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.
FDA and CDC Warrant Federal Warnings about Delta-8 THC
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.
The Next Risk Inherent Cannabinoid: THC-O-acetate
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.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer Proposes Legalization of Marijuana in New Bill
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.
Connecticut Becomes the 19th State to Legalize Recreational Marijuana
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.
New York Becomes the 15th State To Legalize Recreational Marijuana
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.
With the passing of this bill, New York became the 15th state to legalize recreational marijuana for adults in the U.S. Below, we break down the details of this significant marijuana legislation.
The Return of the SAFE Banking Act
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.
How Should Cannabis Executives and Employees be Compensated?
Toward the end of the year, business owners and executives analyze their end-of-year finances to determine the company’s success, as well as how employees should be compensated. Many marijuana and hemp employers utilize their profits to give some of their more essential employees, such as initial team members or transitional employees with substantial connections or irreplaceable expertise, extra pay for their hard work. Owners typically do this with cash bonuses or equity-based compensation. As a hemp business owner, it is critical to understand each of these compensation methods before making a choice. Below, we break down your primary considerations.
3 Benefits of Hiring a Cannabis Lawyer
As cannabis continues to gain significant recognition and the market expands, businesses specializing in both recreational and medical cannabis are growing in popularity across the country. Accordingly, various provisions are set at both the federal and state level to regulate the manufacturing, sale, and distribution of cannabis. Today’s cannabis companies need to hire a lawyer who specializes in the legislation, risks, and trends associated with the industry to ensure compliance and maximize success. Below we explain three of the most important benefits of hiring a cannabis lawyer.
What to Expect from the Cannabis Industry in 2021
2020 was a monumental year for the cannabis industry, and experts predict the momentum will continue well into the future. Specifically, when businesses across the globe were forced to close amidst the worldwide spread of Covid-19, cannabis dispensaries were deemed an essential business and permitted to continue operations at the onset of the coronavirus pandemic. Cannabis activists across the country counted this as a significant win in the progress of our nation’s collective perception of the substance. As this fast-paced industry constantly evolves, expect to see continued strides made throughout the industry in the following year. Below we’ve included what to expect from the cannabis industry in 2021.