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DEA Backs White House Plan To Research Cannabis, Psychedelics

DEA Backs White House Plan To Research Cannabis, Psychedelics

DEA approves of more cannabis and psychedelic research
The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and National Institute On Drug Abuse (NIDA) say they are in favor of a White House proposal to streamline the process of researching Schedule I drugs like marijuana and certain psychedelics.

The agencies testified at a House Energy and Commerce subcommittee hearing on Thursday, expressing support for the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) research plan. While the focus of the meeting was mostly on a controversial move to strictly classify fentanyl-related substances, the Biden administration proposal’s research components would also help address concerns within the scientific community about the difficulty of studying other Schedule I drugs.

DEA said in written testimony that “expanding access to Schedule I research is a critical part of DEA’s mission to protect public safety and health.”

“It is critical that the scientific and medical community study Schedule I substances, as some may turn out to have therapeutic value,” DEA Principal Deputy Administrator Louis Milione said. “DEA supports the administration’s legislative proposal’s expansion of access to Schedule I research. DEA looks forward to continuing to work with the research community and our interagency partners to facilitate Schedule I research.”

In general, what the administration is proposing is to align the research requirements for Schedule I drugs with those of less-restricted Schedule II drugs. Scientists and lawmakers have consistently pointed out that the existing rules for studying Schedule I controlled substances are excessively burdensome, limiting vital research.

Rather than having each scientist involved in a Schedule I drug study obtain DEA registration, ONDCP wants to make it so multiple researchers at a given institution would be allowed to participate under a single registration. The administration also proposed a policy change where a research institute with studies taking place over multiple locations would only require one overall registration instead of needing to have a specific one for each site.

Another change would allow certain researchers to move ahead with conducting their studies after submitting a notification to the Department of Justice instead of waiting for officials to affirmatively sign off on their proposals. ONDCP’s plan would also waive the requirement for additional inspections at research sites in some circumstances and allow researchers to manufacture small amounts of drugs without obtaining separate registrations. The latter component would not allow cultivation of marijuana, however.

San Francisco Suspends Cannabis Tax to Combat Crime

San Francisco Suspends Cannabis Tax to Combat Crime

san francisco cannabis tax removed to fight against crime

San Francisco city officials approved an ordinance suspending the tax it planned to place on cannabis sales, according to multiple reports.

Set to go into effect on Jan. 1, 2020, the 1% to 5% it was going to impose was approved by San Francisco voters in November 2018, the San Francisco Examiner reported.

The decision is due to a rise in illegal sales and increased theft and meant to helping cannabis retailers who have been struggling, trying to compete with illegal cannabis drug dealers.

“Sadly, the illegal market is flourishing by undercutting the prices of legal businesses, which is bad for our economy as illegal businesses pay no taxes while subjecting workers to dangerous conditions and consumers to dangerous products. Now is not the time to impose a new tax on small businesses that are just getting established and trying to compete with illicit operators,” said Supervisor Rafael Mandelman, author of the ordinance, to the San Francisco Examiner.

Last month, a group of armed individuals stole thousands of dollars’ worth of merchandise from a cannabis retailer, BASA, which had already dealt with four thefts, according to the report.

Mandelman said he plans to work with the City Comptroller’s Office, the Treasurer, Tax Collector ‘s Office and the Office of Cannabis for recommendations — including a tax rate and structure — to implement in 2023.

Kentucky lawmaker proposes decriminalizing cannabis possession and use

Kentucky lawmaker proposes decriminalizing cannabis possession and use

Kentucky cannabis decriminalization proposed by legislator
Kentucky adults would be able to use, possess and grow small amounts of cannabis under a pair of bills proposed for the upcoming legislative session.

The measures—one of which would amend the state Constitution—seek to decriminalize the personal use of cannabis, but wouldn’t create the system of licensed growers and retailers seen in other states that have legalized it.

Rep. Nima Kulkarni, a Democrat from Louisville and sponsor of the bills, said Kentucky is in a “confused place” because polling shows most voters are in favor of legalizing cannabis but lawmakers still won’t do it.

“We are in a shrinking minority of states that have no provisions for adult cannabis use. I think given the momentum it has nationally and statewide, I think we need to do something, and I think our voters want us to do something,” Kulkarni said.

According to a 2020 poll by the Foundation For A Healthy Kentucky, 59% of Kentuckians support legalizing cannabis for adults and 90% support legalizing it for medical use.

One of Kulkarni’s proposals would:

  • Eliminate criminal penalties for possessing or selling up to an ounce of cannabis and possessing cannabis paraphernalia
  • Allow people to grow up to five cannabis plants
  • Allow people to expunge their criminal records if they were convicted for possessing cannabis in the past.
  • Change the wording in state law from “marijuana” to “cannabis,” the scientific moniker for the plant.

Kulkarni’s other proposal would amend the state Constitution to give people the right to possess, use and grow cannabis as long as they are at least 21 years old.

Over 100 towns and villages opt out of New York recreational cannabis

Over 100 towns and villages opt out of New York recreational cannabis

towns and villages opt out of New York recreational cannabis industry
As the pieces begin falling into place to allow the New York recreational cannabis industry to begin operations, some local towns and villages are saying no to legal weed.

New data provided by the Associations of Towns of New York State indicates that around 9% of communities have opted out of the zoning portion of recreational marijuana legalization. How many towns is that? Across the state there are 84 of them that have opted out of both retail sale of marijuana and on-site consumption of cannabis.

The same can be said for villages. Around 9%, or 46 villages in New York have opted out of the law, leaving potentially millions in revenue on the table as New York recreational cannabis expands across the state.

For towns and villages that opt out of the New York recreational cannabis program, businesses will not be able to open if they sell or allow patrons to consume cannabis in their establishments.

There is still time for towns and villages opt out, however it does not look like the majority feel the same as the hundred or so that have already. “At this point, it appears there is not a major wave of opt-outs sweeping across the state,” Chris Anderson, research director for the Association of Towns recently said.

“We expect to see some more activity, but it’s certainly pretty late in the game. We have a good indication now it will be a low opt-out percentage statewide.”

There are hundreds of towns and villages across New York state, with the 120+ that have opted out making up a very small minority. It is likely that these towns and villages will see their surrounding communities generate revenue from recreational business while they miss out.

The towns and villages that have opted out will still have the opportunity to opt in once the New York recreational cannabis industry takes off. However the window for more to opt out is closing as the state gets closer to implementing a legal industry.

Florida Bill Would Regulate Delta-8 and Overhaul Medical Cannabis

Florida Bill Would Regulate Delta-8 and Overhaul Medical Cannabis

Florida bill would regulated Delta 8 THC and overhaul medical cannabis industry
A Florida bill seeks to place strict limits on delta-8 THC and overhaul the state’s medical cannabis program, which would include a new cannabis oversight agency and new rules preventing the sale of dispensary licenses for monetary gain.

bill in Florida would place strict limits on THC potency of synthetic and hemp extracts, such as delta-8 THC, and include other reforms to the state’s medical cannabis law, Florida Politics reports. The bill’s sponsors, Democratic Rep. Andrew Learned and Republican Rep.

Spencer Roach describe the proposal as the “first major update” to the state’s medical cannabis statute since voters approved the reforms five years ago.

Under the proposal, sales of hemp products designed for consumption, including delta-8 products, would only be permitted to individuals 21-and-older.

Additionally, the measure would increase the terms of medical cannabis patient licenses and the time between required doctor appointments, which the bill sponsors say combined would cut an estimated 60% of the cost of participation in the medical cannabis program.

It would also remove physician appointments for medical cannabis patient recertification under specific guidelines, allow recertification via telehealth, end the practice of selling medical cannabis dispensary licenses for monetary gain, create new industry testing requirements, and increase the transparency of state regulations.

Under the proposal, the course required by Florida for physicians that recommend medical cannabis would triple from two to six hours.

The bill was introduced on Monday November 29, but has not yet been moved to any committee.

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South Dakota issues first medical cannabis patient cards

South Dakota issues first medical cannabis patient cards

South Dakota issues first medical cannabis patient cards

South Dakota has printed and issued the first medical cannabis patient cards and the state’s Department of Health remains confident in its capability to adjust to demand increases.

Daniel Bucheli, spokesman for the South Dakota Department of Health, said the department’s ability to handle an influx of applications is due to the months of preparation that have gone into the medical cannabis program.

“We advise medical cannabis patients to have all their information at the ready to be submitted after their provider has issued their written certification,” he said.

The Department of Health has 15 days to process a patient medical card application from the day received, Bucheli said.

“At this time, we’ve received a handful of applications and dozens of provider enrollments. We are working on those now, and they will all be processed in accordance with the timelines established in state law,” he added.

A patient must first schedule an appointment with their physician. Then a determination is made by the physician whether the patient would benefit from the therapeutic or palliative use of medical cannabis for their condition. If yes, a medical certification is issued through the online portal for the patient. Physicians must create an account at medcannabisapplication.sd.gov to provide written certifications.

The patient will them receive an email to create an account on medcannabisapplication.sd.gov. Once compete, the patient must wait for DOH approval. Some applications, including minor patient applications, require caregivers to be registered. Caregivers will receive an email to create an account on medcannabisapplication.sd.gov.

Once complete, the caregiver must wait for DOH approval. Once the patient or caregiver gets DOH approval, a medical cannabis card will be mailed to the patient or caregiver. The cardholder may then purchase cannabis from a certified dispensary.

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