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Bill filed in Tennessee to regulate and tax CBD and Delta 8 THC

Bill filed in Tennessee to regulate and tax CBD and Delta 8 THC

Tennessee might regulate and tax CBD and Delta 8 THC products

A Republican lawmaker is seeking to tax and regulate the existing cannabis industry in the state.

Rep. Chris Hurt (R-Halls) filed House Bill 1690 this week. The bill seeks to regulate psychotropic hemp-derived cannabinoids, which include products that have more than 0.1 percent THC. (Current federal regulations limit THC to 0.3 percent.) That includes products containing the newly popular Delta-8 THC but not pure CBD products, which do not contain THC.

As a member of the Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee, a former hemp farmer and current co-owner of CBD ProCare — a CBD company in Dyersburg — Hurt says he filed the bill in an effort to “legitimize the industry.”

According to Hurt and Joe Kirkpatrick of the Tennessee Growers Coalition, who collaborated with Hurt on the writing of the bill, no other state has legislation that specifically taxes and limits the sale of hemp-derived cannabidiol products.

“People think that Tennessee is the last to do anything when it comes to the hemp industry,” Kirkpatrick says, “but they are forgetting that Tennessee was the first state to allow and define smokable hemp and the first state to allow the feeding of hemp to livestock.”

HB1690 would do three things: create a licensing requirement for retailers and wholesalers, establish a 6.6-percent excise tax on the wholesale of hemp-derived cannabinoids and limit sale of psychotropic hemp-derived products like Delta-8 to those 21 and older.

The bill would require retailers and wholesalers to apply for an annual $200 license through the Tennessee Department of Agriculture. Based on the licensing structure outlined, Kirkpatrick says he would expect the state to collect $160,000 annually in fees. (The legislative Fiscal Review Committee has not yet analyzed the potential economic impact of the legislation.) Licenses could be revoked or suspended at the discretion of the Department of Agriculture.

Kirkpatrick estimates that the proposed 6.6 percent tax, modeled after the tax on tobacco, could generate as much as $4-5 million in annual revenue for the state. Hurt and Kirkpatrick would like to see the money collected from licensing and the wholesale tax used to increase the resources at the Department of Agriculture to ensure product safety.

Mississippi medical marijuana bill introduced

Mississippi medical marijuana bill introduced

mississippi medical marijuana bill introduced into state senate

After months of debate and back-and-forth, lawmakers in Mississippi have finally produced a bill to implement a new medical cannabis law in the state.​

After months of speculation and hand-wringing, the Mississippi Legislature is set to take up a medical marijuana bill in the Senate as soon as Thursday, lawmakers said.

Sen. Kevin Blackwell, R-Southaven, filed the long-awaited bill late Tuesday afternoon. Lt. Gov. Delbert Hosemann referred the 445-page bill to the Senate Public Health and Welfare Committee for review.

Wednesday afternoon, the bill was passed by the Senate public health committee. Should it pass the Senate, it would head to the House and then to the governor.

Speaker of the House Philip Gunn said at the start of the legislative session medical marijuana was not a top priority of his. Bryan’s committee held two hearings over the summer about what a proposed medical marijuana bill would look like in Mississippi.

Gov. Tate Reeves said in June 2021 he would call a special session of the legislature if the House and Senate could agree on a bill.

In September, Gunn and Hosemann announced their two chambers had reached an agreement, but Reeves never called a session, objecting to portions of the bill. A draft version was made public in September, and lawmakers worked to address most of Reeves concerns.

Study Finds Cannabis Compounds Prevent Infection By Covid-19 Virus

Study Finds Cannabis Compounds Prevent Infection By Covid-19 Virus

cannabis can help with covid-19

Compounds in cannabis can prevent infection from the virus that causes Covid-19 by blocking its entry into cells, according to a study published this week by researchers affiliated with Oregon State University.

A report on the research, “Cannabinoids Block Cellular Entry of SARS-CoV-2 and the Emerging Variants,” was published online on Monday by the Journal of Natural Products.

The researchers found that two cannabinoid acids commonly found in hemp varietals of cannabis, cannabigerolic acid, or CBGA, and cannabidiolic acid, also known as CBDA, can bind to the spike protein of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19. By binding to the spike protein, the compounds can prevent the virus from entering cells and causing infection, potentially offering new avenues to prevent and treat the disease.

“Orally bioavailable and with a long history of safe human use, these cannabinoids, isolated or in hemp extracts, have the potential to prevent as well as treat infection by SARS-CoV-2,” the researchers wrote in an abstract of the study.

The study was led by Richard van Breemen, a researcher with Oregon State’s Global Hemp Innovation Center in the College of Pharmacy and Linus Pauling Institute, in collaboration with scientists at the Oregon Health & Science University. Van Breeman said that the cannabinoids studied are common and readily available.

“These cannabinoid acids are abundant in hemp and in many hemp extracts,” van Breemen said, as quoted by local media. “They are not controlled substances like THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, and have a good safety profile in humans.”

Cannabinoids Effective Against New Variants

Van Breemen added that CBDA and CBGA blocked the action of emerging variants of the virus that causes Covid-19, saying that “our research showed the hemp compounds were equally effective against variants of SARS-CoV-2, including variant B.1.1.7, which was first detected in the United Kingdom, and variant B.1.351, first detected in South Africa.”

Austin to Vote on Cannabis Law Enforcement Reforms

Austin to Vote on Cannabis Law Enforcement Reforms

Austin cannabis reform vote happening in May

Residents in Austin, Texas will have the opportunity to vote on cannabis enforcement reforms in May.

Voters in Austin, Texas in May will vote on ending the enforcement of low-level cannabis offenses and no-knock raids by law enforcement, KXAN reports. The City Clerk’s Office on Monday qualified the ballot measure, known as the Austin Freedom Act.

Last year, the City Council approved a resolution prohibiting Austin police from spending city funds on lab tests to distinguish hemp from THC-rich cannabis in personal possession cases – a move meant to end arrests and fines for low-level cannabis possession.

Advocates submitted the petition signatures to officials last month. At the time, Ken Casaday, president of the Austin Police Association, said the 2021 resolution had already changed how the city police enforce cannabis laws and he didn’t “really see the point” of the initiative. He indicated that Austin police don’t make arrests for “low amounts” of cannabis.

Mike Siegel, political director of Ground Game Texas, which is backing the campaign, said the initiative would codify that “current informal policy.”

Cannabis tax revenue surpasses $10 billion in legal states

Cannabis tax revenue surpasses $10 billion in legal states

cannabis tax revenue surpassed $10 billion

Sales taxes collected by states with legal cannabis programs totaled $10.4 billion as of December since the adult use market launched in 2014 in Colorado and Washington State, according to a study by The Marijuana Policy Project.

A report released Thursday by the pro-industry group said the $10.4 billion figure includes more than $3 billion in sales tax reported in 2021, thus far.

“States that have legalized cannabis for adults are reaping significant economic benefits,” said Karen O’Keefe, director of state policies at the Marijuana Policy Project.

The tax revenue helps fund education, school construction, early literacy, public libraries, behavioral health, alcohol and drug treatment, veterans’ services, conservation, job training, conviction expungement expenses, and community reinvestment.

“In many instances that revenue is being distributed to much needed public services and programs, including reinvesting in communities that were devastated by the war on drugs,” O’Keefe said. “This is in stark contrast to [cannabis] prohibition, which costs taxpayers billions of dollars each year to enforce.”

Some examples include $471.9 million toward improving the public education system in Colorado and more than $100 million in California for community and non profit groups that help people impacted by drug laws.

In Illinois, cannabis tax revenue has outpaced revenue from liquor taxes. According to data from the state, adult use cannabis generated about $193 million in tax revenue from July through the end of November, compared to about $141.3 million over the same period for liquor sales taxes, which include levies on beer, wine and spirits.

Everything to know about Connecticut cannabis license options

Everything to know about Connecticut cannabis license options

Connecticut cannabis license types

After a meeting of the Connecticut Social Equity Council (SEC) in the first week of January, regulators have announced that the Connecticut cannabis license process will begin in February.

The legislation which legalized cannabis in the state has a condition in its copy that the Connecticut cannabis license process could not start until the SEC approved a technical assistance plan for the cannabis industry. The approved plan will include outreach and providing resources to people interested in participating in the legal cannabis market.

Connecticut’s Department of Consumer Protection (DCP) announced on Twitter that they will begin accepting applications for certain adult-use cannabis establishment licenses in 30 days. The DCP also will announce the specific number of Connecticut cannabis licenses will be available for each establishment type.

Each cannabis license type will be released for applicants at different times. This time frame is planned for February to the final week of March, and will operate under two lottery systems.

The first lottery will be specifically for social equity applicants, who will have first access to applications on February 3rd. To be a social equity applicant there must be at least 65% ownership or control of the business by individuals who “meet the income and residency requirements for a social equity applicant outlined in the law,” DCP said in a press release.

Individuals who fall under the “Disproportionately Impacted Areas” category have the option to pay $3 million and skip the lottery system altogether.

The other Connecticut cannabis license lottery is for general applicants. These license types include retailers, micro-cultivators, delivery services, transporters and more. From February 3 to March 24 there will be a 90-day application period with each license being released at a different period throughout the process.

Connecticut cannabis license types and application dates

The DCP released every Connecticut cannabis license type and how many applications will be available for the general and social equity lotteries. Here are the various types and how many licenses will be released.

Disproportionately Impacted Area Cultivator: February 3, 2022 (non-lottery)

 

Retailer: February 3

6 general licenses, 6 social equity licenses

Micro-cultivator: February 10

2 general licenses, 5 social equity licenses

Delivery Service: February 17

5 general licenses, 5 social equity licenses

Hybrid Retailer: February 24

2 general licenses, 2 social equity licenses

Food and Beverage: March 3

5 general licenses, 5 social equity licenses

Product Manufacturer: March 10

3 general licenses, 3 social equity licenses

Product Packager: March 17

3 general licenses, 3 social equity licenses

Transporter: March 24

2 general licenses, 2 social equity licenses

In a DCP press release, Commissioner Michelle Seagull said, “This work by the Social Equity Council is a critical step in the licensure process for the emerging Adult-Use cannabis market in Connecticut and will be instrumental in ensuring the equity goals established in the law are met.”

Seagull explained that the initial number of available Connecticut cannabis licenses is not meant to be a cap, but,”a starting point for opening the adult-use cannabis market in an effective, measured and thoughtful way,” she said.