As marijuana products become more accessible than ever before, the number of cannabis consumers grows worldwide. However, as the market expands, many are unable to identify the major differences or similarities between strains such as cannabis sativa and cannabis indica. This uncertainty is largely due to the disparity between public knowledge and current research. Although the sativa and indica strains are among the most recognizable in the marijuana market, research around benefits and effects is comparatively limited to other substances. Several experts believe that the stigma against marijuana research is due to the plant’s federal Schedule 1 status as an allegedly dangerous and addictive drug.
On September 22, 2021, New York Governor Kathy Hochul announced the final two appointees of the New York marijuana regulatory board. After the legalization of recreational marijuana in New York for adults over the age of 21, the state government implemented a Cannabis Control Board and Office of Cannabis Management to regulate the adult use of marijuana. Statewide regulations for cannabis and its related products bring one of the United States’ biggest cash crops under the rule of law, though they currently vary substantially from state to state. Read below to learn more about New York’s Cannabis Control Board and what the Empire State is doing to enhance its existing marijuana regulatory system.
On September 21, 2021, Amazon announced that the company would relax its screening policies for marijuana to advocate for more equitable workplaces. Amazon’s Senior Vice President of Human Resources also announced that the global conglomerate is proud to endorse recent federal legislation in the blog post. Seemingly a continuation of its previous statements concerning the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act of 2021 (the “MORE Act”), Amazon resumes its support for marijuana reform. Read below to learn more about Amazon’s statements and their recent history and stances on marijuana legislation.
On September 14, 2021, the Center for Disease Control (“CDC”) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) warranted federal warnings against the usage and marketing of Delta-8 THC. In similar reports, these federal agencies warned against the use of Delta-8 because of the lack of research on the rare cannabinoid and the growing accessibility of these products in the market.
As the hemp industry continues with the delta-8 THC craze, another minor cannabinoid is beginning to see market prevalence. THC-O-acetate, commonly referred to as THC-O or ATHC, has also been referred to as the “spiritual cannabinoid,” with some users likening the effect to psilocybin when ingested. Currently, there is a dearth of clinical research regarding efficacy, dosage, and benefits of THC-O.
On July 14, 2021, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer announced draft legislation to decriminalize marijuana at the federal level. This historic legislation proposition was presented by Senator Chuck Schumer, Senator Cory Booker (D-N.Y.), and Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore). These senators announced the draft legislation while focusing on social justice reforms the bill would sponsor.
Senator Schumer further stated that he would leverage his position as majority leader to make this legislation a top priority in the Senate, as cannabis is already legal in 19 states.
Below, we break down what this historical draft legislation entails and examine the history of cannabis prohibition in the United States.
On June 22, 2021, Governor Ned Lamont signed legislation that would make recreational marijuana legal in Connecticut as of July 1, 2021. With this landmark bill, Connecticut takes substantial steps towards reparations for those most affected by prohibition. New Hampshire and Rhode Island are now the only states in New England to criminalize recreational marijuana. With the passing of this bill, Connecticut becomes the 19th state to legalize recreational marijuana for adults in the United States. Below, we break down what this critical piece of legislation entails.
On April 29, 2021, the Texas House of Representatives approved Texas House Bill 1535 (“HB 1535”), a bill that would expand Texas’ medical cannabis program. The Senate must now pass this bill before it can be signed into law and further advance Texas’ marijuana reform legislation. On April 30, 202, Texas House Bill 441 (“HB 441”) was also passed by the Texas House of Representatives; however, this bill faces an uphill climb in the Senate. If HB 441 is passed by the Senate and signed into law, this bill would reduce the criminal penalty for possessing small amounts of marijuana. These two bills indicate significant progress in Texas cannabis legislation but still face an uncertain fate in the Senate. Below, we break down what these reform bills mean for the marijuana community in Texas.
On March 30, 2021, New York lawmakers voted in favor of legalizing adult-use cannabis after hours of debate in the State Senate and Assembly. Approximately 12 hours after the legislation was approved, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed the bill that legalizes marijuana for adults and expunges the criminal records of those previously convicted by actions that would now be legal under the new law.
On March 18, 2021, the Secure and Fair Enforcement (“SAFE”) Banking Act was reintroduced in the U.S. House of Representatives by Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-CO). On April 19 (just before 4/20), the House approved the legislation again; this time by a vote of 321-101, which also includes a majority of voting Republicans. This reintroduction presents yet another opportunity for the cannabis community, and with a Democratic majority now in the Senate, the chances that this bill gets passed have significantly increased. Below, we take a closer look at the SAFE Banking Act to refamiliarize and reiterate its critical points and examine what this could mean for the hemp and cannabis industries.