Browsing: Feds ‘N Heads

03072019hickenlooper_rally021Michael Emery Hecker

Using cannabis legalization as a platform to popularity is all the rage for this latest round of Democratic presidential candidates. Nearly every candidate in the blue party has endorsed some form of cannabis-policy reform, ranging from full-scale legalization at the federal level to letting states decide on their own.

Former Colorado governor John Hickenlooper, who announced his run for the White House on March 4, arguably has more experience with the issue than any other candidate in this primary race: He presided over the state’s implementation of recreational cannabis from the vote for Amendment 64 in November 2012 through early 2019, when he was term-limited out of the governor’s slot. Under Hickenlooper, Colorado has earned more tax revenue from legal pot than any other state so far and boasts one of the most advanced medical marijuana programs in the nation.

natures_gift_shop_collins20170812_013 (2)Jacqueline Collins

Immigrants who’ve worked in the cannabis industry remain at risk of having their citizenship applications automatically denied if they reveal their work history, according to a new announcement by the federal government.

On April 19, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services released a policy guidance document reiterating that work in the marijuana industry is generally grounds for automatic denial of a citizenship naturalization application based on a lack of “good moral character…even if such activity has been decriminalized under applicable state laws.”

joe-neguse-cory-gardner-neguseCourtesy of the office of Congressman Joe Neguse

Senators Cory Gardner and Elizabeth Warren just reintroduced their States Act today, April 4, in hopes of guaranteeing states the right to choose their own marijuana policy. The two may seem an odd pairing, but Democrat Warren represents Massachusetts, where recreational cannabis is now legal, and Republican Gardner has pushed the feds before to observe Colorado’s laws regarding marijuana.

Representatives Earl Blumenauer and David Joyce have introduced the bill concurrently in the House, and the measure is expected to be heard by a House committee within weeks, according to House Rules Committee chairman Jim McGovern, who’s bullish on its chances.

diana-degette-2019_mlk_marade_hamblinKenneth Hamblin III

U.S. Representative Diana DeGette’s bill to halt federal marijuana prohibition in states where cannabis is legal was introduced on Monday, April 1, but she insists the issue is no joke.

“Colorado’s marijuana-related business owners are just like any other legitimate business owners in our state, and are currently contributing more than one billion a year to our state’s economy,” DeGette said in anouncing the proposal. “There’s no reason why they should have to go to bed every night worried that the federal government could suddenly take it all away from them and treat them like a criminal.”

colfaxpotshop_dispensary-bud-bar-slentz_04Scott Lentz

The United States House of Representatives held a hearing on the challenges of marijuana business banking on February 13, gaining attention and praise for doing what congressional leaders had not done in the past: actually consider federal marijuana reform.

The House Financial Services Committee hearing on Colorado Congressman Ed Perlmutter’s SAFE Banking Act provided more bark than bite, however, with no vote on the measure taking place.

june_10_2017_hemp_week_yard_party_hamblinKen Hambllin III

America was pretty late to the party, but the federals finally figured out (again) that hemp doesn’t get us high. By removing the plant from the Controlled Substances Act via an amendment to the 2018 Farm Bill, Congress cleared a path for American companies interested in using hemp and its extracts and fibers to source those materials domestically. And retailers selling those products in this country can now do so without fear of law enforcement and regulatory interference.

Some pundits view industrial hemp as a bigger cash crop than marijuana, with its seeds, stalks, fibers and cannabinoids all used to make a long list of products. Here are seven things we eat, wear and use every day that will be impacted by hemp legalization.

hemp-field-campout-2018-lirette (1)Danielle Lirette

Hemp is where it’s at right now, especially in Colorado. Legal cannabis is cool and all — and we welcome Michigan and Vermont to the recreational party in 2019 — but that’s so 2015 in this state.

More about substance than style, industrial hemp’s many uses were finally recognized by the federal government in December, when President Donald Trump officially legalized it by signing the 2018 Farm Bill. Now that the plant is out from under the shadow of the Controlled Substances Act, it’s regulated by the Department of Agriculture and legal to farm in all fifty states.

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