Today in cannabis news: A bill proposed by a New York state senator seeks to allow farmers to get a jump start on cannabis cultivation; U.S. GOP lawmakers urge President Biden to follow through on cannabis campaign promises; and next week, the U.S. Congress could vote on measures to safeguard persons from being evicted from public housing over cannabis use.
It’s Thursday, July 22 and this is your TRICHOMES Morning Buzz.
First up: A New York state senator has introduced a proposal to establish a provisional cannabis licensure classification, allowing producers to start producing and distributing cannabis before the recreational consumption program is fully implemented.
State Sen. Jeremy Cooney (D) presented the bill, with the goal of allowing farmers to begin growing cannabis in advance of the coming season. According to Sen. Cooney, who also works as co-chair of the Black Puerto Rican Hispanic and Asian (BPHA) Legislative Caucus’ Marijuana Task Force, this would be a necessary move in repairing the damage of the racially unjust war on drugs while officials continue to set up the new industry.
Said Cooney regarding the bill: “This legislation enables New York cannabis farmers to put seeds in the ground, so that the economic benefits of legalizing marijuana are not delayed for another growing season. We passed adult-use recreational marijuana with the promise of investing in communities most negatively impacted by the failed War on Drugs. This bill allows us to start fulfilling that promise by creating a supply chain of products for retailers in this new economy.”
Next up: President Joe Biden is being urged by a duo of Republican representatives in the U.S. Congress to follow through on their campaign pledge and reschedule cannabis within the Controlled Substances Act (CSA).
The message was submitted to the president this week by Reps. Dave Joyce (R-OH) and Don Young (R-AK), co-chairs of the Congressional Cannabis Caucus. The moderate federal cannabis policy update is described as “a matter of public health.”
Currently, cannabis is categorized as a Schedule I substance, which puts it in the same class as “more harmful substances,” including heroin. Only substances with no medicinal value and a high chance of abuse are expected to fall into this classification.
The representatives wrote that the federal classification of cannabis has resulted in “significant research restrictions and continues to thwart the treatment of a wide range of patients, including those suffering from cancer as well as veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and people living with Multiple Sclerosis and seizure disorders.”
The letter adds: “As our nation continues to grapple with the opioid epidemic and the record-breaking death toll it caused amid the COVID-19 pandemic, we cannot afford to sideline safer alternatives in the name of arcane regulations. Each day cannabis remains overly scheduled, patients and researchers across the United States continue to lose access to life-saving therapies and data.”
In May, the representatives introduced a proposal to deschedule cannabis on the federal level, safeguard banks that work with state-authorized cannabis businesses, and guarantee that military veterans are allowed to consume cannabis in accordance with state statutes.
Last up: Within a duo of amendments to budget legislation proposed by U.S. Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC), possession or consumption of cannabis could not be leveraged as the only grounds for refusing someone accessibility to public housing. Next week, the entire House of Representatives might vote on one or both of the proposed amendments.
One of the proposed amendments would prevent the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) from utilizing funding to remove occupants of federal public housing who reside in regions where cannabis is recreationally legalized. The second proposed amendment would only pertain to medical cannabis.
The amendments’ purpose is aligned with the congressperson’s independent bill presented this session. Those residing in public housing or Section 8 housing would be protected from being evicted solely for consuming cannabis medically or recreationally in states where it is legal under that bill. It also calls on the HUD secretary to issue regulations prohibiting the smoking of cannabis on these premises in the same manner that tobacco is restricted.
That was today’s buzz! Thanks for listening…for more cannabis news and insights from industry professionals, and a place to discuss these stories and others, visit TRICHOMES.com