20170812_026Jacqueline Collins

A federal court has tossed out a lawsuit against the Drug Enforcement Administration that claimed the agency was stalling medical marijuana research.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit dismissed a lawsuit filed in June by the Scottsdale Research Institute that claimed the DEA was hampering federally approved marijuana studies by stalling cannabis cultivation applications. Led by Dr. Sue Sisley, the Scottsdale Research Institute had hoped that the lawsuit would force the U.S. Attorney General and the DEA to process its application to grow marijuana for clinical research.

bernie_sanders_den_0919_4_of_23_ (1)Brandon Marshall

Bernie Sanders isn’t coy about his desire to see marijuana legalized, but the Democratic presidential candidate’s plans for the plant will go much further than that if he’s elected to the White House in 2020.

Sanders’s pot platform, just released today, October 24 (at 4:20 p.m. Eastern time, no less), includes plans to federally legalize marijuana and declassify marijuana as a controlled substance via executive action within 100 days of his inauguration, as well as to ban tobacco and cigarette corporations from entering the legal pot trade.

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.

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